Showing posts with label Everyday Life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Everyday Life. Show all posts

March 29, 2020

Some Good News But Not All (NYTimes)

Coronavirus Live Updates: Over 600,000 Cases Worldwide as Hospital Ship Prepares to Head to New York
President Trump says he is weighing quarantines for hot spots like New York and other states. More than 17 now tally over 1,000 cases. Spain and Italy’s death tolls surged. The largest economic stimulus package in modern U.S. history is in effect.

RIGHT NOWThe U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ civil rights office told medical providers that they may not deny medical care to people on the basis of disability or age during the coronavirus emergency

 I am giving consideration to a QUARANTINE of developing “hot spots”, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. A decision will be made, one way or another, shortly.

1:31 PM - Mar 28, 2020
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Mr. Trump’s public airing of his deliberations came one day after he signed a $2 trillion economic stimulus package and as cases in the tristate area continued to climb. New York reported 52,318 confirmed cases, as of Saturday morning, with 728 deaths statewide. In New Jersey, there were 8,825 cases and the death toll had risen to 108. Connecticut had nearly 1,300 cases, with 27 deaths.

THE LOST MONTH The lack of extensive screening for the coronavirus in the United States blinded the country to the pandemic’s growing reach.
Cases have also been growing elsewhere across the country, with at least 17 states reporting tallies of at least 1,000 cases. The national total stands above 104,000, and Mr. Trump has been under substantial pressure from state officials to do more to quell the crisis.

On Friday, after a survey of mayors in more than 200 American cities, large and small, reported a dire need for face masks, ventilators and other emergency equipment, Mr. Trump said the federal government would buy thousands of ventilators from a variety of makers. It appeared doubtful they could be produced in time to help American hospitals that are already overwhelmed.

The specter of a federal quarantine followed a wave of governors who, fearful about the virus spreading further through their states, ordered people who had traveled from New York to isolate themselves for two weeks after their arrivals.

Gov. Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island said Friday that state troopers would begin stopping drivers with New York license plates so that National Guard officials could collect contact information and inform anyone coming from the state that they were subject to a mandatory, 14-day quarantine.
Ms. Raimondo also said the National Guard would begin going door-to-door in coastal communities this weekend to find  and tell recent arrivals from New York of the quarantine order.

The National Guard had already been deployed to bus stations, train stations and the airport to enforce Ms. Raimondo’s order, which also applies to anyone who has been to New York in the past 14 days.

“I know it’s unusual,” Ms. Raimondo said at a news conference on Friday. “I know it’s extreme, and I know some people disagree with it.”

“Right now we have a pinpointed risk,’’ she added. “That risk is called New York City.”

Texas, Florida, Maryland and South Carolina are among the other states that have ordered people arriving from New York to self-quarantine. In Texas, for instance, the authorities said Friday that Department of Public Safety agents would make surprise visits to see whether travelers were adhering to the state’s mandate, and they warned that violators could be fined $1,000 and jailed for 180 days.

Gov. Ned Lamont of Connecticut, where many wealthy New Yorkers own second homes, this week urged all travelers from New York City to self-quarantine for two weeks upon entering the state, but he stopped short of issuing an order requiring it.

New York City’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, has questioned the wisdom of such orders.

“I think there’s a little bit of a lack of recognition right now of just how much this disease has already spread around the country,” he said at a news briefing on Wednesday. 

Coronavirus in the U.S.: Latest Map and Case Count
A detailed county map shows the extent of the coronavirus outbreak, with tables of the number of cases by state and county.

New York State’s primary is delayed, and New York City may fine those who break social-distancing rules.
Sunbathers in Domino Park, New York, on Friday. The mayor is threatening to fine residents who flout the social-distancing rules.

 Credit...Mark Abramson for The New York Times

Sunbathers in Domino Park, New York, on Friday. The mayor is threatening to fine residents who flout the social-distancing rules.Credit...Mark Abramson for The New York Times
New York will postpone its April 28 presidential primary until June 23, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced on Saturday, buying time for the state to administer an election as it struggles to respond to the growing coronavirus outbreak.

Ten other states, as well as Puerto Rico, have rescheduled presidential primaries as the campaign calendar has been upended by the outbreak, citing guidance from health officials who have urged people to avoid gathering spots, including polling places. A handful of other states have switched to voting entirely by mail and have extended deadlines for doing so.

