“She was not quite what you would call refined. She was not quite what you would call unrefined. She was the kind of person that keeps a parrot.”
- Mark Twain
(The following excerpt taken from The Twister Stole My Pet: How Cats, Dogs and a Donkey Survived Oklahoma” by Christine Pelisek originally appeared on The Daily Beast on May 23, 2013. To view this article in its entirety please click on the link below.)
When the twister tore through Moore, Mona Thomas lost everything. “My house is leveled,” the 52-year-old grandmother said on Wednesday. “I don’t have a home anymore.”
Even so, all she cared about was her parrot.“He’s been an important part of my life,” she said of Leroy, a 9-year-old African gray. “I’m single, so it’s just me and him. I talk about him all the time. He’s like my kid.”
Fortunately, two days after the storm ripped through, Leroy and Mona’s story found a happy ending: the beloved was tracked down to a nearby foster home. Leroy had survived, but had an injured wing and a scuffed beak. “He doesn’t look good,” Thomas reported.
Mona Thomas is just one of hundreds of Moore residents who were separated from their pets during the tornado. In the days afterward, an ad hoc network of Facebook pages, temporary shelters, volunteer veterinarians, and even a Reddit subthread have sprung up to help residents reunite with their beloved animals. Dogs, cats, horses, birds, even a donkey - they’ve all been lost and found. One animal welfare worker even found a live sheltie in a tree.
A woman carried off against her will is one of the most popular stories in human history. Whether she’s forced to marry, sexually violated, or otherwise tormented, the female captive pops up in Persian tales, Arthurian legends, and the great epics of India. She’s a staple of every art form and cultural product, from the paintings of great masters to true crime stories, from sonnets to soap operas. She’s woven into explanations of imperial origins: the Romans became the Romans because they snatched women from a neighboring tribe in a celebrated event known as the Rape of the Sabines. Biblical stories of captured women are so commonplace that the Lord issues helpful instructions on how to do the thing correctly, which include shaving the captive’s head, and if she fails to please you, properly disposing of her after she has been “dishonored.” ( Deuteronomy 21:10-14).
Top 5 Worst chemically modified foods to avoid– Always choose “Organic” to avoid the harmful effects of GMOs and poisonous pesticides!
1. Corn: This is a no-brainer. If you’ve watched any food documentary, you know corn is highly modified. “As many as half of all U.S. farms growing corn for Monsanto are using genetically modified corn,” and much of it is intended for human consumption. Monsanto’s GMO corn has been tied to numerous health issues, includingweight gain and organ disruption and many undiagnosed problems.
2. Soy: Found in tofu, vegetarian products, soybean oil, soy flour, and numerous other products, soy is also modified to resist herbicides. As of now, biotech giant Monsanto still has a tight grasp on the soybean market, with approximately 90 percent of soy being genetically engineered to resist Monsanto’sherbicide Roundup. In one single year, 2006, 96.7 million pounds of glyphosate was sprayed on soybeans alone!
3. Sugar: According to NaturalNews.com, genetically-modified sugar beets were introduced to the U.S.market in 2009. Like others, they’ve been modified by Monsanto to resist herbicides. Monsanto has even had USDA and court-related issues with the planting of its sugar beets, being ordered to remove seedsfrom the soil due to illegal approval.
4. Aspartame: Aspartame is a toxic additive used in numerous food products, and should be avoided for numerous reasons, including the fact that it is created with genetically modified bacteria.
5. Canola Oil: One of the most chemically altered foods in the U.S. diet, canola oil is obtained from rapeseed through a series of chemical actions.
(The following excerpt came from an article that originally appeared on CNN on May 11, 2013. To view it in its entirety please click on the link below.)
“One of Mexico’s most ruthless drug lords has been named Chicago’s public enemy number one.”
(CNN) — The Chicago Crime Commission named a new Public Enemy No. 1 on Thursday, a designation originally crafted for Al Capone. The new holder of this dubious distinction, however, is not American nor believed to be in the United States. He is Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the infamous Mexican drug lord who is Chicago’s most wanted because his Sinaloa cartel supplies a majority of the narcotics in the city. Not since Capone “has any criminal deserved this title more than Joaquin Guzman,” commission President J.R. Davis said in a news release. “Guzman is the major supplier of narcotics to Chicago. His agents are working in the Chicago area importing vast quantities of drugs for sale throughout the Chicago region and collecting and sending to Mexico tens of millions of dollars in drug money.” Daughter of accused drug lord deported to Mexico Guzman is the boss of the Sinaloa cartel, one of Mexico’s most powerful drug trafficking operations. His nickname, which means “shorty,” matches his 5-foot-6-inch frame, though he has climbed to great heights in the drug smuggling business. Forbes magazine has estimated that “El Chapo” is worth $1 billion. The U.S. Treasury Department has declared him the most influential trafficker in the world, and Mexican authorities have been on his tail since his 2001 escape from a Mexican prison in a laundry cart. Chicago is among the major destinations for the cartel’s illegal drugs. “While Chicago is 1,500 miles from Mexico, the Sinaloa drug cartel is so deeply embedded in the city that local and federal law enforcement are forced to operate as if they are on the border,” said Jack Riley, who heads the Drug Enforcement Administration’s office in the city. The DEA is heading up a new strike force focusing on what Riley calls “choke points”: where the drugs and money change hands between the cartel operatives and Chicago gangs. Language and cultural barriers at that juncture make the criminal groups more vulnerable, he said in a statement. Officials hope this strategy weakens the cartel and creates leads that may bring the capture of Guzman, who is in hiding in Mexico. “If I pitted Chicago’s traditional organized crime group against Guzman and the Sinaloa Cartel, it wouldn’t be a fight,” Riley said. “In my opinion, Guzman is the new Al Capone of Chicago. His ability to corrupt and enforce his sanctions with his endless supply of revenue is more powerful than Chicago’s Italian organized crime gang.”11 May 2013.
