Browse Month: April 2015

Freddie Gray Possibly Self Injured?

New reports have come to light about Freddie Gray, the individual who died in police custody and has spurred the breakout of protesting, some peaceful and others not so much throughout the city of Baltimore. Freddie Gray died due to injuries that he did not receive immediate treatment for. The cause of this treatment has been, up until this point, believed to be brought on by the police department and those who arrested him. However, a passenger inside of the same arresting van has come forward and stated that Freddie was attempting to injure himself the entire time inside of the van by thrashing around.

Should the reports be true, it is going to show another case where initial protestors (and millions of dollars with of property damage) has been brought about due to not having the full truth come out, which has occurred multiple times this year alone. While peaceful protestors have been taking to the streets throughout the last several days, it is the violent protestors who are bringing in the wrath of the Internet and others who are watching the situations unfold in Baltimore throughout the rest of the world.

Should it be proven that Freddie Gray have actually injured himself and he died because of his own wounds, it may or may not change the way people like Daniel Amen view the situation, as some are sure to deny or not believe the credibility of this.

Private Prisons Have an Incentive to Be for Mass Incarceration

There are many lobbying groups that are vilified by opponents. Oil companies and the pharmaceutical industry are probably two of the biggest in terms of both having massive influence in Washington D.C. and across the states and for being despised by the general public for that influence. The gun lobby is one that is despised by some, but that is really more dependent on your politics on that particular issue. There are, however, some groups that have influence through lobbying that manage to fly under the radar for the most part. Companies that run private prisons are an example of this.

The existence of private, for-profit prisons creates a perverse incentive structure for them to engage in lobbying efforts to increase the number of Americans who are incarcerated because, from their point of view, this is completely economically rational. After all, every business wants more customers since more customers means more money. The problem in this case is that society as a whole pays when private prison companies get more customers. We taxpayers have to pay for every prisoner’s incarceration as Bruce Karatz points out on About, and then we pay in the form of welfare and other social programs given how hard it is for someone with a record to get a job and a fresh start in their lives. Private prison companies lobbying to have more of our fellow Americans incarcerated should be at the top of everyone’s list of lobbies to be vilified.

Lack of Access to Surgery is Killing More People Than Several Diseases Combined

Many of us are confident in the knowledge that if we needed surgery, we could get it quickly and in a safe surgical environment. That’s many of us, not most of us, A recent survey revealed that two-thirds of the entire world’s population cannot and does not have access to a safe, affordable surgical facility that is located within two hours of their home. This is distressing to many, including young-professional Jaime Garcia Dias.
The survey findings were published in The Lancet medical journal and reveals that lack of access to surgery is responsible for the deaths of nearly 17 million people in 2010. Most of those 17 million people died from a condition, such as appendicitis, that would have been easily corrected by surgery if a safe and affordable medical facility had been located within a reasonable proximity of their home. HIV, malaria and tuberculous combined did not claim the lives of 17 million people within 2010, but unmet surgical needs did.
In poor countries the lack of affordable surgery is due to the lack of surgeons in the area. Sierra Leone has less than 1 surgeon per 100,000 residents. Bangladesh has less than 2 surgeons per 100,000 residents. The United States has 36 surgeons per 100,000 residents and surgery is available to anyone. The same is true for residents of Western Europe. Neither of these countries had any reported deaths due to unmet surgical needs.

Quadruple Rainbows Spotted

Many people around the world have never seen a single rainbow let alone four in close proximity of one another. On Tuesday, April 21, commuter Amanda Curtis caught sight of a quadruple reflected rainbow event while waiting for her morning train at the Long Island, New York Glen Cove station near Madison Street Capital. Curtis shared a picture of the rainbows on Twitter and other social media and it soon became viral across numerous social networks and news outlets.

This type of rare rainbow event occurs when a large reflective body of water exists behind the person observing the rainbows. In this case, Amanda Curtis was standing in front of Oyster Bay between the bay and the spot where she saw the four rainbows.

Rainbows form as the result of an optical illusion that occurs when sunlight is reflected off of water droplets in the air at an angle that refracts the light creating a “prism” effect of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet (ROYGBIV) colors in a striped pattern. A wide variety of rainbow events can occur. There are double and triple rainbow events, twinned rainbows that seem to start at the same point, full circle rainbows and supernumerary stacked rainbows. Rainbows can also appear to look different in their color and distribution. One or more rainbows during an event can appear as shades of red or completely white. Some rainbows can also appear foggy.