And New York City officials are expected to decide this weekend whether to impose $500 fines on residents flouting social-distancing rules during the coronavirus outbreak by gathering in large groups at parks and ignoring police orders to disperse.

The vast majority of New Yorkers have been respecting the rules, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Friday, but officials had observed some violations

Mr. de Blasio also said that a few houses of worship were continuing to hold religious services and that they risked fines or having their buildings permanently closed if the police found congregations in them this weekend. 

The mayor also said he was working with state officials to freeze rents this year for 2.3 million tenants in rent-stabilized apartments.

Officials said late Friday that the number of coronavirus cases in New York City had climbed above 26,000. The city’s death toll was 450.

At least 500 New York Police Department employees have tested positive, and more than 4,000 officers — about 11 percent of the uniformed work force — were out sick on Friday, officials said.

In a force of 36,000 officers, that translates to an infection rate of about one in every 80 officers, or about 1.2 percent.

Officials also reported the first death of an officer in the department: Detective Cedric Dixon, who worked in the 32nd Precinct, in Harlem, and had worked for the department for 23 years.”

In New Rochelle, N.Y., meanwhile, the state’s drastic measures to contain a cluster of coronavirus cases may be starting to work, according to the latest data for Westchester County.
New: When they take the plasma of someone who has been infected but recovered has helped people in critical conditions help their inmune system fight back and recover. (The plasma has to be from someone in your state because states are not allowed to interchange anything.

May 6, 2014

Adam Levine Blonder than Blondie

For those of you who like your men tall, dark, and handsome — well, Adam Levine now no longer (totally) meets your checklist. The Maroon 5 front man and host of The Voice just defied his brunette roots in favor of bleach blond locks. He revealed the big hair change on Twitter with a photo of his new 'do, his gorgeous fiancée, Behati Prinsloo, and the irreverent caption "Apocalypse prep course complete."
While some suspect he did it as a nod to The Voice's new coach, Gwen Stefani (who is known for her platinum mane), our first thought was that the native Californian wanted to go lighter for Summer. Turns out, we were right.
Adam's stylist, Shaul Arbiv, told People: "With Summer months coming up, we wanted to do something totally drastic and different from his previous styles, so we bleached it. I have been working with Adam for a long time, and he likes to change up his style often."
We want to know: are you a fan of Adam's new blond hair? Should he have done a more subtle color look à la Jared Leto's ombré? Or are you in favor of his natural dark strands?

