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Billy Gardner

Knitted Down there, Sewn to the boundless black stitches In our white spotted blanket. Creatures, Atop brown threads Puncturing the blue. The knots inside their tops Can't unravel what's true.

Diabetes risk now linked to white rice consumption

10% increase risk with every serving

According to a new study published on BMJ.com, white rice -a food used all over the world- has now been linked to increased risk of Type-2 diabetes. 

Harvard School of Public Health researchers conducted a study to see if diabetes risk was higher with the increased consumption of white rice and if the link was greater for Asian populations where white rice is a staple to everyday dishes.

The study took diabetes-free participants in two Asian countries, Japan and China, and two western countries, the United States and Australia. The study found that, in one Asian group, the Chinese consumed about four portions of white rice daily, while Westerners consumed about five portions weekly.

The studies concluded that Type-2 diabetes increased by 10% with every additional serving of white rice, and a a greater link was found in women than men. The authors of the study published, “Higher white rice intake is associated with a significantly elevated risk of Type 2 diabetes,” in both Asian and Western cultures.

Although white rice is one culprit for diabetes, authors insist it is not the only. A general decrease in physical activity and increase consumption of food, in particular in Asian countries, could be responsible for the rise in obesity leading to Type-2 diabetes.

There are substitutions for white rice as well says one study author Qi Sun, a professor of medicine at the Harvard School of Public Health. “White rice also lacks nutrients like fiber and magnesium,” Sun stated, “People with high white rice consumption lack these beneficial nutrients and Asian populations consume a lot of white rice. If you consume brown rice instead, you will get these nutrients. There are alternatives.”

Amelia Earhart search begins again

After almost 75 years

With the backing of Senator Hillary Clinton and with a little help from The Discovery Channel, The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) will begin a new investigation into the final flight.

Amelia Earthart and her navigator at the time Fred Noonan disappeared nearly 75 years ago while flying from New Guinea to Howland Island. Searches since the disappearance have come up dry.

Clinton is set to meet historians and scientists today from TIGHAR, which will begin its search for Amelia Earhart’s wrecked plane, the Lockheed Electra, in June. The group will begin off the Pacific nation of Kiribati on the remote island of Nikumaroro.

Ric Gillespie, the executive director of TIGHAR, explained the motives for the group’s search area. “The navigation line Amelia described in her final in-flight radio transmission passed through not only Howland Island, her intended destination, but also Gardner Island, now called Nikumaroro,” Gillespie said, “This was the oldest Earhart theory.” He continued, “This was the theory the Navy came up with in the first days following the flight’s disappearance. And they did search the atoll, but only from the air.”

Hillary Clinton lends her high-profile appearance to the search for Amelia Earhart and the State Department has her back, releasing a statement saying the, “event will underscore America’s spirit of adventure and courage, as embodied by Amelia Earhart, and our commitment to seizing new opportunities for cooperation with Pacific neighbors founded on the United States’ long history of engagement in the Asia-Pacific region.”

“We’ll do our best to find Amelia. During the painful recovery from the Great Depression, Amelia Earhart inspired America with her courage and determination. America needs Amelia again,” Gillespie said.

Denver Broncos give the rose to Peyton Manning

Is Tim Tebow the girl crying in the limo?

Peyton Manning decides to go to the Denver Broncos, and all  other pieces can now fall in place for the NFL.

The Denver Broncos were amongst a few teams Peyton Manning was considering; amongst those were the Tennessee Titans. Titans owner Bud Adams confirmed to The Tennessean that Peyton was off to the Denver Broncos. “He called me himself and told me he wasn’t coming, that he made his mind up to go with Denver.”

According to The Denver Post Manning’s deal is one of the big ones. The 36-year-old just signed a contract that could be worth up to $90 million over the next five seasons.

Peyton Manning was out last season with a neck injury, but the Denver Broncos are taking a chance with the star quarterback, hoping he is back in full health for the kickoff of next season.

This acquisition pushes out the popular, knee bending current quarterback Tim Tebow. Tebow, who had a winning season with the team, was assumed to be the first string quarterback in the upcoming 2012 season, but it would seem that now the Denver Broncos are all set to trade the popular media spectacle.

Tebow has an uncanny ability to run the football and lead his team, but his passing percentage limped along last season, ending at 46.5%. This is one area Peyton Manning does not have a problem with, sitting at almost 65% for his career.

Manning was the number one draft pick to the Indianapolis Colts and brought the franchise a Super Bowl championship in 2007. After 14-years, he will hopefully be healthy enough to play with the Denver Broncos next season.

