Thursday, 27 September 2012

Justin Bieber tweets about death of 6-year-old fan known as Mrs. Bieber

Justin Bieber is heartbroken today after one of his youngest fans, 6-year-old Avalanna Routh – who was better known as Mrs. Bieber – died of cancer. The "Boyfriend" singer tweeted a sweet message about the Boston girl on Wednesday afternoon, writing, "just got the worst news ever. one of the greatest spirits i have ever known is gone. please pray for her family and for her. RIP Avalanna. i love you." About an hour later, he wrote, “please show respect to her and her family. say a prayer for her and for them. i miss her.”

Routh gained national attention last year when she pretended to marry Bieber in a wedding ceremony staged by the doctors and nurses at the Boston hospital where she was being treated. The day before Valentine's Day, the singer himself flew her and her parents to meet him in New York, where they spent an afternoon playing board games and just hanging out. The Biebs even let the cutie play with his famous hair! At the time he tweeted, "That was one of the best things i have ever done. She was AWESOME! Feeling really inspired now!" and used the hashtag Mrs. Bieber. Routh appeared onstage with Bieber at the Apollo Theater, and when he appeared on "Today" in June, he said that the two continued to keep in touch via iChat and FaceTime.
Sadly, Routh was sick for most of her life. Dr. Charles Robert of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where Routh was treated, told the Associated Press that she was diagnosed with a rare teratoid rhabdoid tumor – only about 30 of them are diagnosed in the U.S. each year – when she was just 18 months old. She "responded to initial treatment for quite a while, but the cancer kept coming back and ultimately she was no longer responsive" and died at her Merrimac, Massachusetts, home, Robert said. The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute issued a statement about Routh's death, which read, "She was a very courageous young person who lived her life with grace and determination. By generously sharing her story, she raised awareness worldwide about atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumors and articulated the need for greater research of this rare cancer."

Routh's family also posted a beautiful goodbye message on Twitter. "Our darling Avalanna went to Heaven this morning," they wrote. "Oh Avalanna, the brightest star — you took our hearts with you, our greatest Love."

Woman supposedly gives birth to half-human, half-goat in Jigawa, Nigeria

And yet another bizarre story. Uhhhhh! This time coming from Jigawa in Nigeria. A woman supposedly gave birth to what you see above; a baby with goat legs and no neck, at the General hospital in Jahun, Jigawa State. How is this even possible? And please I don't want to hear witches and wizards...:-). What exactly are we looking at here?

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

“No Hand Man” motorcyclist attempting hands-free 525-mile ride

Phil Comar has a bit of a double life. The 63-year-old Adrian, Mich., man works as a motorcycle safety trainer, teaching proper techniques to new riders. But for the past 20 years, Comar has been putting extra danger into his Harley rides by training himself to steer without using his hands. This weekend, he'll attempt to beat his own world record for charity by riding 525 miles hands free, without stopping. That's one way to keep from being distracted.
Comar -- nicknamed the "No Hand Man" -- says he encourages no one to follow in his wake and attempt to go 70 mph without using the handlebars. "I am about as close to being a professional as anyone has been when it comes to riding with no hands," he says, telling The Cincinnati Enquirer that he's never had an accident.
After Comar's father died in 2008 from Parkinson's disease, Comar began a series of fund-raising rides. His first ride in 2010 went 314 miles; last year he attempted the same 525-mile trip from the Mackinac Bridge to Covington, Ky., but only made 327 miles -- still good enough for the Guinness Book of World Records. His bike has a couple of modifications to make the trip, namely an extra fuel tank for range, but there's no secret device to keeping it on the road beyond Comar's legs.

Keeping a 550-lb Harley cruiser going straight without hands might not sound so hard. But as the video from one of Comar's rides shows, steering with your body requires a whole different set of skills. It looks impossible to make the smaller, constant corrections as you would with handlebars, and Comar has to plan ahead for any combination of traffic and turns. While a freeway offers far fewer corners, it also raises the speed to dangerous levels; Comar takes some precautions by having chase vehicles and another rider always nearby.
There are easier ways to raise money for charity, and if you want to help Comar reach his goal of $25,000 for the Michael J. Fox Foundation, you can donate here.

