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Friday, December 21, 2012

Mexico's Maya heartland greets dawn of new era

MERIDA, Mexico (AP) — Dec. 21 started out as the prophetic day some had believed would usher in the fiery end of the world. By Friday afternoon, it had become more comic than cosmic, the punch line of countless Facebook posts and at least several dozen T-shirts.
At the ruins of the ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza, thousands chanted, danced and otherwise frolicked around ceremonial fires and pyramids to mark the conclusion of a vast, 5,125-year cycle in the Mayan calendar.

The doomsayers who had predicted apocalypse were nowhere to be seen. Instead, people showed up in T-shirts reading "The End of the World: I Was There."

Vendors eager to sell their ceramic handicrafts and wooden masks called out to passing visitors, "Buy something before the world ends."


And on Twitter, (hash)EndoftheWorld had become one of the day's most popular hash tags.
For the masses in the ruins, Dec. 21 sparked celebration of what they saw as the birth of a new and better age. It was also inspiration for massive clouds of patchouli and marijuana smoke and a chorus of conch calls at the break of dawn.

The official crowd count stood at 20,000 as of mid-afternoon, with people continuing to arrive. That surpassed the count on an average day but not as many as have gathered at the ruins during equinoxes.

The boisterous gathering Friday included Buddhists, pagan nature worshippers, druids and followers of Aztec and Maya religious traditions. Some kneeled in attitudes of prayer, some seated with arms outstretched in positions of meditation, all facing El Castillo, the massive main pyramid.

Ceremonies were being held at different sides of the pyramid, including one led by a music group that belted out American blues and reggae-inspired chants. Others involved yelping and shouting, and drumming and dance, such as one ceremony led by spiritual master Ollin Yolotzin.

"The world was never going to end, this was an invention of the mass media," said Yolotzin, who leads the Aztec ritual dance group Cuautli-balam. "It is going to be a good era. ... We are going to be better."

Ivan Gutierrez, a 37-year-old artist who lives in the nearby village, stood before the pyramid and blew a low, sonorous blast on a conch horn. "It has already arrived, we are already in it," he said of the new era. "We are in a frequency of love, we are in a new vibration."

But it was unclear how long the love would last: A security guard quickly came over and asked him to stop blowing his conch shell, enforcing the ruin site's ban on holding ceremonies without previous permits.

Similar rites greeted the new era in neighboring Guatemala, where Mayan spiritual leaders burned offerings and families danced in celebration. Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina and Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla attended an official ceremony in the department of Peten, along with thousands of revelers and artists.

At an indigenous South American summer solstice festival in Bolivia, President Evo Morales arrived on a wooden raft to lead a festival that made offerings to Pachamama, Mother Earth, on a small island in the middle of Lake Titicaca.

The leftist leader and 3,000 others, including politicians, indigenous shamans and activists of all stripes, didn't ponder the end of the world, just the death of the capitalist system, which Morales told the crowd had already happened amid "a global financial, political and moral crisis."

"The human community is in danger because of climatic reasons, which are related to the accumulation of wealth by some countries and social groups," he told the crowd. "We need to change the belief that having more is living better."

Despite all the pomp, no one is certain the period known as the Mayas' 13th Baktun officially ended Friday. Some think it may have happened at midnight. Others looked to Friday's dawn here in the Maya heartland. Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History even suggested historical calculations to synchronize the Mayan and Western calendars might be off a few days. It said the Mayan Long Count calendar cycle might not really end until Sunday.

One thing, however, became clear to many by Friday afternoon: The world had not ended.
John Hoopes, an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Kansas, was at the ruins, using the opportunity to talk about how myths are created.
"You don't have to go to the far corners of the earth to look for exotic things, you've got them right here," he noted.

End-of-the-world paranoia, however, has spread globally despite the insistence of archeologists and the Maya themselves that the date meant no such thing.

Dozens of schools in Michigan canceled classes this week amid rumors of violence tied to the date. In France, people expecting doomsday were looking expectantly to a mountain in the Pyrenees where they believe a hidden spaceship was waiting to spirit them away. And in China, government authorities were cracking down on a fringe Christian group spreading rumors about the world's end, while preaching that Jesus had reappeared as a woman in central China.

Gabriel Romero, a Los Angeles-based spiritualist who uses crystal skulls in his ceremonies, had no such illusions as he greeted the dawn at Chichen Itza.

