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Kara Menini

Kim Mulkey diagnosed with Bell's palsy

Baylor women’s basketball coach said condition won’t affect her coaching the final four

Kim Mulkey, the Women’s basketball coach at Baylor University, has just announced she had been recently diagnosed with Bell’s palsy. Kim Mulkey has assured the public that her recent diagnosis will not interfere with the way she will coach in the final four.

Kim Mulkey was diagnosed after she felt a strange sensation on her tongue last week. Later, she went to the mirror and realized her left eye was drooping and when she smiled, it was crooked. Kim Mulkey went to the doctor instead of practice last weekend when a friend was concerned the symptoms might be a sign of a stroke. Mulkey had an MRI on Wednesday and was diagnosed with Bell’s palsy after doctors ruled on a stroke or a tumor. Kim Mulkey said, “I know that I will recover. It will take some time to recover and it may get worse before it gets better.”

Bell’s palsy is usually a temporary form of facial paralysis, sometimes caused by a viral infection or inflammation of the facial muscles. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, Bell’s palsy can happen at any age; though, it is more common in pregnant women between the ages of 15 and 60.

“Don’t let anybody tell you I’m not happy because I’m not smiling,” said Kim Mulkey after revealing her condition on Thursday. “I’m not smiling because I don’t want people to see my crooked smile.” The condition also affects hearing for Kim Mulkey when she raises her voice but said in the press conference it won’t change her style of coaching. “I’m not going to keep me from hollering. This isn’t going to change how I coach; it isn’t going to change anything. I’ll just be another ugly coach with a crooked face.”

Mega Millions up to $356 million

Last weeks drawing was 17th week without a winner

Mega Millions is really living up to its name this week. The jackpot will be upwards of $356 million, the fifth largest in the history of the multistate lottery games. If there is a lucky winner this week, the cash option would total more than $255 million before taxes.

Having the fifth largest jackpot isn’t the only thing the Mega Millions is celebrating this week, Illinois became the first state to offer online ticket purchases for the Lotto and Mega Millions. According to the Chicago Tribune, the first ticket was bought at 7:03 a.m. on Sunday morning; hundreds more tickets were bought within hours. In order to play online, you must first register and verify your age. The ability to play online was okay’d last December when the Justice Department decided to reverse itself to allow internet gambling.

The Mega Millions jackpot has been growing since Jan. 27, when the prize was set at $12 million. On Friday, no one person matched the winning numbers of 6-17-19-20-21; the 17th consecutive drawing without an overall winner. However, there were 37 tickets nationwide that matched five numbers. None of these winners matched the Mega Ball, which is worth $250,000.

Zimmerman is target of New Black Panther Party $10,000 bounty

Possible racism continues to be main conversation in Trayvon Martin killing

Zimmerman has been receiving death threats and as a result, has gone into hiding.  He and his wife have cut off their phones and only a few relatives know their whereabouts.  The New Black Panther Party, an African-American organization who took their name from the radical group popular in the 1960s has put a $10,000 bounty on Zimmerman.

Zimmerman has yet to be arrested for the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.  A grand jury is scheduled to meet April 10 to review the evidence in this case which has sparked civil rights movements around the country. The murder of Trayvon Martin has turned into a case about race and George Zimmerman’s attorneys and family are doing everything they can to prove that Zimmerman is not a racist and the shooting was not a hate crime. A friend of Zimmerman, Joe Oliver, who is African American, appeared on TODAY with Craig Sonner, George Zimmermans lawyer.  Oliver said, “I’m a black male and all that I know is that George has never given me any reason whatsoever to believe he has anything against people of color.” Sonner said, “The incident that transpired is not racially motivated or a hate crime in any way. It was self-defense.” Sonner also said, “George Zimmerman suffered a broken nose and has an injury on the back of his head. He was attacked by Trayvon Martin.”

Though it seems that the murder of Trayvon was, in part, the consequence of racial profiling, whether George Zimmerman is racist or not racist does not negate the fact that an innocent teenager is dead. Interviewing Zimmerman’s African-American friend about how Zimmerman feels about him as a black man is a waste of resources; we should be asking Zimmerman’s friends questions about his temperament, if he has a violent background, if he has a history of substance abuse, mental illness or even symptoms of PTSD that could cause him to easily feel threatened. These answers can help piece together what actually happened on February 26.