Ramon Sessions goes to the Lakers

Along with a tangled web of players and draft picks elswhere

The veteran LA Laker point guard Derek Fisher was traded to the Houston Rockets, along with a conditional draft pick, for Jordan Hill. Fisher had played 13 of his 16 seasons with the west coast team where he won 5 NBA championships with the storied franchise. His first 8 seasons were for the Lakers, then they gave him up to the Golden State Warriors, he was then traded to Utah, only to be put back on the Lakers and eventually be again given up for a new point guard. 

The Lakers underwent a separate deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers in order to the fill the Derek Fisher void by acquiring Ramon Sessions. The Lakers also traded Luke Walton for Cleveland’s Christian Eyenga as another part of the deal.

Ramon Sessions who turns 26 this month, was Kyrie Evans back-up at Cleveland, where he averaged 10.5 points and 5.2 assists per game. Sessions was expected to opt out of his Cleveland contract to become a free agent, but on the last day of the trade deadline, at the buzzer, he was swooped up by the LA lakers.

Ramon Sessions, out of the University of Nevada- where he still ranks second in career assists, was the 56th draft pick picked up by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2007. The LA Lakers hope to fit Sessions into the starting line-up in preparation for playoff showdowns and further.

Rod Blagojevich: governor-gone-criminal submits to 14-years in shackles

See his public words on the matter

The convicted former governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich began his 14-year jail sentence today in the most recent episode of a whirlwind political scandal put on by the 55-year old.

Rod Blagojevich was convicted of a slew corruption charges, including the most infamous, of trying to sell or trade the Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama. He did receive a not-guilty charge for attempting to extort Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

The talkative and charismatic Democrat Blagojevich reported to the public outside of his Chicago home the night before, “I’m leaving with a heavy heart, a clear conscience and I have high, high hopes for the future. He added, “Saying goodbye is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.”

Helicopters followed his car from the airport in Littleton, Co. and journalists reported the last moments of Rod Blagojevich’s freedom were spent driving around the Federal Correctional Institution England, waving at spectators and stopping for lunch before stepping out of a black SUV.

“I think it’s kind of surreal to him, but he seems in good spirits,” said Brian Pyle, the owner of Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers; the final place Blagojevich had lunch before submitting to a near decade and a half of shackles. Pyle said he shook the governor-gone-criminal’s hand as he was leaving and told him, “Stay strong.” Blagojevich thanked him says Brian Pyle.

Here is the video report of Rod Blagojevich prior to his jail sentence:

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/kNwI3nmD-Bo” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

Cancer Drug Even Helps Older Alzheimer's-Diseased Mice

Promise for human testing?

A new cancer drug is showing promise in improving cognitive abilities of older mice diseased with Alzheimer’s, according to University of Pennsylvania scientists.

The drug epothilone, or EpoD for short, has had positive studies in slowing the decline of memory in mice that were engineered for that very purpose- given Alzheimer’s to have tests run on them.

The study is still far from humans. Scientists warn that long-term side effects are still a variable that could inhibit the drug from human testing. And still, often times, these test don not translate from mice to humans in the same ways.

Dr. Brad Dickerson, an associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School commented on the success of the study,”This is a very early basic science study in mice and requires substantial additional investigation in order to determine whether it is worth pursuing in patients,” he continued, “The leap from animal studies to human clinical trials is a big one and always takes many years. Drugs in this class are being studied in various types of cancer, which hopefully will provide an indication of their side effects and other important information about how feasible it would be to give these types of medications to patients with Alzheimer’s disease if further studies support the potential value of this approach.”

EpoD is said to help prevent what have become know as “tangles” in the brains nerve cells. The cancer drug has been similarities to a well-know chemotherapy drug called paclitaxel. The only difference with EpoD is that “it crosses the blood-brain barrier”, said Kurt Brunden, lead scientist on the cancer drug, ““EpoD readily enters the brain, where it appears to persist for a much longer time than in the blood. This may explain why low doses were both effective and safe in the mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Brown Recluse Spider: World's Most Dangerous

See the top ten below

The Brown Recluse Spider has been named the most dangerous spider to humans and for good reason.  Even more dangerous than the infamous Black Widow, the Brown Recluse is typically light to medium brown in color but can range to a blackish gray.

The bite of the Brown Recluse Spider is reclusive not showing up often. It can be undetected upon contact and is even weak enough not capable of puncturing clothing, but when landed can be fatal.

The number one cause of death delivered by the Brown Recluse Spider results from necrosis- the premature death of cell in living tissue. It basically looks like someone poured a bottle of acid that seeps into your skin- see photo (as if you could avoid that).

The Brown Recluse Spider lives from the Gulf Coast to the Midwest, from California to Ohio.

It has gained more attention recently after the report of Texas Christian student Nikki Perez was bitten. The Brown Recluse Spider took a piece of her ear last September and nearly blinded Perez, who was hospitalized for 5 days afterward.