"We'll still have to pay taxes next year," he said.

As if to put the final nail in the coffin of such rumors, Bob McMillan of the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory confirmed Friday that no large asteroids are predicted to hit anytime soon.

And Bill Leith, a senior science adviser at the U.S. Geological Survey, noted that as far as quakes, tsunamis and solar storms for the rest of the day, "we don't have any evidence that anything is imminent."

Still, there were some who wouldn't truly feel safe until the sun sets Friday over the pyramids in the Yucatan peninsula, the heartland of the Maya.

Mexico's best-known seer, Antonio Vazquez Alba, known as "El Brujo Mayor," said he had received emails with rumors that a mass suicide might be planned in Argentina. He said he was sure that human nature represented the only threat Friday.

"Nature isn't going to do us any harm, but we can do damage to ourselves," he said.

Authorities worried about overcrowding and possible stampedes during celebrations Friday at Mayan sites such as Chichen Itza and Uxmal, both about 1 1/2 hours from Merida, the Yucatan state capital. Special police and guard details were assigned to the pyramids.

Yucatan Gov. Rolando Zapata said he for one felt the growing good vibes, and not just because his state was raking in loads of revenue from the thousands of celebrants flooding in.
"We believe that the beginning of a new baktun means the beginning of a new era, and we're receiving it with great optimism," Zapata said.  Source : Yahoo

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Top 100 places to work in the world

Google Office In Manhattan USA
Companies are always on the lookout for talented employees, but those in the work force are also judging companies — and some are more desirable than others. 

In LinkedIn's ranking that came out today, the company cross-referenced data from thousands of surveys in more than 15 billion interactions to pinpoint the 100 most sought-after companies in the world.

Here are the top 30:
1. Google
2. Apple
3. Microsoft
4. Facebook
5. Unilever
6. General Electric
7. Pepsico
8. P&G
9. McKinsey & Company
10. The Coca-Cola Company
11. The Walt Disney Company
12. Nike
13. Salesforce.com
14. Twitter
15. Shell
16. Nestle
17. BCG
18. Ogilvy & Mather
19. Expedia
20. Accenture
21. Pfizer
22. Johnson & Johnson
23. L'Oreal
24. Adidas
25. Amazon
26. Bain & Company
27. Roche
28. Diageo
29. Burberry
30. Chevron


Other interesting insights that came out of the ranking says:

Tech is hot:
 Software was the most represented industry on the list, and Google topped several categories including our global rankings.


A strong consumer brand helps, but isn’t essential: Consumer powerhouses like PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Nike, and Disney ranked highly. But so did leading professional services firms like Deloitte.

Bigger isn’t necessarily better:
 Big global brands are well represented, but 50 percent of the top 100 are under 7,000 employees. 


The companies that tops this list in the U.S. exist mostly in San Francisco, New York and Chicago. Source : Yahoo.com

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Sunday, August 5, 2012

7 Dead in Shooting at Sikh Temple

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At least seven people were killed, including the suspected gunman, in a mass shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., south of Milwaukee on Sunday.

According to police, 911 dispatchers received multiple calls from the temple at approximately 10:25 a.m. local time. An officer who responded to the scene was treating a victim when he was "ambushed" by the suspected gunman in the parking lot, Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards said. The veteran officer was shot multiple times and rushed to Milwaukee's Froedtert Hospital where he underwent surgery, Edwards said.

The suspect was shot and killed by a second officer, police said. The gunman was not identified, and no motive was released.

Tactical units conducting a sweep of the 17,000-square-foot temple discovered four bodies inside and three—including the gunman—in the parking lot. Edwards said "weapons" were recovered, but would not elaborate. According to CNN, two semi-automatic handguns were recovered at the scene, and member of the temple described the gunman as tall male with what appeared to be a "9/11 tattoo."

There were initial, unconfirmed reports of multiple shooters and a hostage situation, though police said they believe there was just one gunman.

A spokesman for Froedtert Hospital said a total of three victims, including the officer, were admitted—two with gunshot wounds to the face and one with gunshot wounds to the abdomen. All three are in critical condition, the spokesman said. Other area hospitals were initially told to prepare for as many as 20 victims, though it appears that figure was precautionary.