George Zimmerman’s possible racism has nothing to do with the heart of this case. Jonathan Capehart of the Washington Post said it best, “His [Zimmerman] liberty makes a mockery of justice when others have gone to prison for less.”

Arnold Palmer hospitalized over the weekend due to high blood pressure

Family and friends not worried about prognosis

Arnold Palmer had been keeping a close eye on his blood pressure last week, but he had to miss the last 15 minutes of his own tournament over the weekend because of a scare involving his blood pressure.

Arnold Palmer spent the night in the hospital as a precaution, so the 82-year-old could adjust to new medication under doctor’s supervision.  Palmer’s business director said of the incident, “It wasn’t anything to do with any ailments or any discomfort he felt. The blood pressure was at a level where the doctor involved suggested that he go immediately to get more intensive evaluation at the hospital.” The Arnold Palmer Invitational’s tournament Director, Scott Wellington, had spoken with the daughter of Arnold Palmer, Amy Saunders, and relayed, “He’s fine. He’s going through tests right now.” 

Because of his blood pressure, Arnold Palmer was absent from the 18th green at the Arnold Palmer Invitational where Tiger Woods ended his 30-month victory drought. This year is the seventh time Tiger Woods won the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Mississippi State student shot and killed late Saturday night

Local law enforcement have yet to make any arrests

Mississippi State saw a tragedy over the weekend when a male student, identified as 21-year-old John Sanderson, was shot and killed just outside the all-male dorm, Evans Hall, late Saturday night.

Mississippi State University police have three suspects in the murder of Sanderson, a transfer student from Madison. The suspects are believed to not be Mississippi State students, and it is unknown whether the victim knew any of the suspects. Dr. Bill Kibler, vice president of student affairs at Mississippi State made a statement, “The perpetrators fled our campus, but we’re still attempting to identify who those perpetrators are and so we’re following every lead in order to do that … Our local city police department and the county sheriff’s office are all participating cooperatively in patrolling our campus and conducting a full scale investigation.”

Mississippi State University president Mark Keenum has assured parents and students that the killing of Sanderson was an isolated event, and there is no indication that there is a danger to other students. Keenum had a press conference Sunday morning, “This is the first time in our school’s history that such a tragic incident has occurred, involving a student being shot on campus. Our campus is known as a safe place, and I was to assure students, parents, faculty, and staff that it continues to be safe … I do not believe there’s any imminent threat to our students on the campus right now.”

Mississippi State senior, Templeton Hardy, who lives at Evans hall, described the scene after the shooting, “Everything was kind of hectic. They wouldn’t let people in. It was a bit of a surprise. You never would think something like this would happen on campus, especially in a dorm.” It was reported that residents of Evans Hall were relocated for the weekend as police investigated and cleaned up the scene.

As of this morning, no arrests have been made.

Transcendental Meditation improves health and happiness from children to soldiers

Director David Lynch speaks about the benefits of transcendental meditation

Transcendental Meditation, also known as TM, has only been around since the 1950s when it was introduced in India by Maharishi Mehesh Yogi, and it seems the transcendental meditation technique has been gaining popularity as decades go by. It is widely practiced, and many celebrities have endorsed the technique as a way to reduce stress and improve overall happiness.

Director David Lynch spoke to the LA Times last week about what transcendental meditation means to him, and how he uses his celebrity to help others discover the technique. Lynch said he had always believed meditation was a waste of time until he heard the phrase that true happiness is not out there, true happiness lies within. His sister called one day and told him about transcendental meditation, “I heard a change in her voice,” he said. “More happiness, more self-assuredness. And I said, ‘This is what I want.’” He continued, “I was filled with an anger and sorrows and doubts and melancholy. And I took it out on my first wife. I made her life pretty much a hell. So I start transcendental meditation, and two weeks later she comes to me and says, ‘What is going on? This anger, where did it go?’ Things lift away so naturally.” Since then, Lynch has been practicing transcendental meditation twice a day for 36 years. 