January 30, 2014

Miami Reporter Shares Wife to Make Porno with His Bud, She Runs Away with Bud

Courtesy of Wally Clark
Wally Clark swears it was a million-dollar idea. The bespectacled man with big ears, a bald head, and a trim figure scrolls through the 10,000 pornographic snapshots he took of his wife cavorting with his best friend. Sure, Clark had nudged the two of them together — but it was only supposed to be so they could all get rich peddling erotic images. His wife and his buddy weren't supposed to run off together.
On a recent Thursday, inside a one-bedroom bachelor pad cluttered with papers, the six-foot-two Hialeah High graduate is revisiting what he calls the happiest five years of his life. A photography studio occupies a back room, and a flame-painted PT Cruiser sits in the driveway. "My wife was the most beautiful woman I'd ever seen," he says with a wistful glint in his paralyzed left eye, "until she became a professional liar."
Courtesy of Wally Clark
A picture from Wally Clark's blog.
The 73-year-old purports to be in the business of truth. Flip through a copy of the River Cities Gazette, Miami Springs' free community paper for the past 33 years, and you'll see stories about a local farmers' market, a spectacular car wreck, and a boutique sale. They're all written by Clark, a 25-year veteran of the paper, who produces a good half of its content. But unless Clark can dig his way out of Miami-Dade's most bizarre sex scandal involving a journalist, his job is doomed. Two restraining orders prevent him from covering the majority of his town. Clark usually reports on burglaries and stickups, but he can't visit the police station lobby anymore. The newspaper office is also off-limits.
Technically, Clark doesn't need to go to the police station that often. Miami Springs -- a 2.9-square-mile triangle between Hialeah and Miami International Airport -- boasts a violent crime rate that's less than half the national average. The 14,000-resident suburban city reported only four murders between 1999 and 2011. It's practically a modern-day Mayberry, and Clark is one of the most influential people to call the place home.
"Even though we're online and connected to the Herald, everybody loves to get their newspaper every Wednesday," says Bill Daley, the Gazette's editor. "It's unique in the age of social media because people here still like to read their local paper and see what's going on."
Clark met his now ex-wife while teaching a Harley-Davidson riding class in late 2006, when he was 66. Dana Estabrook, a 20-year-old former bodybuilder and personal trainer, was the youngest student in his 12-person class. "I thought I didn't have a chance," Clark admits. After a couple of lessons, though, the older man invited his pupil over to take sexy photographs on his motorcycle. She accepted, and the two slept together during their second shoot, he says. Estabrook moved into Clark’s Wren Avenue home the following March, and they married two years later in a Savannah, Georgia gazebo.
Courtesy Wally Clark
Clark was so smitten that he tattooed Estabrook's name on his right forearm, and the woman told her husband daily that the two would "be together forever," he says.
But the couple hustled to survive. Divorce records show Clark pulled in only $432 every two weeks from the paper for his articles, photos, and a weekly humor column called "Out of Sync." His monthly $1,032 social security check paid the rent. Estabrook expressed interest in a job stripping, so Clark installed a pole in his photo studio and paid for dancing lessons in Coral Springs. Her debut at the Booby Trap in Doral brought in only $67, he recalls. She never went back and instead began pursuing a graphic design career.
"I couldn't afford the nice things," Clark remembers. "We struggled for years, but she always said, 'I want to buy a house and take care of you.'" During the five-year marriage (Clark's third), the small-town reporter struggled with melanoma, prostate cancer, and heart disease, court records show. With his measly income and mounting medical bills, home ownership would have been a pipe dream.
That's why they concocted the photo project. One image on Clark's desktop computer shows the brunet Estabrook wearing ruby-red lipstick and lying in a bed of flowers. The next shows her on her back naked with an older man hovering over her. The pair's physiques are overlaid with pop art-style illustrations. Court records show that in March 2010, Clark emailed his buddy, chiropractor Art Jansik, to recruit him for modeling: "Very confidential. Need dude to pose with hot babe for erotica pics. No face. You interested?" The goal was to photograph hard-core pornography, Photoshop it, and sell it.
"I like to call it erotic art," Clark explains. "People won't put up a dirty picture in their home, but if you put it on a canvas, they might put it up as a conversation piece."
All went well for a year and a half, until the two models fell in love. As a chiropractor, Jansik made a salary that Clark could never compete with. The wealthy interloper charmed Estabrook, who grew up in Jupiter, by taking her on expensive three-way dates with Clark, including lobster trapping, and by purchasing expensive gifts, according to Clark.
Courtesy Wally Clark
The couple romps.
One day in September 2011 after a long weekend in the Keys, Estabrook confessed her feelings for Jansik. Clark was shattered. The two soon separated, court records confirm.
The next month, Clark emailed Estabrook a picture of the addition he'd made to his tattoo: "Forever died," dripping in blood, underneath the original text.
"Dana always said she'd be with me forever," he explains. "But when she left, forever died."
According to police documents, Estabrook interpreted the tattoo as a threat to her life and claimed Clark threatened homicide. She filed for a restraining order, which permanently bans him from going within 500 feet of her residence in North Miami.
Last May, Clark began venting his frustrations on a WordPress blog, where he posts sections of The Pornmakers, a serialized novel about the indecent proposal. He also became vengeful and filed complaints to get Jansik's medical license revoked. (The Board of Chiropractic Medicine found no probable cause to do so.)
That month, Estabrook sent a letter to Judge Jacqueline Schwartz about Clark's WordPress site, which includes seminude photos of Estabrook, and his latest attempt at revenge. "These articles are very disturbing and troubling to me, and I'm writing you so that you're aware of his most recent actions. I realize that the First Amendment allows freedom of speech, but these articles are filled with lies and obsessive and angry thoughts," Estabrook wrote.
The chiropractor sued his former buddy for invasion of privacy over the site. In January, Jansik filed for his own restraining order, which prevents the reporter from going within 500 feet of the chiropractor's home in Miami Springs and eight local businesses he frequents. The Gazette office is less than 0.2 miles from five of them and 446 feet from a banned SunTrust branch.
Rather than back down, Clark lashed out again, this time in a January 9 installment of "Out of Sync" titled "Getting Even Can Make Your Day." His Gazette column about divorce ends, "Whew! Just thinking about revenge gets me so excited that I need a cold shower and a nap. Sometimes realizing what I could do to get even makes my day."
Jansik refused to comment about the WordPress site or the lawsuit, stating only that Clark is an "assassin of character." Estabrook also declined to speak in-depth. "This whole thing is a nightmare," she said. "This is not my life or who I am. I just want it to go away."
But Clark refuses to let that happen. As a 73-year-old man, he says, there's nothing to hide. Getting the truth out is his profession, and the restraining orders have prevented him from earning a living. Without a job, he doesn't have much else to do but focus on revenge. "However long I live, if I don't do something, that restraining order will be there," he says. "I will never let it go."
Daley, the Gazette's editor, says that Clark "has done a fine job" for the paper and that he could still write his column, but the restraining orders "could be a problem if he doesn't have the access that he has had in the past. We have to sort of monitor that."
 By Allie Conti.

