Add 9 more to the list – June 17, 2015

firearms1 firearms2

U.S. Gun Policy: Global Comparisons (2013)*

*Council on Foreign RelationsThe Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher.

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32 killed – April 16, 2007 – Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. A gunman, 23-year-old student Seung-Hui Cho, goes on a shooting spree killing 32 people in two locations and wounds an undetermined number of others on campus. The shooter, Seung-Hui Cho then commits suicide.

27 killed – December 14, 2012 – Sandy Hook Elementary School – Newtown, Connecticut. Adam Lanza, 20, guns down 20 children, ages six and seven, and six adults, school staff and faculty, before turning the gun on himself. Investigating police later find Nancy Lanza, Adam’s mother, dead from a gunshot wound. The final count is 28 dead, including the shooter.

23 killed – October 16, 1991 – In Killeen, Texas, 35-year-old George Hennard crashes his pickup truck through the wall of a Lubys Cafeteria. After exiting the truck, Hennard shoots and kills 23 people. He then commits suicide.

21 killed – July 18, 1984 – In San Ysidro, California, 41-year-old James Huberty, armed with a long-barreled Uzi, a pump-action shotgun and a handgun shoots and kills 21 adults and children at a local McDonalds. A police sharpshooter kills Huberty one hour after the rampage begins.

18 killed – August 1, 1966 – In Austin, Texas, Charles Joseph Whitman, a former U.S. Marine, kills 16 and wounds at least 30 while shooting from a University of Texas tower. Police officers Ramiro Martinez and Houston McCoy shoot and kill Whitman in the tower. Whitman had also killed his mother and wife earlier in the day.

14 killed – August 20, 1986 – Edmond, Oklahoma, part-time mail carrier, Patrick Henry Sherrill, armed with three handguns kills 14 postal workers in 10 minutes and then takes his own life with a bullet to the head.

13 killed – November 5, 2009 – Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan kills 13 people and injures 32 at Fort Hood, Texas, during a shooting rampage. He is convicted and sentenced to death.

13 killed – April 3, 2009 – In Binghamton, New York, Jiverly Wong kills 13 people and injures four during a shooting at an immigrant community center. He then kills himself.

13 killed – April 20, 1999 – Columbine High School – Littleton, Colorado. 18-year-old Eric Harris and 17-year-old Dylan Klebold kill 12 fellow students and one teacher before committing suicide in the school library.

13 killed – September 25, 1982 – In Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, 40-year-old George Banks, a prison guard, kills 13 people including five of his own children. In September 2011, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturns his death sentence stating that Banks is mentally incompetent.

13 killed – September 5, 1949 – In Camden, New Jersey, 28-year-old Howard Unruh, a veteran of World War II, shoots and kills 13 people as he walks down Camden’s 32nd Street. His weapon of choice is a German-crafted Luger pistol. He is found insane and is committed to a state mental institution. He dies at the age of 88.

12 killed – September 16, 2013 – Shots are fired inside the Washington Navy Yard killing 12. The shooter, identified as Aaron Alexis, 34, is also killed.

12 killed – July 20, 2012 – Twelve people are killed and 58 are wounded in a shooting at an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater screening of the new Batman film. James E. Holmes, 24, is taken into custody outside of the movie theater. The gunman, dressed head-to-toe in protective tactical gear, set off two devices of some kind before spraying the theater with bullets from an AR-15 rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun and at least one of two .40-caliber handguns police recovered at the scene.

12 killed – July 29, 1999 – In Atlanta, 44-year-old Mark Barton kills his wife and two children at his home. He then opens fire in two different brokerage houses killing nine people and wounding 12. He later kills himself.

10 killed – March 10, 2009 – In Alabama, Michael McLendon of Kinston, kills 10 and himself. The dead include his mother, grandparents, aunt and uncle.

9 killed – March 21, 2005 – Red Lake High School, Red Lake, Minnesota. 16-year-old Jeff Weise kills his grandfather and another adult, five students, a teacher and a security officer. He then kills himself.

9 killed – June 18, 1990 – In Jacksonville, Florida, 42-year-old James Pough, angry about his car being repossessed, opens fire at a General Motors Acceptance Corp. office, killing nine people. Pough takes his own life.

8 killed – October 12, 2011 – Eight people are killed during a shooting at the Salon Meritage in Seal Beach, California. The suspect, Scott Evans Dekraai, 41, of Huntington Beach, is arrested without incident as he is trying to leave the scene. The eight dead include Dekraai’s ex-wife, Michelle Fournier, 48. He was armed with three guns — a 9 mm Springfield, a Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum, and a Heckler & Koch .45 — and was wearing body armor during the shooting rampage.