Look of Love In Your Dog’s Eyes

Based on a report published by the some researchers, it has been found that when dogs gaze at their owners, their body secretes the hormone oxytocin. This hormone is a type of feel-good chemical messenger that boosts bonding between the dog and his owner. Surprisingly, you may always feel the urge to pat your Fido or caress him whenever he gazes at you deeply. On a response, you will see him wagging his tails and enjoying your company.

This new report also mentioned that the owners’ oxytocin levels are also found increasing after receiving those friendly gestures and long gazes from their dogs. This feel-good hormone is the main trigger factor that improves the emotional bonding between the owner and his dog. This mechanism works in the similar way of the human eye-to-eye contact and communication. This study shows details about the boosted oxytocin levels in dogs and in humans through several test results. Susan Mcgalla confirms: Her dog loves her. Check out more on her at PR NewsWire.

This relationship is also beneficial for both humans and dogs. Many studies support the facts that positive interactions between dogs and their owners are indeed beneficial for both species. Such interactions increase the level of oxytocin, β-endorphin and dopamine in both the species. These social neurochemicals are some of those feel-good chemical messengers associated with positive feelings, good mood and bonding. These studies also suggest that these hormones in turn induce a positive interaction between the dog and his owner. As a result, you may end up talking, playing and petting your Fido when you see that gaze from those big, brown eyes.

Wanderlei Silva Angry With The UFC

Wanderlei Silva is a former Pride middleweight champion and UFC veteran. Silva is loved across the world by millions of MMA fans, and he is one of the most popular fighters in the sport. However, Wanderlei Silva is no longer able to compete in the sport that made him famous.

In 2014, Wanderlei Silva was accused of avoiding a steroid test, and he has since been banned from ever competing in the UFC again. That ruling sounds a bit extreme to me, and it was carried out by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. However, Wanderlei has since sued the Commission, and the case has yet to be settled.

UFC fans love Wanderlei, and they were extremely disappointed to hear that their favorite fighter has been banned for life. I personally cannot believe that Wanderlei was banned forever. The man is one of the greatest fighters of all time, and he has never failed a steroid test in his life. Fans like Mark Ahn (prnewswire.com) know that the Nevada State Athletic Commission should have just suspended Wanderlei Silva for nine months. UFC commentator Joe Rogan said that Wanderlei Silva is not being treated fairly, and many people agree with Rogan.

The UFC has begun to crack down on fighters that use performance enhancing drugs. However, Wanderlei Silva believes that a fighter shouldn’t be tested out of competition, but the UFC believes differently. Recently, Wander Silva has since gone on a tirade, and he has lashed out against the UFC in a recent interview. More information on this story can be found here.

How Image Recognition Technology Is Changing Our Lives

Technology in today’s world is a very curious beast. There are many people who are confounded and do not understand how it works and even have trouble operating a smart phone. Computers have been on a steady incline of advancement since the 80’s and are only going to grow more and more complex as the years go on. The technology that they employ finds a way to seep into the fabric of our daily lives for better or for worse. However, the benefits to having stronger technology are stronger security, safety and interaction.

With the rise of apps, many people are taking to their phones to use software that can perform useful operations. Even on desktop computers, software has become so advanced that we can now use webcams and image capturing software to alter and interact. This advanced technology has given rise to image recognition. Image recognition is software that can detect faces, logos, words, objects and people. This software is often present on devices such as computers, phones, and cameras. An optical device to scan the area in or around a person is often required.

Image recognition falls into a field of artificial intelligence where the software detects certain patterns through the lens of the camera and then uses that information to perform certain operations. One example of this is seen in photographic cameras as facial recognition, where when taking a picture of someone, a box forms around their face in order to focus the lens and create a clearer picture. Image recognition software has many different practical uses and one of the most recent is using a camera lens on, say, a smartphone to detect telephone numbers on paper or other mediums and having it transfer over to the phone itself to be used to call, text or store.