Law enforcement officials are treating the case as an "act of domestic terrorism," police said, and the FBI is leading the investigation. The names of the victims in Sunday's shooting were not released.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Satwant Kaleka, the president of the temple, was one of the victims taken to Froedtert Hospital, according to his nephew, Gurmit Kaleka.
Dozens of worshipers, including women and children, were gathering for a meal before an 11:30 a.m. prayer service at the temple, or gurdwara, when the shooting occurred. There are about 500 members in the congregation, officials said.

Witnesses described a chaotic scene as worshipers reportedly hid inside closets within the building after the gunman opened fire inside.

President Barack Obama was notified of the shooting shortly before 1 p.m. (ET) by chief counterterrorism adviser John Brennan, a senior administration official told Yahoo News.
"Michelle and I were deeply saddened to learn of the shooting that tragically took so many lives in Wisconsin," Obama said. "At this difficult time, the people of Oak Creek must know that the American people have them in our thoughts and prayers, and our hearts go out to the families and friends of those who were killed and wounded. 

My administration will provide whatever support is necessary to the officials who are responding to this tragic shooting and moving forward with an investigation. As we mourn this loss which took place at a house of worship, we are reminded how much our country has been enriched by Sikhs, who are a part of our broader American family."

Mitt Romney released a statement, too. "This was a senseless act of violence and a tragedy that should never befall any house of worship," Romney said. "Our hearts are with the victims, their families, and the entire Oak Creek Sikh community. We join Americans everywhere in mourning those who lost their lives and in prayer for healing in the difficult days ahead."

Wis. Gov. Scott Walker said his office is working with the FBI and local law enforcement in its investigation.

"Our hearts go out to the victims and their families as we all struggle to comprehend the evil that begets this terrible violence," Walker said. "At the same time, we are filled with gratitude for our first responders, who show bravery and selflessness as they put aside their own safety to protect our neighbors and friends."

The Indian Embassy in Washington called it a "tragic incident" and said it has been in touch with the National Security Council and local authorities to monitor the situation.

Sunday's shooting comes less than a month after the Aurora, Colo., theater massacre, when 12 people were killed and 58 wounded during a midnight screening of "Dark Knight Rises."
Sikhism is a 500-year-old monotheist faith with about 27 million followers worldwide, including about 300,000 in the United States.

Since 9/11, Sikh groups in the United States have reported a rise in bias attacks. There have been more than 700 reports of hate-related incidents against Sikhs since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, according to the Associated Press. "Sikhs don't practice the same religion as Muslims," the AP noted, "but their long beards and turbans often cause them to be mistaken for Muslims, advocates say."

In the wake of the shooting in Wisconsin, law enforcement officials in other cities, including New York City, increased patrols near Sikh temples on Sunday. However, there is no known threat against Sikh temples in New York, the NYPD said. Source : YahooNews

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

11 Year Old Flies to Rome With No Ticket or Family

Authorities are investigating how a solo 11-year-old boy boarded a plane from Manchester, U.K., and arrived in Rome, Italy, with no money or documentation. 

The Jet2.com flight departed the Manchester airport Tuesday with the boy onboard. He went through five security checkpoints undetected, an airport spokeswoman confirmed to ABC News. Despite having no boarding pass at security, no boarding pass at the gate, no passport and no boarding pass stub once on the plane, airport workers failed to notice the boy was on his own. Even a headcount onboard the flight failed to detect the child.

Jet2.com is a low-cost U.K. airline that flies to 53 destinations in Eastern and Western Europe. 

Staffers have been suspended, pending an investigation. 

The Guardian newspaper reports the boy ran away from his mother on Tuesday while she was shopping close to the airport. He apparently made his way to the airport on foot. 

Once there, he followed another family through the checkpoints and onto the plane. 

On the way to Italy, passengers alerted airline crew to the boy. The captain then notified police at Manchester airport, who alerted the boy's mother that he had been found. The boy's mother had reported him missing. 

The boy stayed onboard the aircraft once it landed in Rome, according to the newspaper. The other passengers deplaned while the boy was questioned. He remained on the flight, which returned to Manchester, where he was reunited with his mother. 

John Greenway, a spokesman for Manchester airport, told the newspaper: "We know that people are not very happy about it. The investigation will look at how this has happened. Jet2 will be looking at how this boy got on that aircraft. 