8 killed – August 3, 2010 – Manchester, Connecticut – Omar Thornton kills eight co-workers at Hartford Distributors before turning the gun on himself. Thornton had been asked to resign for stealing and selling alcoholic beverages.

8 killed – January 19, 2010 – Christopher Speight, 39, kills eight people at a house in Appomattox, Virginia. He surrenders to police at the scene the next morning. February 2013, he is sentenced to five life terms plus 18 years.

8 killed – March 29, 2009 – In Carthage, North Carolina, 45-year-old Robert Stewart kills a nurse and seven elderly patients at a nursing home. In May, the Moore County district attorney announces she will seek the death penalty. On September 3, 2011, a jury finds Stewart guilty of second-degree murder. Stewart is sentenced to 141 to 179 years in prison.

8 killed – December 5, 2007 – In Omaha, Nebraska, 19-year-old Robert Hawkins goes to an area mall and kills eight shoppers before killing himself.

8 killed – July 1, 1993 – In San Francisco, 55-year-old Gian Luigi Ferri kills eight people in a law office and then kills himself.

8 killed – September 14, 1989 – In Louisville, Kentucky, 47-year-old Joseph Wesbecker armed with a AK-47 semiautomatic assault rifle, two MAC-11 semiautomatic pistols, a .38 caliber handgun, a 9-millimeter semiautomatic pistol and a bayonet kills eight co-workers at Standard Gravure Corporation and then kills himself. He had been placed on disability leave from his job due to mental problems.

8 killed – August 20, 1982 – In Miami, 51-year-old history teacher Carl Robert Brown, angry about a repair bill and armed with a shotgun, kills eight people at a machine shop. He flees by bicycle, but is shot in the back by a witness who pursued him. He was on leave from school for psychological treatment.

Source:  CNN.com2013, History of the deadliest mass shootings in United States

“Love is a light that never dwelleth in a heart possessed by fear.”

Escapegoats and other Eggcorns

Never heard of “eggcorn”? . . .  neither had I but now it’s a new favorite:

“A word or phrase that sounds like and is mistakenly used in a seemingly logical or plausible way for another word or phrase.”  Merriam-Webster, which included eggcorn among the more than 1,700 words added to its dictionary this past week

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judy’s non-dominant hand drawing of 2 Escapegoats

Examples:

  • Spread like wildflowers” is an eggcorn when used instead of “spread like wildfire.”
  • Coldslaw” is an eggcorn if you meant “coleslaw.”
  • Self phone” is an eggcorn of “cellphone.”
  • A very smart 4 year old was telling me about getting ready for school each day and he had to remember to take his furnace bottle with him.   “Furnace bottle?” I asked.   “Yes, you know, a furnace bottle………keeps your soup hot until lunch time………
  • She seduced him using her “womanly wilds” (womanly wiles).
  • For all Intensive Purpose

Eggcorn” itself is an eggcorn. Linguist Geoffrey Pullum is credited with coming up the word, which is the way some people say “acorn.”

click to read other eggcorns which pass the mustard

 

 

Everyone has a story

Don’t let the cartoons throw you off – this is a real life interview and worth every minute of your time (watch all the way to the end).

“Kay Wang was a strong-willed grandmother who was reluctantly taken to a StoryCorps* booth by her son and granddaughter. Though Kay resisted, she still had stories to tell—from disobeying her mother and rebuffing suitors while growing up in China to late-life adventures as a detective for Bloomingdale’s department store.”

“Kay passed away just weeks after that interview, and her son and granddaughter returned to StoryCorps to remember her gentler side, which she kept to herself.”

“Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 50,000 interviews with over 90,000 participants. Each conversation is recorded on a CD to share, and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind . . . “

You can donate to this incredible project and find out where recordings are made, click here for the StoryCorps website.

Learn what many therapists don’t tell you – You are not your thoughts.

Listen and learn how to control your thoughts so they don’t control you – Not good enough . . . I’ll always be alone in pain . . . not smart enough . . . no one will ever understand me and . . .  dark, dark thoughts. 

Do listen to this excellent (and entertaining) NPR broadcast.  Worth your time and it’s cheaper than a therapy appointment.

http://www.npr.org/2015/01/09/375928124/dark-thoughts

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62 years old and WILD

wisdom062way

Wisdom (left) and her mate on their nest last November at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Pete Leary is proud to announce that Wisdom the Laysan albatross, who at age 62 (or so) is the “oldest known wild bird” in the world, has hatched another chick.  (What’s the big deal? – If  all humans had to do is sit on their embryos and then push them out of the nest when they were infants . . . . we could still be turning them out in our 60’s)

“Wisdom’s latest offspring “was observed pecking its way into the world” on Sunday at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in the North Pacific Ocean, the agency says.”