March 4, 2013

Critical Care Dr. Suggests One Can Come Back From The Dead

Dr. Sam Parnia, a critical care doctor and the director of resuscitation research at Stony Brook University School of Medicine, has written a new book discussing ways in which people can be resuscitated after they previously would have been considered clinically dead.
Parnia’s book, “Erasing Death: The Science That is Rewriting the Boundaries Between Life and Death,” was recently featured on the Today show. “The advances in the last 10 years have shown us that it’s only after a person dies that they turn into a corpse, that their brain cells start to die,’’ Parnia told host Savannah Guthrie.
“Although most people think this takes place in only four or five minutes, we now know that actually brain cells are viable for up to eight hours … We now understand that it’s only after a person has turned into a corpse that their cells are undergoing death, and if we therefore manipulate those processes, we can restart the heart and bring a person back to life.”
Parnia’s suggestion is not new; in fact, as researcher Jan Bondeson notes in his 2001 book “Buried Alive: The Terrifying History of Our Most Primal Fear,” “In 1787 the French doctor Francois Thierry published a book in which he stated his conviction that most people did not die until some time after the onset of traditional signs of death.”
To make sure that the “dead” had really irrevocably passed on, Thierry suggested that all major cities in France should have special “waiting mortuaries,” in which the recently deceased would be laid out in rows on floors or tables and carefully watched by monitors who would wander among the corpses looking for signs of anyone coming back to life.
It was only at the point in which the bodies would begin bloating and putrefying (along with the appearance of maggots and flies) that the corpse would finally be considered dead enough and sent for burial. There is no record of the job turnover rate in the waiting mortuary attendant profession, but it was likely high.
Throughout most of history, medical knowledge of anatomy has been poor and indirect, partly because of fear and taboos against cutting open corpses. Finding the boundary between life and death has concerned humans for millennia; fears of premature burial obsessed many in the Victorian era and in fact some caskets were equipped with tubes and equipment leading to the surface so that bells and flags could be raised to alert groundskeepers in case the “dead” awoke.
Public uncertainty about the line between life and death (and fear of premature burial) was widespread, as Bondeson notes: “By the early nineteenth century, the danger of premature burial had become one of the most-feared perils of everyday life, and a torrent of pamphlets and academic theses were dedicated to this subject by writers all over Europe.
In almost every country, literature on this gruesome topic was readily available, ranging from the solemn medical thesis and the philanthropic call for more waiting mortuaries to pamphlets written by fanatics who claimed that more than 1/10th of humanity was buried alive …”
Compounding the problem, often even the truly dead would not stay buried: in the 1700s and 1800s theft from graveyards was common in London, and grave robbers were making a profit digging up bodies and selling them to anatomists.
Near-Death Experience?
Some have suggested that Dr. Parnia is talking about proof of life after death or near-death experiences, but in fact he is simply stating what many doctors have known for decades: Consciousness does not suddenly stop when the heart stops beating and the line between life and death remains murky, even today.
The question is not, as a poll linked to the Today story asked, “Whether people can be brought back from the brink” of death when their heart stops beating; clearly the answer is yes. The question — at least in near-death experience research — is instead whether people can be brought back (without catastrophic and irreparable brain damage) after clinical brain death, and the answer to that seems to be no.
A 2011 article, published in Trends in Cognitive Sciences by neuroscientist Dean Mobbs of the University of Cambridge and Caroline Watt at the University of Edinburgh, found that “near-death experiences are the manifestation of normal brain function gone awry, during a traumatic, and sometimes harmless, event.”
Their research also busts another myth: that people have “returned from the dead” — if by dead you mean clinical brain death. No one has survived true clinical death (which is why the experiences are called “near-death”).  Many people have been revived after their heart stopped for short periods of time — around 20 minutes or more — but anyone revived from brain death would be permanently and irreparably brain damaged and certainly unable to report their experiences.
“The idea of surviving clinical brain death is mythical,” Watt said.
In the plant world, the question of point of death is even more ambiguous: Does a flower die the moment it is cut from the plant, or does it die over the course of several days? A tree cut into pieces it will surely not survive, though a tree uprooted by a storm may live for weeks or months. Obviously at some point the plant becomes too dessicated to be viable, but identifying that exact moment of “death” is difficult or impossible.
Despite modern technology, the point of death in humans and other animals remains elusive.
Image: iStockphoto