"He's evaded checks. He did go through the metal detector and didn't sound any alarms. He wasn't a danger to any of the passengers." 

The breech shines a light on potential cracks in security as the 2012 Olympics in London kicks off later this week. 

Earlier this month, Britain's The Observer published a report quoting border officials as saying known terror suspects had slipped through airport security at London's Heathrow international airport. Government officials told ABC News that report was not accurate, but said an independent auditor had claimed there are many new, hastily trained guards at the airport who sometimes do not question travelers as diligently as they should. 

On Tuesday, British officials called up an additional 1,200 soldiers today to try and fix what they called a security "fiasco" with G4S, the private security firm tasked to secure the 2012 Olympic Games, but British security officials tell ABC News even though they are finally getting the number of guards they need, they are still not confident in the training that G4S guards received or the security they can provide.  Source : YahooNews

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The first man walk 1,800 feet tightrope across Niagara Falls

Read about : Nik Wallendam Biography and history about walking on wire.
Ontario, Canada: Daredevil Nik Wallenda became the first person to walk on a tightrope across the Niagara Falls, taking steady, measured steps Friday night for 1,800 feet across the mist-fogged brink of the roaring falls separating the U.S. and Canada.

"I feel like I'm on cloud nine right now," an exuberant Wallenda told reporters after accomplishing what he said was his childhood dream before an estimated 112,000 people crowding the shores of both countries and millions more who watched a live television broadcast.

He described wind "coming from every which way," mist so powerful he had to blink it away to maintain his vision and a breathtaking view during the nighttime walk illuminated by spotlights that "compared to nothing."

 "There was no way to focus on the movement of the cable," said Wallenda, 33. "If I looked down at the cable there was water moving everywhere. And if I looked up there was heavy mist blowing in front of my face. So it was a very unique, a weird sensation."

He said he accomplished the feat through "a lot of praying, that's for sure. But, you know, it's all about the concentration, the focus, and the training."


The seventh-generation member of the famed Flying Wallendas had long dreamed of pulling off the stunt, never before attempted. Other daredevils have wire-walked over the Niagara River but farther downstream and not since 1896.

"This is what dreams are made of, people," said Wallenda, who wore a microphone for the broadcast, shortly after he stepped off from a platform on the American shore.

 Along the way, he calmly prayed aloud.

After passing the halfway mark, Wallenda expressed fatigue. "I'm strained, I'm drained," he said. "This is so physical, not only mental but physical."

Toward the end, as he neared the Canadian shore, Wallenda dropped to one knee and pumped his fist while the spectators cheered. He broke into a playful run about 15 feet from the finish line, where his wife and three children waited.

 "I am so blessed," he said later. "How blessed I am to have the life that I have."

ABC televised the walk and insisted Wallenda use a tether to keep him from falling in the river. Wallenda said he agreed because he wasn't willing to lose the chance to perform the walk it took him well over a year to win permission from two countries to do. Such stunts are normally illegal. ABC's sponsorship helped offset some of the $1.3 million cost of the spectacle.

Wallenda said he thought about the tether, which was secured at his waist and dragged behind him, at several points along the 30-minute walk but wasn't hindered by it as he'd feared.

"Awesome! The whole thing is awesome," 8-year-old William Clements of Dresden, Ontario, said after watching the walk with his family from the Canadian side, adding he wouldn't want to walk "even over something not high."

"He was meant to do it. The weather was perfect," said Glenda Rutherford of Ontario. "It was amazing."

 For Wallenda, who has grown up on the high wire and holds six Guinness records for various stunts, the Niagara Falls walk was unlike anything he'd ever done. Because it was over water, the 2-inch wire didn't have the usual stabilizer cables to keep it from swinging. Pendulum anchors were designed to keep it from twisting under the elkskin-soled shoes designed by his mother.

The Wallendas trace their roots to 1780 Austria-Hungary, when ancestors traveled as a band of acrobats, aerialists, jugglers, animal trainers and trapeze artists. The clan has been touched by tragedy, notably in 1978 when patriarch Karl Wallenda, Nik's great-grandfather, fell to his death during a stunt in Puerto Rico.

Wallenda said that at one point in the middle of the walk, he thought about his great-grandfather and the walks he had taken: 


"That's what this is all about, paying tribute to my ancestors, and my hero, Karl Wallenda."