Transcendental meditation inspired him to launch the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace. The foundation has been implemented into schools and prisons and has introduced veterans suffering from PTSD to the technique. Lynch believes the practice of transcendental meditation can help anyone at any stage in life.When asked what changes he saw in children who had been in the program, he commented on the way stress can affect a childs ability to learn, “With TM, they get more intelligence, they have more creativity, more energy, more happiness, and then when the teacher says something, understanding it growing … Kids start finding what they really love and finding a way to do it.” Lynch also spoke about the improvement that transcendental meditation made in prisoners’ lives, “Prisoners get this technique, and they get super, super happy. And they get this ability to pause before they do something.”

Lynch’s belief in the powers of the mantra-based technique is not unfounded. Many smaller studies have concluded that transcendental meditation has several health benefits including “anxiety reduction, alleviation of symptoms from PTSD and improved school performance,” reported the Huffington Post. A study at Cedars-Sinai Medical center in LA found the practice can reduce blood pressure, diabetes and even obesity.

If you would like to learn the yield the powers of transcendental meditation, it does comes at a hefty price; about $1500 to learn from a certified teacher. However, Lynch told Tonic that even though the cost is set, “if it’s a hardship, because now we have the financial downturn, you can get it for $750. If you write to the Foundation, chances are you can get if for $350.”

Geraldo Rivera blames hoodie for unarmed teen's death

Rev. Jesse Jackson won’t dignify comments with a response

Geraldo Rivera appeared on Fox and Friends today and claimed that 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was gunned down in Sanford, FL., might still be alive had he not been wearing his hoodie. Geraldo Rivera has seen a mess of backlash for his comments and has since admitted they were “politically incorrect.”

Geraldo Rivera gave his opinion on the Martin shooting today when he said, “I’ll bet you money that if he didn’t have that hoodie on, that nutty neighborhood watch guy wouldn’t have responded in that violent and aggressive way.”

Geraldo Rivera said, “When you see a kid walking down the street, particularly a dark-skinned kid like my son Cruz, who I constantly yelled at when he was going out wearing a damned hoodie, with those pants around his ankles. Take that hood off people look at you and they, what’s the instant identification, what’s the instant association, it’s those crime-scene surveillance tapes. Every time you see someone sticking up a 7-11, the kids wearing a hoodie. Every time you see a mugging on a surveillance camera … it’s a kid wearing a hoodie. You have to recognize that this whole stylizing yourself as a ‘gansta’, you’re going to be a ‘gangster wannabe,’ well people are going to perceive you as a menace. That’s what happens; it is an instant reflexive action.”

Geraldo Rivera added, “I am urging the parents of Black and Latina youngsters particularly to not let their children go out wearing hoodies. I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was.”

While Rivera was trying to make a point to teenagers that how they dress effects how people treat them, Geraldo Rivera went too far when he put blame on the victim.

Rev. Jesse Jackson spoke about Rivera’s comments stating, “White people wore hoods and sheets and [held] crosses and engaged in acts of terror—they were not shot. Under those hoods were judges and ministers and they used to have lynching parties at church on Sundays. They had hoods that covered their faces also.” Jesse Jackson has said he prefers not to “dignify” the comments with a response, “It’s a diversion from the pain of a child who should be alive.”

Battle Royale gets new recognition thanks to the Hunger Games

Fans of both movies have been feverishly debating which is better

A group of teens are forced into the wilderness in a dystopian future and told to kill each other for the sole purpose of entertaining a fickle public. Sound like The Hunger Games? Well, it’s not. Battle Royale is a Japanese film from the early 2000s that was made from a 600-page book published in 1999. Gone are the days of Team Jacob vs. Team Edward because now the internet has blown up, not only with the debate as to which future dystopian, teenage death-match movie is better, The Hunger Games or Battle Royale, but also with the debate as to whether Suzanne Collins’ out-and-out copied Koushun Takami’s original novel.