May 25, 2012

In Cuba The Russians Vs. The Chinese

 By Amrit

Many "La Reina" pressure cookers no longer work.
HAVANA TIMES — As the popular saying goes, “You only value what you’ve lost.” It’s a sad statement – right?
But since I’m trying to be fair, I always add that memories too are created and later recalled through the prism of nostalgia, with plenty of those memories becoming adulterated.
However a number of recent impressions threaten to again vindicate that inevitable expression…
Yes, I must admit that now that the tide of Chinese technology seems to be blessing, I’m beginning to miss the days when the waves of electronic consumer goods came from the Soviet Union, those products that in our ingratitude we sarcastically dubbed “bolos” (Russian)!
The first reason for this lies in a corner of my room: a Chinese electric pressure cooker known as a “Reina” and that cost 64 CUCs (about $70 USD). It worked fine just long enough for its warranty to expire.
Then it suddenly began to produce a noise that scared me (as well as my poor cats that would run from it in fright). It sounded like a rocket that was about to be launched into orbit.
I figured this was because of the gasket, which had softened and wasn’t holding the pressure well. Since I was unable to find another one that size, I decided to use it without pressure. But then I couldn’t even get it to start.
This time I turned to a repairperson, who explained that the cause was a fuse – apparently irreplaceable. He hooked the contraption directly to the current but warned me that it wouldn’t last like that very long.
“But it’s new!” I protested in bewilderment.
He then showed me the inside of the pressure cooker – a world of devices and cables about which I understood nothing. But I could see that all of the metal parts were rusted, corroded by the salt brought by the air from the sea and visible through the distance from my windows.
Like the balustrades on my balcony, the gate to the house and my son’s bicycle, this appliance had suffered the ravages of that white crystal. This made his argument seem reasonable. Noticing my double disappointment, this kind fellow tried to comfort me:
“All of them break down,” he said. “They’re the worst investment the state has ever made.”
How could I not then become overwhelmed when thinking, by extension, about the massive “replacement” of refrigerators? There are already people cursing between their teeth about those.
Since I didn’t have enough money to buy one from a shopping center, I too picked up a Chinese refrigerator, but an “under the table” one. Notwithstanding, it was absolutely new, white, immaculate.
However the gasket on the door is already coming off; and since it doesn’t shut tight, that means a daily accumulation of water at the bottom and a higher monthly electric bill.
But that’s not the worst part for me.
My daily conflict with the Chinese is the radio I bought less than six months ago. It’s great when there’s a hurricane because it has a rechargeable battery that can also be charged by cranking it by hand.
But until the next hurricane comes (and Lord help us that it’s not soon!), I try to make my precious little radio fulfill the role fully played by its Russian predecessors: allowing me to hear the program “Early Music” every morning, which I’ve listened to since the 1980’s.
But it’s a day of true luck if I pick up the signal well – no matter how much I adjust the dial, pull up the antenna, switch from FM to AM, or try placing the device in all the different corners of the house.
It’s then that I experience a devastating bout with nostalgia. I’ll think back to my Beff radio, or my Model B-215 Selena, which allowed me not only to clearly hear CMBF (the classical music station and my favorite), but also ones like WQAM 560 (a station of the “enemy”), which only broadcast country music but was a delight to me – back in the ‘80s.
So, I pray from the heart that they’ll raise the dead from their graves. What I would do to again see those “bolo” appliances: my discarded radios, those Orbita fans that stood up to bumps and drops, those Aurika washing machines that remain the salvation of many homemakers still today.
Likewise those Zenit cameras, thanks to which loves and pleasures were recorded that otherwise would have been ephemeral – as short-lived as those first conveniences of comfort, our crude and criticized Russian appliances, those “bolos,” which today (I’m sure) I’m not alone in missing.

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