About a dozen other tightrope artists have crossed the Niagara Gorge downstream, dating to Jean Francois Gravelet, aka The Great Blondin, in 1859. But no one had walked directly over the falls, and authorities hadn't allowed any tightrope acts in the area since 1896. It took Wallenda two years to persuade U.S. and Canadian authorities to allow it, and many civic leaders hoped to use the publicity to jumpstart the region's struggling economy, particularly on the U.S. side of the falls. 


Source :
MDV

Friday, May 18, 2012

Georgia woman learns toll of flesh-eating bacteria

ATLANTA (AP) — Faced with the prospect of losing both hands and her one remaining foot, a young Georgia woman battling to survive a case of flesh-eating bacteria that has already claimed one leg mouthed the words "Let's do this."

Aimee Copeland, 24, "shed no tears, she never batted an eyelash," her father, Andy Copeland, wrote on Facebook on Friday about the conversation he and his wife had with their daughter the day before.

"I was crying because I am a proud father of an incredibly courageous young lady," Copeland wrote.

It was not immediately clear whether the surgeries had already been performed and a post to a blog about the woman's progress Friday evening simply said "Aimee is doing well today. Her vital signs are as positive as her spirit."

A hospital spokeswoman referred questions to the father's online post.

The story of Copeland's battle to survive has inspired an outpouring of support from around the world. The University of West Georgia student developed a rare condition called necrotizing fasciitis after suffering a deep cut in her leg in a May 1 fall from a homemade zip line over the Little Tallapoosa River.


She has been hospitalized in critical condition at an Augusta hospital, battling kidney failure and other organ damage. She had been on a breathing tube until recently, when doctors performed a tracheotomy, her father said.

Until Thursday, Aimee Copeland did not know the full extent of her condition, only that her hands were badly infected.

Andy Copeland said he told his daughter about what had happened since the accident, how her one leg had been amputated. Doctors had once characterized her survival as "slim to none."

"We told her of the outpouring of love from across the world," her father said. "We told her that the world loved and admired her. We explained that she had become a symbol of hope, love and faith. Aimee's eyes widened and her jaw dropped. She was amazed."

In Copeland's case, the necrotizing fasciitis was caused by bacteria known as Aeromonas hydrophila (what is Aeromonas hydrophila) , which is found in warm rivers and streams. Many people exposed to the bacteria don't get sick. Only a handful of necrotizing fasciitis infections caused by the bacteria have been reported in medical journals in recent decades.


Under the condition, the bacteria emit toxins that destroy muscle, fat and skin tissue.
Andy Copeland said he learned Thursday that doctors wanted to amputate his daughter's hands and remaining foot. Doctors were concerned she could develop respiratory problems and if her hands released an infection in her body there was a risk she could become septic again, her father said.

"We had a window of opportunity to perform the amputations and have a successful outcome," he said. "As they usually do, the doctors were presenting us with a medical no-brainer. We had to do what is necessary to save Aimee's life."

At that point, the family decided to share the situation with their daughter.
Copeland said he showed his daughter her hands, told her they were not healthy and were hampering her progress.

"Aimee, I do not want anything to happen to you," Copeland said he told his daughter. "Your mind is beautiful, your heart is good and your spirit is strong. These hands can prevent your recovery from moving forward. The doctors want to amputate them and your foot today to assure your best possible chance of survival."

Aimee Copeland nodded her understanding.

Her father explained that she would eventually be fitted with prosthetics to help her get around and she nodded again.

Then she smiled, raised her hands up and looked at the damage. She then turned to her family, gathered by her bedside and mouthed the words: "Let's do this."

Her father said he left the room with tears in his eyes.
"I wasn't crying because Aimee was going to lose her hands and foot, I was crying because, in all my 53 years of existence, I have never seen such a strong display of courage," Copeland said. YahooNews

Friday, May 4, 2012

Breast Cancer In Men - Rare But Fare Worse

Statistics Men Died Because of Breast Cancer
CHICAGO (AP) — Men rarely get breast cancer, but those who do often don't survive as long as women, largely because they don't even realize they can get it and are slow to recognize the warning signs, researchers say. (What is men breast cancer ?)

On average, women with breast cancer lived two years longer than men in the biggest study yet of the disease in males.