Battle Royale, rated R, differs from The Hunger Games, rated PG-13 mostly because of the intense violence and lack of a romantic triangle. In Battle Royale, the group of 42 ninth graders are gassed and brought to the island where they are told the rules of the game by one of their teachers. The island, where they must kill to survive, is divided into sections, and each day a new section becomes a death trap. Once the section has been announced, the students only have a certain amount of time to get out of it before the collars they wear around their necks explode. Each student in Battle Royale is given a duffel bag that includes a weapon, some food, water, a map of the island and is given a five minute head start to hide from their peers.

Battle Royale isn’t an original idea either. It seems both novels found inspiration in Stephen King’s The Running Man, George Orwell’s 1984 and William Golding’s Lord of the Flies.

Although the fans of Battle Royale and The Hunger Games have been endlessly arguing, the authors of the books don’t seem to mind the similarities. Collins claims that she hadn’t heard of the movie or the book until after she had submitted her first book to her publisher, who told her to not read the book or watch the movie. “I don’t want that world in your head,” he told Collins. Battle Royale author Koushun Takami said, “If readers find value in either book, that’s all an author can ask for.”

Jason Smith of the New Orleans Hornets clocks L.A. Clippers' Blake Griffin

Smith thrown out of the game with a Flagrant 2 foul

Jason Smith, of the New Orleans Hornets, took out L.A. Clippers Blake Griffin just as he was ready for a lay-up. Jason Smith was running behind Griffin when Griffin rounded in to the basket, but Jason Smith kept running straight and knocked into Griffin, shoulder first, sending Griffin flying. As soon as Jason Smith clocked Blake Griffin, he immediately put his hands up in an attempt to silently plea that he had done no wrong but continued past the basket where former Hornet’s player Chris Paul charged after Smith, pointing his finger and yelling at him. Two referees and other Hornet’s players made an attempt to protect Jason Smith while another referee watched the replay to make an accurate call.

Jason Smith made it to the Hornets bench while the L.A. broadcasters took viewers through the incident, comparing it to football, stating, “It’s like a linebacker taking out a tight end who doesn’t see it coming. There’s just no place in the NBA for a play like that.”

Jason Smith was ejected from the game after the referees ruled the foul a Flagrant 2. On his way to the locker room, Smith was met with cheers from fan.s and he raised his hands in triumph in response. The L.A. broadcasters took notice of the inappropriate cheering, saying, “They should know better, especially here in New Orleans when they have all sorts of bounty problems with their football team.”

Etch A Sketch has given ammunition for Santorum and Gingrich against Romney

Mitt Romney’s adviser makes a bad comparison on CNN on Wednesday

Etch A Sketch is starting to become synonymous with Mitt Romney’s politics thanks to his advisor, Eric Fehrnstrom’s comments on Wednesday. When asked about Romney’s politics now versus how they will be this fall, Fehrnstrom said, “Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch—you can kind of shake it up, and we start all over again.”

The Etch A Sketch comment is now being used against Romney by his opponents. Both Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have brought an Etch A Sketch to their most recent speeches to remind moderate voters of Romney’s politics. Gingrich told Louisiana voters that “having an Etch A Sketch as your campaign model raises every doubt about where we’re going.” Santorum told voters that he stands “firmly on the rocks of freedom, not on the sands of an Etch A Sketch toy.”

Michael Wolraich, who wrote an article for CNN opinion, made a fantastic comparison to the Etch A Sketch and politics in general, “the real-life Etch a Sketch in all its splotchy glory actually offers a better metaphor for American politics than the fantasy of a clean post-primary slate.”

Mitt Romney has since made a statement since his advisors Etch A Sketch comment, “I am in this race to defeat Barack Obama and restore America’s promise. I was disappointed to hear that Rick Santorum would rather have Barack Obama as president than a Republican. This election is more important than any one person. It is about the future of America. Any of the Republicans running would be better than President Obama and his record of failure.”

Etch A Sketch sales have gone up too. The company that makes the toy, Ohio Art, rarely pays for advertisement thanks to it’s role in the Toy Story movies and now thanks to Mitt Romney. The company, however, won’t take a stand on who it supports in this campaign, “We have a left knob and a right knob,” said Martin Killgallon, marketing director for Ohio Art. “So we neutrally speak to both parties.”