” . . . Wisdom is apparently still doing fine and still up to the demands of motherhood even though she’s well beyond the 12-to-40 year average life span of a Laysan albatross.”

“Wisdom was first tagged by researchers in 1956, when she was already at least 5 years old. According to the Fish & Wildlife Service, she has worn out five bird bands (and mates) since then. It’s thought that she has “raised at least 30 to 35 chicks during her breeding life” and is known to have “nested … every year since 2008.”

“. . . Wisdom has flown an estimated 50,000 miles a year as an adult and:

“At least two million to three million miles since she was first banded. Or, to put it another way, that’s four to six trips from the Earth to the Moon and back again, with plenty of miles to spare.”

“Laysan albatross breed on the Hawaiian islands of Oahu, at Kaena Point, and on Kauai, at Kilauea Point. Their feeding grounds are off the west coast of North America, including the Gulf of Alaska, and they spend their first three to five years constantly flying, never touching land. Scientists believe they even sleep while flying over the ocean.” (if human’s did that it would be classified as ADHD)

“Along with being monogamous, albatrosses return to the same spot each year to mate and nest, says John Klavitter, a wildlife biologist and deputy manager at the Midway refuge. So, as he told NPR’s Robert Siegel this afternoon, it hasn’t been hard to watch for her each year when the birds return in the fall.”

“Asked about whether it’s likely Wisdom’s mate has been the same male all these years, Klavitter said it’s possible — but he doesn’t have a band so the researchers don’t know just how old he is. And, Klavitter added, it’s unlikely her first mate has survived this long.” (particularly after all that insatiable mating . . .)

Wisdom’s survival, Klavitter said, is amazing. She has to have “overcome so many obstacles” over the years, from predators to the tsunami to the daily hazards from pollution, boats and other threats.

Some commenters have wondered about these birds’ mating habits. According to the Fish & Wildlife Service and other sources, albatrosses do mate for life. But given Wisdom’s age, as The Washington Post notes, she “probably had to find a new, younger mate maybe twice down the line.  

(Wisdom’s not an albatross, she’s a cougar)

Click here for full story on NPR

Faster? Higher? Stronger? – Warning! Adult Content

My first thought when I read this article was “How in the world would anyone have the energy after all that training and competing . . .”  Oh my gosh, am I getting old, or what . . . ?

My second thought was “This takes the Gold for entrepreneurship.”  

After that my mind went blank and I’m now speechless . . . I am getting old, there’s no “what”.

In the interest of decorum and propriety I will NOT post  pictures to accompany this article from NPR!

“It should come as no surprise that Olympics organizers take brand endorsements and official suppliers very seriously. That extends beyond logos on shorts and shoes — up to, and including, condoms. That’s right, the Olympics has an “official” condom — and organizers want to get to the bottom of how a bucket of rogue condoms reached the Olympic Village.
As has happened before at the London Games, it started with a tweet.

Olympian Caroline Buchanan, a BMX rider from Australia, posted a photo of a bucketful of “Kangaroo condoms” (tagline: “for the gland downunder”), in what might have been seen an innocent homage to her homeland.

Turns out, Olympics organizers aren’t big on that kind of thing. In fact, there are “brand police” looking for attempts at ambush marketing at the London Games.

“We will look into this and ask that they are not handed out to other athletes because Durex are our supplier,” a spokeswoman said, according to The Guardian.

Representatives from Pasante and Ansell, two companies whose condoms are in the unofficial bucket, said it was likely just a prank carried out by the athletes.

But Lawrence Boon of Pasante did manage to find a gilded lining to the controversy: “We have no association with the Olympics,” he told Reuters, “but we did launch a gold condom this year for champions.”

Condoms have been provided free of charge at the Olympic Village since the 1992 Barcelona Games. And they’ve been distributed in progressively copious amounts. Some 100,000 were provided for Beijing’s 2008 Games, printed with the Olympic motto “Faster, Higher, Stronger.”

Durex paid to be the official supplier at the London Games, and they sent 150,000 free condoms to the Olympic Village as part of the deal.

As the Daily Beast wrote, “Averaged among 10,490 athletes, that’s enough condoms for every athlete to have sex 15 times over the Olympics’ three weeks.”

If that supply has already been depleted — five days before the end of the games — it might confirm the stories that have depicted the Olympic Village as a hotbed of hookups among athletes. The logic goes like this: The Olympians are mostly young, fit people, with a lot of energy and, if you will, a questing nature. And they all have something in common: They’re Olympic athletes.