The study found that men's breast tumors were larger at diagnosis, more advanced and more likely to have spread to other parts of the body. Men were also diagnosed later in life; in the study, they were 63 on average, versus 59 for women. (See risk factor)

Many men have no idea that they can get breast cancer, and some doctors are in the dark, too, dismissing symptoms that would be an automatic red flag in women, said study leader Dr. Jon Greif, a breast cancer surgeon in Oakland, Calif. (See more symptoms)

The American Cancer Society estimates 1 in 1,000 men will get breast cancer, versus 1 in 8 women. By comparison, 1 in 6 men will get prostate cancer, the most common cancer in men.
"It's not really been on the radar screen to think about breast cancer in men," said Dr. David Winchester, a breast cancer surgeon in NorthShore University HealthSystem in suburban Chicago who was not involved in the study. Winchester treats only a few men with breast cancer each year, compared with at least 100 women.

The researchers analyzed 10 years of national data on breast cancer cases, from 1998 to 2007. A total of 13,457 male patients diagnosed during those years were included, versus 1.4 million women. The database contains about 75 percent of all U.S. breast cancer cases.

The men who were studied lived an average of about eight years after being diagnosed, compared with more than 10 years for women. The study doesn't indicate whether patients died of breast cancer or something else.

Greif prepared a summary of his study for presentation Friday at a meeting of American Society of Breast Surgeons in Phoenix.

Dr. Akkamma Ravi, a breast cancer specialist at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, said the research bolsters results in smaller studies and may help raise awareness. Because the disease is so rare in men, research is pretty scant, and doctors are left to treat it the same way they manage the disease in women, she said.

Some doctors said one finding in the study suggests men's breast tumors might be biologically different from women's: Men with early-stage disease had worse survival rates than women with early-stage cancer. But men's older age at diagnosis also might explain that result, Greif said.
The causes of breast cancer in men are not well-studied, but some of the same things that increase women's chances for developing it also affect men, including older age, cancer-linked gene mutations, a family history of the disease, and heavy drinking.

There are no formal guidelines for detecting breast cancer in men. The American Cancer Society says routine, across-the-board screening of men is unlikely to be beneficial because the disease is so rare.

For men at high risk because of a strong family history or genetic mutations, mammograms and breast exams may be helpful, but men should discuss this with their doctors, the group says.

Men's breast cancer usually shows up as a lump under or near a nipple. Nipple discharge and breasts that are misshapen or don't match are also possible signs that should be checked out.
Tom More, 67, of Custer, Wash., was showering when he felt a pea-size lump last year near his right nipple. Because a golfing buddy had breast cancer, More didn't put off seeing his doctor. The doctor told More that he was his first male breast cancer patient.

Robert Kaitz, a computer business owner in Severna Park, Md., thought the small growth under his left nipple was just a harmless cyst, like ones that had been removed from his back. By the time he had it checked out in 2006, almost two years later, the lump had started to hurt.

The diagnosis was a shock.

"I had no idea in the world that men could even get breast cancer," Kaitz said. He had a mastectomy, and 25 nearby lymph nodes were removed, some with cancer. Chemotherapy and radiation followed.

Tests showed Kaitz, 52, had a BRCA genetic mutation that has been linked to breast and ovarian cancer in women. He may have gotten the mutation from his mother, who is also a breast cancer survivor. It has also been linked to prostate cancer, which Kaitz was treated for in 2009.

A powerboater and motorcycle buff, Kaitz jokes about being a man with a woman's disease but said he is not embarrassed and doesn't mind showing his breast surgery scar.
                                                                                                                                                                    The one thing he couldn't tolerate was tamoxifen, a hormone treatment commonly used to help prevent breast cancer from returning in women. It can cause menopausal symptoms, so he stopped taking it. (Statistics on Male Breast Cancer 1 & 2)

"It killed me. I tell you what — night sweats, hot flashes, mood swings, depression. I'd be sitting in front of the TV watching a drama and the tears wouldn't stop pouring," he said.

Doctors sometimes prescribe antidepressants or other medication to control those symptoms.
Now Kaitz gets mammograms every year. Men need to know that "we're not immune," he said. "We have the same plumbing." Source 
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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Boy genius's book reveals life in college at age 8

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The one thing 14-year-old Moshe Kai Cavalin dislikes is being called a genius.