For today’s installment of “Chicagoist Weekend Theater,” we’re spotlighting last night’s episode of 48 Hours called “The War in Chicago.” Reporters examined the epidemic of drugs and violence through the eyes of a special agent with the Drug Enforcement Agency, an addict frequenting the I-290 “Heroin Highway,” the parents of slain teen Hadiya Pendleton, the parents of slain teen Porshe Foster (whose murder remains unsolved), Police Supt. Garry McCarthy and a concerned citizen with a video camera documenting drug dealers. Watch the full episode below, then head to the CBS News “War in Chicago” website to read more details on the investigation and the many victims on each side of drugs and violence.
“It was nice growing up with someone like you – someone to lean on, someone to count on – someone to tell on!”
(The following excerpt from What Birth Order Can Predict About You by Sue Varma, M.D., originally appeared on doctoroz.com on March 12, 2913. To view it in its entirety please click on the link below.)
According to psychoanalyst Alfred Adler, our birth order predicted our personality to a great extent. His theories from the early 1900s still stand in many respects. However, it is new research that is now reviving these ideas and, particularly, we are seeing the interplay of our biology and psychology. New research is showing that birth order can predict health consequences.
I like to caution folks and say that we should not let our destiny limit us. These factors may put us at greater likelihood for a particular outcome; however, it’s up to us to change that course. We also need to factor in family size, education and socioeconomic status. We tend to see that the smaller the families, the more the available resources. It’s not just whether you are first- or second-born – but if you are first or second in a family of 2 or 10, as this would dilute time, attention and resources. Also, it’s up to you what you are willing and able to do with your resources.
First-borns (like Dr. Oz) are natural-born leaders (no surprise, right?)
Middle Children are typically the mediators and peacemakers.
Youngest are the individuals in the family.
Only children in some ways have the best of both worlds – characteristics of both oldest and youngest, leaders but also risk takers.
(The following excerpt from Is Your Child A Budding Psychopath? Now There’s A Way To Find Out originally appeared on news.com.au on May 3, 2013. To view it in its entirety please click on link below.)
Brain scans can be used to identify children who may grow up to be psychopaths, scientists have discovered.
A study compared 37 boys with serious conduct problems, including causing harm to others, dishonesty, general aggression and other antisocial traits, with a control group of 18 boys who had no such behavioural issues.
Researchers placed them in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine that identifies which parts of the brain respond to stimulus.
The brains of ”problem children” showed reduced activity in the anterior cingulate cortex and in the insula, both of which are critical to empathy
Professor Paul Frick of the University of New Orleans – who was not involved in the study but specialises in childhood psychopathology – lists 10 warning signs to look for in youngsters:
1. They persistently hurt, bully or fight others, or violate their rights by stealing or vandalising.
2. They break major rules, such as running away from home or staying out late.
3. They show no guilt when told off for doing wrong, e.g., pushing another child into the road.
4. They show a persistent callous disregard for other people’s feelings — not just siblings (e.g., pushing another child off a swing and being unmoved by their distress).
5. They persistently don’t care about how well they do in, say, school, even when the expectations are clear and they are capable.
6. They seem cold and unfeeling, only showing emotions to intimidate or manipulate.
7. They blame others for their mistakes, rather than accept responsibility themselves.
8. They are fearless and like doing novel and dangerous activities.
9. They are unmoved by the threat of punishment (e.g., ‘if you do that, I am going to take away your bike’).
10. They are highly motivated by reward or what they’ll get out of something, even if it hurts others (e.g., stealing).
– Albert Einstein
We stumbled on this enlightened quotation recently, and it immediately triggered a connection to inventor Darrell Mann, CTO of consulting agency Blackswan, who speaks passionately and often about the failings of modern innovation.
“Twenty-five percent of failures were due to people trying to solve the wrong problems,” says Mann (@darrellmann), former chief engineer at Rolls-Royce, where he studied innovation duds and dynamos for 15 years. A scant 2 percent of all companies’ innovation attempts end in success, he goes on to tell John Kennedy ofSilicon Republic.
How do these successes differ from the vast majority of failures? “They follow a certain path and rules,” Mann explains, which begins with the presumptions that innovation is problem-solving, problem-solving is innovation, and “defining a problem clearly and completely represents 90 percent of the difficulty in innovation.”
Mann details his approach with copious charts and graphs in the book Hands on Systematic Innovation: For Business and Management. He also uses systematic innovation to drive product-development strategies for clients ranging from Intel andHewlett-Packard to Nestlé and Procter & Gamble.
Here, we distill the approach into four steps:
1. Be an Einstein
Invest time, money, and brainpower in boiling down your problem to its root cause before proposing even one solution. Mann once worked for six weeks with a helicopter-engine manufacturer to define the problems its engineering team needed to solve. The outcome? “Improvement by a factor of 50 in terms of engine life and reduction in maintenance scheduling,” notes the Blackswan website. Sounds like innovation to us.
2. Find Comparables
What other industries have faced a core challenge similar to yours? Make a list of three problems (and be creative).
3. Name the Winners
OK, so who devised and delivered the best solution to each of those industry problems you identified in No. 2? What companies cracked the code in a world-class way? Name them and their winning products. Blackswan recalls a client that makes compressors for household refrigerators. The company studied a database of 3 million successful inventions and innovations across myriad industries to come up with practical ideas for its niche.
4. Steal the Solution
Now for the hard part: Apply the winning principles of those world-class solutions to your situation. The fix should evolve and morph to meet your circumstances, but its core promise should remain largely the same. “You need to break down the silo walls,” Mann tells Silicon Republic, “and recognize the customer is trying to get a job done.”