Sam Alipour wrote about the issue for ESPN, in an article called “Will you still medal in the morning?”

Talking to Alipour, U.S. target shooter Josh Lakatos recalled his experience at the 2000 Sydney Olympics thusly: “I’ve never witnessed so much debauchery in my entire life.”

The kangaroo condoms in London’s Olympic Village are the latest intrigue involving Australia’s trademark animal. Last week, a “boxing kangaroo” that had been placed next to a container of Durex condoms went missing from the village’s medical headquarters.

A note was taped to the wall to request its return, signed “a very disappointed medical staff.”

2012 National Public Radio.

A Chocolate a Day Melts the Fat Away!

When I was in my 30’s I ate a LOT of chocolate.  I ate chocolate rather than eating fruit, vegetables or protein.  I liked my chocolate straight up, with a shooter of brownies or on the rocks  (ice cream).  And I was fit and thin.  In my 40’s I cut down on my chocolate consumption.  I was nearing middle age  and needed to be more health conscious.  Looking back the less chocolate I ate the heavier I got. Now I’m overweight.  

And NOW a new study came out that finds those who eat chocolate several times a week are leaner than those who don’t eat it regularly!  

Once again . . . I was ahead of the times. 

Does A Chocolate Habit Help Keep You Lean?

by

“A new study finds that people who eat chocolate several times a week are actually leaner than people who don’t eat chocolate regularly.

Really, we asked? Last time we checked chocolate was loaded with fat and sugar. But this new research, along with some prior studies, suggests chocolate may favorably influence metabolism.

To test this theory, Beatrice Golomb, an associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego, asked about 1,000 people, ages 20 to 85, a simple question: “How many times a week do you consume chocolate?” The participants then completed food frequency questionnaires to estimate their caloric intakes of a whole range of foods including chocolate. They also had weight and height measurement taken to calculate their body mass index, or BMI.

“In our study, people who ate chocolate more often actually ate more calories,” says Golomb. “But in spite of that they had lower [BMI].”

How much lower? For a 5-foot-tall woman, weighing about 120 pounds, the study found that she was likely to be about 5 pounds lighter if she was a frequent eater of chocolate (five times a week).  So to lose 20 pounds I need to eat it 20 times a week.  They aren’t saying how MUCH so I’ll start experimenting and let you know.  Anything in the interest of science.

And, no, the people with serious chocolate habits did not exercise more than those who weren’t in the habit of eating chocolate.  Ain’t science wonderful!?

This study certainly does not prove that frequent chocolate consumption causes people to be leaner: The researchers found that chocolate’s correlation to thinness started to melt away among the participants who consumed the most. They also didn’t suss out whether the type of chocolate — white, milk, or dark, which can have varying amounts of cocoa — made a difference.

But what’s fascinating here is the notion that our bodies may not treat all calories the same way.

“I think a really important point is that it isn’t just the number of calories that matter,” says Golomb. But the composition of calories seems to matter, too.

Not all researchers are convinced of this. Broadly speaking, the “calories in, calories out” method of managing weight is effective for most people.

And it’s possible that overweight participants in the study under-reported their their chocolate consumption, according to Jane Wardle of the University College London. Indeed, a lot of researchers agree that self-reported food data can be flawed. (Now who would do that in a SCIENTIFIC investigation?)

But what research shows is that certain foods contain compounds that have some power to positively influence metabolic factors.

“When people talk about the health benefits of chocolate,” says food scientist Joshua Lambert of Penn State University, “they typically talk about compounds called polyphenols.”

When he investigated some specific polyphenols found in cocoa, he found that they potently inhibit an enzyme, called pancreatic lipase, that’s responsible for digesting dietary fat.

This means that the fat in chocolate may exit our bodies before it has a chance to be absorbed. Or, in other words, these compounds in cocoa may help us fend off fat.

Chocolate Mousse

Lambert’s studies have been conducted in test tubes and mice, not in people. “So there’s a big leap  from what we’re doing to what the [UC San Diego researchers] are doing.”

But it might be one mechanism that explains why frequent chocolate eaters tend to be leaner.

Another possible mechanism is that the compounds in chocolate may increase the energy that cells make. Researchers are studying this as well.

So, for now, if you’re a chocolate lover, lose the guilt. Or, be reassured, for now, that the associations between eating chocolate and body weight move in the preferred direction.

And one more thing: This study was not funded by the chocolate industry. Funding came from the National Institute of Health; the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; and the UC San Diego General Clinical Research Center.”

P.S.  In my 30’s I  jogged  3 – 10 miles a day.