All he did, after all, was enroll in college at age 8 and earn his first of two Associate of Arts degrees from East Los Angeles Community College in 2009 at age 11, graduating with a perfect 4.0 grade point average.

Now, at 14, he's poised to graduate from UCLA this year. He's also just published an English edition of his first book, "We Can Do."

The 100-page guideline explains how other young people can accomplish what Cavalin did through such simple acts as keeping themselves focused and approaching everything with total commitment. He's hoping it will show people there's no genius involved, just hard work.
"That's always the question that bothers me," Cavalin, who turned 14 on Tuesday, says when the G-word is raised. "People need to know you don't really need to be a genius. You just have to work hard and you can accomplish anything."

And maybe cut out some of the TV.
Although he's a big fan of Jackie Chan movies, Cavalin says he limits his television time to four hours a week.

Not that he lacks for recreational activities or feels that his parents pressured him into studying constantly. He writes in "We Can Do" of learning to scuba dive, and he loves soccer and martial arts. He used to participate in the latter sport when he was younger, winning trophies for his age group, until his UCLA studies and his writing made things a little too hectic.

Indeed one of the key messages of his book is to stay focused and to not take on any endeavor half-heartedly.

"I was able to reach the stars, but others can reach the 'Milky Way," he tells readers.
It was a professor at his first institution of higher learning, East Los Angeles City College, who inspired him, Cavalin says. He didn't like the subject but managed to get an A in it anyway, by applying himself and seeing how enthusiastic his teacher, Richard Avila, was about the subject.

Avila, he says, inspired him to write a book explaining his methods for success so he could motivate others.

It took four years to finish, in part because Cavalin, whose mother is Chinese, decided to publish it in Mandarin, and doing the translation himself was laborious.
Han Shian Culture Publishing of Taiwan put the book in print, and it did well in Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia, as well as in several bookstores in Southern California's Asian communities. He then brought it out in English for the U.S. market.

Because of his heavy study load, Cavalin has had little opportunity to promote the book, other than a signing at UCLA, where he also lives in student housing with his parents and attends the school on a scholarship.

After earning his bachelor's degree, the math major plans to enroll in graduate school with hopes of eventually earning a degree.

After that, he's not so sure. He points out that he's still just barely a teenager.
"Who knows?" he says, chuckling at the thought of what lies ahead in adulthood. "That's a very distant future, and I'm pretty much planning for just the next few years. That's too far into the future for me to see."

Friday, January 13, 2012

World's tiniest frogs found in Papua New Guinea

With voices hardly louder than an insect's buzz, the tiniest frogs ever discovered are smaller than a coin and hop about the rainforest of the tropical island of Papua New Guinea, US scientists said Wednesday. 
 
Not only are these little peepers with the big names -- Paedophryne amauensis and Paedophryne swiftorum -- the smallest frogs known to man, they are also believed to be the smallest vertebrates on Earth, said the report in the science journal PLoS ONE.

Until now the smallest vertebrate was believed to be a transparent Indonesian fish known as Paedocypris progenetica that averaged about eight millimeters (one-third inch).

The largest vertebrate is the blue whale, measuring about 25.8 meters (yards).

The little land frog Paedophryne amauensis comes in at a whopping 7.7 millimeters, or less than one-third of an inch. The other newly discovered kind, Paedophryne swiftorum, measures a bit over eight millimeters.

"It was particularly difficult to locate Paedophryne amauensis due to its diminutive size and the males' high pitched insect-like mating call," said Louisiana State University scientist Chris Austin, who discovered them.

"But it's a great find."

The dark brown frogs with bluish-white specks have likely existed for a long time, underfoot and out of sight on the rainforest floor, eating smaller prey or being eaten by bigger predators.

"The ecosystems these extremely small frogs occupy are very similar, primarily inhabiting leaf litter on the floor of tropical rainforest environments," said Austin.

"We now believe that these creatures aren't just biological oddities, but instead represent a previously undocumented ecological guild -- they occupy a habitat niche that no other vertebrate does."

In fact, judging by the frequency of male mating calls they heard, Austin said the tiny frogs might be spaced as close as 50 centimeters (20 inches) from each other on ground beneath the leaves. Source : AFP2008, Bredbait
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