Sean Kingston Comes Clean on Driving Justin Bieber's Car: "The Whole Thing Got Blown Out of Proportion"

Justin Bieber, Sean Kingston, Fisker Kevin Mazur/WireImage
Justin Bieber may be generous, but parting with his beloved Fisker Karma? Well, that's a different story.
Bieb's buddy Sean Kingston was recently out and about on the town driving J.B.'s flashy luxury vehicle and, when asked outside BOA Steakhouse in L.A., responded, "When you're best friends with one of the biggest pop stars in the world, you get all kinds of gifts."
Uh, not so fast.
As he prepared to embark on tour, Justin parked his car at Sean's house to "babysit" it, a source close to Kingston told E! News, and the Jamaican-born singer-rapper took it out for a night on the town.
"Sean just wanted to have some fun with them," the source reveals about Kingston's exchange with the paparazzi. "It was just a joke and Sean didn't mean to upset Justin or Scooter [Braun, Justin's manager who gave the Fisker to Justin as birthday present]. The whole thing got blown out of proportion."
Glad that got cleared up.

Interesting! Gwen Stefani’s Son Zuma Jams On Guitar With No Doubt

No Doubt released their first new album in 11 years this week--but in other news, could it be that they also have a new member as well? Looks like if it were up to lead singer Gwen Stefani's 4-year-old, Zuma, that would be the case! Stefani revealed on the Ellen DeGeneres Show Tuesday that her younger son has been jamming with his mom's band frequently.
"Zuma's the one who's showing more interest in the guitar," Stefani explained to DeGeneres. "Since he was tiny, he's always played guitar--well, he doesn't really play guitar, but he thinks he does."
As proof, the show's audience was treated to an adorable clip of No Doubt soundchecking, with a headphone-wearing Zuma accompanying on his chosen instrument. "Oh my God," exclaimed a delighted DeGeneres. "That's hilarious!"
Stefani related that part of the reason No Doubt has taken so long between albums is the fact that all the band members are now parents...thus making time to get together a wee bit harder than in the old days. The mom of two--older son Kingston is 6--noted her own struggles with Zuma alone: "It was challenging--we'd get together like three times a week, and I tried all versions--like 'oh today I'm gonna bring him with me,' and that didn't work. So then I was like 'Today I'm not gonna see him, I'm gonna work all day, and then I'll be with him tomorrow.' It was just chaos, so that's one of the reasons it took as long as it did."
No Doubt introduced their new album, Push And Shove, with the lead-off single "Settle Down" in mid-July.  Their last studio album was 2001's Rock Steady.

Pregnant model walks the runway at Millan Fashion Week

Sexy mama: Italian model Raffaella Fico presents a creation by Pin-Up Stars during Milan Fashion Week on Sept. 22.
The unique model trend continues! First there were senior citizens, then inspiring acne-faced YouTube stars, and now a pregnant Italian model — currently in the middle of a paternity battle with her ex-boyfriend walked the runway at Milan Fashion Week on Saturday.
Six-months-pregnant Raffaella Fico, 24, braced the catwalk in a teensy bikini for Italian swimwear line Pin-Up Stars. Her bold modeling move inspired a wide range of reactions: Some applauded her bravery to show off a pregnant body, while others found it distasteful.
That just screams ‘I'm desperate to stay relevant under any circumstance’” wrote one commenter on the Huffington Post, while others chimed in that she looked “glorious” and  incredibly beautiful.” 
Some, interestingly, appreciated that she wasn’t just sitting at home throughout her pregnancy:
Hey, it was Fashion Week and she is a model, which means she is a working mom, and she looks great.”
While I have no problem with a future mama shaking what her mama gave her, I do take issue with that bikini. The top’s nipple-centric design ain’t all that subtle, is it?
As for Fico, the model has been quite the tabloid fixture of late as her ex-boyfriend, Manchester City soccer star Mario Balotelli, demanded a paternity test after she announced her pregnancy earlier this summer. The couple had broken up in April. In a statement this June, Balotelli didn’t soften the blow, as he accused the model of hiding and then trying to make money off her pregnancy news:
"Raffaella knows well that since we parted company with one another that I had, and have, no intention of returning to her… A few days ago I came to learn from others that Raffaella was pregnant… I am very disappointed. I do not think it's normal not to know anything until the fourth month [of the pregnancy].
I do not understand why she did not contact me immediately to tell me something of such importance.”
In response, Fico told Italy’s Chi magazine that she was “deeply hurt” by her ex’s accusations.
“This child I desire with all my heart and I want it because it is not a child that arrived by chance but instead it is the fruit of love between two people and you know well what I am talking about... I find it unfair on your part that you wrote (if you indeed did write it) the insinuation that I was cashing in on the birth of our child.”
What do you think of Fico's modeling move?