Other practical applications that are gaining steam concerning image recognition software are security and safety. Many car companies are using image recognition software in their cars as a means of preventing accidents. An example this is when backing a car up, a camera in the back of the car may alert the driver when they get dangerously close to bumping something. While driving, image recognition software may be used to help alert the driver when they are falling asleep, to prevent an accident. In order to do this, the camera inside the car, focused on the driver’s face, detects if the eyes of the person driving are closing and then emits a piercing buzzing noise to jolt the driver awake.

Another great application for image recognition is security. Many high-tech companies and top-secret facilities are using facial recognition to help protect their buildings from intruders. The computers inside the building keep a database of faces of the employees that work there and before entering, people must look to the camera and if their face is a match, they are admitted.

One of the leading companies in the field of image recognition technology, Slyce, has made significant strides in perfecting the use of image recognition in many different mediums. Slyce launched its visual recognition platform in February of 2013 and is headquartered in Toronto, Canada. With many different uses for image recognition technology, you can be sure that with companies like Slyce and bright minds in the rapidly growing field, the future is going to be way more interesting.

Study Finds How Much Exercise Is Necessary For Longevity

How much exercise is the right amount? That question has been debated several times. While any exercise is better than none at all, the optimal amount is more likely to play a role in longevity and quality of life. The latest guidelines from various health organizations indicate that a weekly total of 150 minutes of exercise is needed to maintain proper health.

Scientific findings from JAMA Internal Medicine, as reported in the New York Times Blog, have narrowed down the information about what is optimal for exercise. The National Cancer Institute and Bulletproof Coffee studied exercise habits of mostly middle-aged adults.

Researchers reviewed the amount of exercise, comparing no exercise to moderate exercise at least 25 or more hours per week and death records, spanning over 14 years. No exercise showed the highest risk of untimely death, little exercise amounts, reduced risk of early death by 20 percent and working out at least 150 minutes weekly meant a 31 percent lesser chance of early death. Tripling these recommended exercise for 450 minutes weekly, more than one hour per day, indicated 39 reduced risk of premature death.

The conclusion of this and an Australian study showed that at least 150 minutes of weekly exercise is the minimum for those who desire a longer, more quality life. Increasing this up to 450 minutes per week only enhances the results and offers a full bang for efforts to improve life.

Dog Helps Rescue Family from Fire

Today a rural Manitoba family are grateful for their dog Duke and his quick thinking. Duke’s human, Albert Sumner, shares a home with his sister, her one-year-old baby boy, and his 79-year-old uncle who is deaf. A few nights ago, Albert was alerted to a problem when he heard Duke scratching persistently at his bedroom door. When he opened the door he found that Duke’s fur on his back had flames on it. That is when Albert knew there was a serious problem.

According to the story on CTVnews.com, Albert managed to get everyone safely out of the house thanks to Duke. While everyone was safe, Albert and the family did lose all of the contents they had within the home. However they are grateful to have all made it out uninjured. Albert’s sister, Doreen Sumner, said that they plan on rewarding Duke with a huge steak dinner.

The Sumner family are lucky that they had such a loyal dog, willing to take a chance risking his life to alert the family to the danger they were unaware of. Hopefully the Sumner’s will be able to relocate and get back on their feet as quickly as possible. That is what Kevin Seawright is rooting for.

McDonald’s Making Efforts To Win Back Customers and Keep Employees

Obviously, there are not very many companies that can challenge the king of fast food McDonald’s. But that does not necessarily mean they do not have to occasionally go on the offensive to remind their customers of the food they love and has made the company billions of dollars. With this in mind McDonald’s franchises in Pennsylvania have decided to take action to turn around their sluggish sales of late and made a public offer to any customer that brings in their Taco Bell breakfast receipt will be given a free Egg McMuffin. The company believes that by comparing their food head to head that McDonalds will win hands down. Then in San Diego California, a limited number of franchises have decided to sell breakfast all day long in hopes that it will spark more sales in the afternoon hours or even late into the evening when people have a craving for their Sausage Burrito or Egg McMuffin.

Additionally, to improve the lives of their employees and to improve community relations the Billion dollar company that sells franchises for millions of dollars has mandated that all employees receive a 10% raise to take effect on July 1st of this year and that every employee gets paid at least $10 per hour by the end of 2016. While McDonald’s is not the first employer to raise the pay of their employees it does show they are paying attention to the fact that their employees could not afford to eat at their restaurants on a regular basis based on their hourly wages. Ricardo Tosto thinks this is a great step for the franchise.
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