The Daily Mail reported that brown recluse spiders and therefore there bites are spreading more rapidly due to global warming. Studies show that by 2020 the spider could reach as high as New York.

Here’s the list via starmometer.com:

Top ten most dangerous spiders

1. Brown recluse spider
2. Six-Eyed Sand Spider
3. Brazilian Wandering Spider
4. Sydney Funnel-Web
5. Black Widow Spider
6. Mouse Spider
7. Chinese Bird Spider
8. Redback Spider
9. Fringed Ornamental Tarantula
10. Yellow Sac Spider

Gallagher the pumpkin-smashing comedian suffers heart attack

See things he has smashed and video below

 Comedian Leo Gallagher suffered a heart attack late Wednesday just before a performance in a Texas club.

Following a report by TMZ Gallagher’s manager Craig Marquardo reported to the HuffPost, “The most frightening development is that the TMZ story is true.”

The 76-year-old Gallagher had come under fire in his more recent years, even notable publications- City Pages, The Stranger, The Smart Set controversial bits considered to be racist and homophobic. The salon printed a Ghallager quote reading, “ disgust for ‘French fags’, lesbians and Obama is now bigger than that oversize couch he used to jump around on.”

Things the American prop comic smashed with his wooden mallet dubbed the “Sledge-O-Matic” besides the infamous watermelons: apples, pineapples, cottage cheese containers , chocolate milk cartons, poundcake, tubes of toothpaste, and even McDonalds Big Mac’s.

This is not the first time the American Comedian American comedian suffered cardiac arrest. Gallagher had a heart attack on stage at a Rochester, Minn show a year ago. He responded to the incident at a show two weeks later to his audience, “I almost died two weeks ago … these are extra days that I’ve been given. I guess God said, ‘Wait a minute, Boca ain’t had their show yet.’ So it’s not me, it’s God’s will we have this show tonight.” He continued, “You can like God all you want to but I’m pissed at him … I had a heart attack while I was doing sledge-o-matic, which is gonna look great in the paper. But now I could die doing something stupid and my story won’t be as cool.”

Oh, and to top it off, the Gallagher heart attack a year ago was captured on tape:

Calvin Johnson signs largest contract in NFL history with Lions

See how much

The Detroit Lions at one point only won the award of a high draft pick because there subsequent season was so lousy. In 2007 they picked up receiver Calvin Johnson as the second round draft pick. Calvin Johnson was with them for the only team in history with a winless season in 2008. The club remains to be 1 of 4 that has yet to qualify for a Super Bowl but that all hopes to be changed in the near future, besides that winless season, that ain’t going away.

The Detroit Lions re-signed Calvin Johnson with an 8-year contract worth up to 132 million dollars with a guaranteed $60 million. This remains to be the largest deal in NFL history and interrupts Johnson current contract that will now extend to the 2019 season.

“I’m so comfortable here now,” said the 26-year-old Johnson at a news conference Wedenseday, “At first, not at all, but being here for five years, being around these people here in Detroit, teammates and just the city — I’m just growing accustomed to it.”

“Calvin’s one of those guys — we’ve said this about a few guys that we have in our building — whatever they pay him is not enough,” said Lions coach Jim Schwartz. “He’s truly a special player.”

With Johnson locked down for the next 8 seasons and quarterback Matthew Stafford returning after a full season of health, the Lions are setting up to have another outstanding season, after qualifying for the playoffs last year, the first time since last century (1999).

366 career receptions gaining an almost 6,000 yards, this Detroit area native says Lions fans could not be more thrilled with money well spent on Calvin Johnson.


Apple stock breaks record at $600 on the eve of new iPad release

Where will it end?

Apple stock was trading at $550 two weeks ago. With the release of the latest iPad set for tomorrow, the stock surged to its highest all time record of $600 today. Since the increase it has declined to $593.15 but will surely go back up in the weeks to come.

What does this mean for the company?

The recent surge has allowed for further $10 billion to Apple’s market cap. Apple procures the highest market cap for any company in the world and beats out Exxon Mobile by $150 billion.

All this news comes on the eve of the release of the new iPad. Apple has already stopped taking orders for the iPad, where they are expected to sell 1 million the first day. Customers are now expected a 2 to 3 week wait on its availability through Apple’s online store. The current Apple iPad sold 15 million copies this last quarter. That is double the amount the previous year, and apple expects an even bigger turn out with the latest iPad.

The new iPad will have a higher resolution screen making the tablet a little thicker than the iPad 2 due to the increased battery size necessary for supporting the high-resolution screen.

Apple stock is on the up and up and it will only increase over the next few weeks when sales go out initially to 12 countries, and then 25 more the following week.