Tuesday, 25 September 2012


SAN FRANCISCO — Once the best of friends, Google and Apple have become foes, battling in courtrooms and in the consumer marketplace. Last week, the hostilities took a new turn when they spilled right onto smartphone screens.
In the latest version of Apple’s iPhone software, which became available Wednesday, Apple removed two mainstay apps, both Google products — Maps and YouTube.
The disappearing apps show just how far-reaching the companies’ rivalry has become, as well as the importance of mobile users to their businesses.
“It’s the two big kids kicking sand in the sandbox,” said Colin Gillis, an analyst who covers Google and Apple for BGC Partners. “They’re now competing against each other with phones, with maps, with content, with search. They’re going head-to-head.”
Maps are particularly crucial on mobile devices, where location-based services and ads have emerged as the pathway to making money. Google and Apple are not the only warriors in the fight. Amazon, Nokia, Microsoft, AOL and Yahoo are competing, too.
“If you own a mobile ecology, as Google does, the other mobile ecology owners are not going to allow you to own tons of data in their world,” said Scott Rafer, chief executive of Lumatic, which makes city map apps. “And so neither Apple nor Amazon were going to let Google know where every one of their users was at every time.”
Being kicked off the iPhone has potentially significant consequences for Google, whose Maps service earns more than half its traffic from mobile devices, and almost half of that mobile traffic has been from iPhone users. Apple’s move strikes at the heart of Google’s core business, search, because about 40 percent of mobile searches are for local places or things.
“Local is a huge thing for Google in terms of advertising dollars, and search is very tied to that,” said Barry Schwartz, an editor at Search Engine Land, an industry blog. “Knowing where you are, when you search for coffee, it can bring up local coffee shops and ads that are much more relevant for the user.”
Consumers are innocent bystanders of the brawl. IPhone users now have an extra step to download the YouTube app from the App Store and, so far, Google has given no indication that it will offer a maps app. Apple’s maps, meanwhile, are littered with flaws, some laughable, like a bridge that appears to collapse crossing the Tacoma Narrows Strait of Puget Sound.
Some analysts say, however, that Apple’s maps will quickly improve, and that the long-term result of heightened competition will be better maps all around.
“Apple Maps are apparently not ready for prime time, and that’s a loss,” said Peter Krasilovsky, the program director for marketplaces at BIA/Kelsey, a local media research firm. “But a long-term loss? No. With all the incredible technology being developed by everybody, consumers are the winner.”
The war between Google and Apple escalated abruptly before breaking out on the iPhone screen. At the height of their friendship, their chief executives together unveiled the first iPhone, packed with Google services like maps, search and YouTube. But since Google introduced its own mobile operating system, Android, the companies have battled over everything mobile, from patents to ads and apps.
The brawl has played out most publicly in the courtroom, where Apple and phone manufacturers that use Google’s Android software have sued one another. Most recently, on Friday and Saturday, Apple and Samsung each filed papers to amend or overturn a jury verdict that awarded Apple $1 billion in a patent trial with Samsung. Apple wants more money and Samsung wants a new trial. The companies will return to court Dec. 6 to discuss their demands.
Though Apple’s rejection of YouTube is part of its effort to cut ties with its former friend, it is different from the battle over maps because Apple has no competing video service. Google has introduced a new YouTube app in the App Store, which has become the No. 1 free app.
But with maps, Google, which has long been the dominant digital mapmaker, now must adjust to a new rival, along with the loss of valuable iPhone users.
Even though Android phones far outnumber iPhones — 60 percent of smartphones run Android, versus 34 percent for iPhones, according to Canalys, a research firm — iPhone users account for almost half of mobile traffic to Google Maps.
In July, according to comScore Mobile Metrix, 12.6 million iPhone users visited Maps each day, versus 7.6 million on Android phones. And iPhone users spent an hour and a half using Maps during the month, while Android users spent just an hour.
Those users are a valuable source for Google, because it relies on their data to determine things like which businesses or landmarks are most important and whether maps have errors.
Google also risks losing the allegiance of app developers who build apps that tie in to maps.
“Overnight, Apple has really taken out a significant chunk of Google’s market, and it’s much harder for Google to say to developers, ‘We’re the only game in town, come play with us,’ ” said Tony Costa, a senior analyst who studies mobile phones at Forrester. “It will affect the Google ecosystem, putting it back in the same game of their apps lagging behind Apple, and that’s not a good position for them to be in.”
Still, Google is no doubt feeling a bit of satisfaction as Apple is loudly criticized for the errors in its maps.
Apple Maps users have been tallying its blunders. A Tumblr devoted to the topic included a missing lake in Hyderabad, India, misplaced restaurants in Cambridge, Mass., and the placement of Berlin in Antarctica.
Apple responded Thursday with a statement that its map service was a work in progress and would improve as more people used it.
Google, meanwhile, has been reminding people of its seven years of experience in mapping.
But the company would not say whether it was building an iPhone app for users to download. Its only public statement on the matter has been vague: “Our goal is to make Google Maps available to everyone who wants to use it, regardless of device, browser, or operating system.”
Google could decide not to build an app, as a gamble that iPhone users depend on its maps so much that they might switch to Android.
If it does build an app, Apple would have to approve it. Its guidelines for developers are ambiguous, but exclude apps that “appear confusingly similar to an existing Apple product.”
Rejecting Google’s app would most likely set off a brouhaha similar to that over the Google Voice app, which Apple rejected in 2009, prompting an investigation by the Federal Communications Commission, and a year later was approved.
More likely, analysts say, Google is waiting for the right time to swoop in and save the day by offering its own iPhone app. One benefit of making its own app: It could add features and sell ads, which it could not do on the old app because Apple controlled it. The situation with the YouTube app was the same.
In the meantime, Google is encouraging people to use maps on the iPhone’s browser, where it shows instructions to install it on their home screen.
Brian X. Chen contributed reporting from New York.

Very harmful Atibiotics

Antibiotics can save lives by fighting bacterial infections, but that’s not to say that they’re without risk. These strong medicines can have some alarming side effects, resulting in thousands of lawsuits each year.

What kinds of side effects do antibiotics cause?

It’s been estimated that over 140,000 emergency visits are made to the hospital each year due to antibiotic-associated side effects, with allergic reactions being the most common. “Minimizing unnecessary antibiotic use by even a small percentage could significantly reduce the immediate and direct risks of drug-related adverse events in individual patients,” a 2007 study showed.
Oral fluoroquinolones are the most popular antibiotics, and include Cipro (ciprofloxacin), Levaquin (levofloxafin) and Avelox (moxifloxacin). But taking these antibiotics increases your risk of developing a retinal detachment by five times compared with nonusers, a recent study shows.
In 2006, consumer group Public Citizen petitioned the FDA to place a notice on fluoroquinolones warning of the potential for tendon ruptures. “The tendon that most frequently ruptures is the Achilles tendon, which causes sudden and severe pain, swelling and bruising, and difficulty walking,” a press release states, adding that ruptures have also occurred in the rotator cuff, biceps, hand and thumb. “One theory is that fluoroquinolones are toxic to tendon fibers and may decrease blood supply in tendons that already have a limited blood supply,” the press release reads. It was not until 2008 that the FDA began to require a warning label
In addition, a Swedish study found that these types of antibiotics can sometimes cause peripheral neuropathy, a condition that causes numbness and pain in the hands and feet, although the number of reported cases was small.
Another dangerous antibiotic, azithromycin, was recently shown to nearly triple cardiovascular mortality compared to the rate for a group of patients who didn’t take the antibiotic. Although deaths associated with the use of this antibiotic are rare, the highest rate was seen in people with cardiovascular disease.
Heart Attack Warning Signs You Should Watch Out For

Are antibiotics used too often?

Antibiotics are overused “by lazy doctors who are trying to kill a fly with an automatic weapon,” pharmacological epidemiologist Mahyar Etiman told the New York Times.
For example, antibiotics don’t work against colds, flu, and viral infections such as bronchitis, but are sometimes prescribed anyway.
Sore throats are often prescribed antibiotics, but according to updated (voluntary) guidelines released by the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) this week, a sore throat is likely to be a virus, not strep throat.

Antibiotic Resistance

Overusing antibiotics for viruses or conditions in which they’re not required can lead to antibiotic resistance, which means that these powerful drugs become less effective at fighting the bacteria they’re actually intended to treat. In fact, infectious organisms adapt to the antibiotics, developing new strains of bacteria that are immune to it.
In the example of strep throat, the revised IDSA guidelines recommend penicillin or amoxicillin for treatment, since strep is becoming resistant to broader-spectrum (and pricier) antibiotics which were commonly prescribed in the past, including azithromycin and other macrolides.
A scarier drug-resistant bacteria is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, also known as staph infection. There is a clear association between antibiotics and MRSA, a 2007 review of 76 studies with close to 25,000 patients showed. MRSA often causes mild skin infections, but it can also be more serious and even life threatening. The infection is hard to treat, and can even infect the lungs, bloodstream heart valve, bones, joints, or lungs.
The overuse of antibiotics can also make one susceptible to Clostridium dificile, which can cause diarrhea, abdominal cramping and pain, and other unpleasant symptoms. The infection can even cause colitis.

What You Can Do

Do not pressure your doctor to prescribe antibiotics for viruses, including colds, flus, most coughs, bronchitis, and sore throats not caused by strep.
If you are prescribed antibiotics, make sure to follow the instructions on the bottle carefully, and to complete the entire bottle as prescribed even if you feel better better earlier on.
Check with your doctor to see what the common side effects for the antibiotics he or she wants to prescribe, and if there are any alternatives. Contact your doctor immediately if you are suffering from any unusual symptoms.
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