Posts Tagged ‘current news’

A new study on participants in a Toronto homeless shelter found that 45 percent of the homeless men in the research had suffered some form of traumatic brain injury (TBI). And amongst them, 87 percent of their brain injuries had occurred before the men became homeless. . They encompassed a broad age range and all completed a detailed series of questions chronicling their mental health history. The St. Michael’s Hospital study also mirrors a similar study released last week in which half of all men entering NY jail system aged 16-18 reported a TBI before they were arrested. According to Dr. Jane Toplovec-Vranic who led this study “You have a concussion, and you can’t concentrate or focus. Their thinking abilities and personalities change. They can’t manage at work, and they may lose their job, and eventually lose their families. And then it’s a negative spiral.” A concussion is not merely an injury but it triggers whole lots of events that runs a gamut of social, economic personal territories for which no agency wants to own up. Cluster principle applies here.


“You need to train the correction officers to understand brain injuries so that when somebody may be acting rude or answering back or forgetting what they’re supposed to do, it’s not a sign of maladaptive misbehavior or disrespect, it’s a sign of a brain injury,” Wayne Gordon, a brain injury expert at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital, said about that study’s results.

The St. Michael’s study looked at the cases of 111 homeless men and found that assault accounted for some 60 percent of the TBI’s. Drug and alcohol were the leading factors for men under 40, while assault was the most common factor for men over 40 years of age.Amongst those cases, sports and recreation related injuries accounted for 44 percent of the TBI’s, while motor vehicle accidents or falls made up another 42 percent. A significant percentage of people received their TBI in non-violent accidents. “Injury commonly predated the onset of homelessness, with most participants experiencing their first injury in childhood,” Topolovec-Vranic wrote in the study, which was published in the journal CMAJ Open.“Additional research is needed to understand the complex interactions among homelessness, traumatic brain injury, mental illness and substance use.”(ack: Eric Pfeiffer/Yahoo News of April, 26,2014)




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AESOP FABLES UPDATED- taken by the blind side

A deer blind in one eye moved over to Black Sea. The deer from Kiev knew he could keep his blind side on the seawards from where he did not expect any trouble. All he needed was to keep his eye sharp on the landward where ethnic minorities, Chinese, Asian, African students sat happily watching football. Roughing up them was fun and no police dared take action. He was a nationalist and he was xenophobic. His hooliganism progressed steadily. Neither painting swastikas against the homes of the Jews or stomping old men or women seem to bother. In short his blindness was really a moral one. When a woman with braids appealed him to elect her to the highest office he jeered at her. His antisemitism picked out targets whether real or not and the victims just suffered his taunts. There was one leech who wanted to fatten still more from fat of the land he took to the Maidan Square to throw molotov cocktails and destroy public buildings. His crusading spirit covered all crooks and innocents.
The blind Kievan deer did not notice a little place by the sea called Crimea where people saw Russians and cried,” Russians are coming! Russians are coming!
The deer was busy setting fire in some area and never knew what hit him from across the sea. His moral blindness cost him very dearly, you see.

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 How far chance plays a role in the history of nations? Let me recall the story I had posted some time ago.


Blind Chance

Agastya, a householder from Tulu desam, who lived in the middle of two constantly fighting neighbors Ambu and Subbu, had enough of his life. He went to Kailas to meditate. He received in due course enlightenment and his mentor asked him to choose a gift. He chose a deity in gold as large as a man’s palm.

“Chance it is called.” The mentor commented.

“It is a good gift to make my going back to my folks worth remembering.” Before he reached his home he came along a river where one man was about to make a hole in the river. “Don’t,” Agastya ran up to him. “It is chance which brought me to save you.” To his great surprise he was Subbu, his neighbor.

Yogi Agastya gave him his image and said,” Remember Chance has saved you.” Not long after Subbu went on a journey and he carried his image for his protection. While passing through a forest he was waylaid by robbers and was killed for the gold he carried.

As soon as news reached his home Ambu the other neighbor went to the Yogi and fell at his feet and said “Chance which you brought was for my rescue. Was it not?”

Chance has to be explained in terms of total interaction of life-forms. Certainty is settled by actions. Certainy of any ony one set of events in turn is on its own and must take its chance with others. History as with individual plays with larger groups and on a wider scale but the principle is always the same.



In Cosmos certainty of any action creates its own chains of events which create chance for a new player. Thus the war on terror in 2003 deposed Saddam Hussein of Iraq. Consequences of US intervention seems to have strengthened the hegemony of Shi’ia faction in the Middle East. So the Sunni faction whips up an opposition to cut the role of Iran in the region. Syria’s ability to withstand the opposition is a proof of Iran’s growing clout in the region. In a 4-D world of certainty chance is in the flattened down 3-D version of reality.












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An Ode on Snowden’s Flight


Here am I Edward Snowden

Bowed down by this burden

On a flight to th’ unknown,

With no destination-

How’s it all of sudden

The world  deem me as some evildoer

And would seize what load that I go under?

For all gold in the world how shall it ease 

This awful sin,  burden of my conscience?

I like Jonah of old  cast out by seamen

Do I see  any whale in the horizon?

There the Bear and the Eagle palaver-

No good can come out,

No good can come out

With their schism so sized as leviathan

None deserves hell as the pair.

Oh Im undone, undone
Ding dong sounds the knell;
With each passing bell
I know I’m undone Snowden




Original poem is given here(excerpt)
‘Twas at the Royal Feast, for Persia won,
By Phillip’s Warlike Son:
Aloft in awful State
The God-like Heroe sate
On his Imperial Throne:
His valiant Peers were plac’d around;
Their Brows with Roses and with Myrtles bound.
(So shou’d Desert in Arms be Crown’d:)
The Lovely Thais by his side,
Sate like a blooming Eastern Bride
In Flow’r of Youth and Beauty’s Pride.
Happy, happy, happy Pair!
None but the Brave
None but the Brave
None but the Brave deserves the Fair.

Happy, happy, happy Pair!
None but the Brave
None but the Brave
None but the Brave deserves the Fair.

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‘Know thyself ‘: all human knowledge begins with an awareness of self. As a child you begin vaguely at first and get to know your place in the narrow world that surrounds you. Coming to terms with the world at large is a slow steady process. During which you do not ever miss sight of your awareness of self. Every challenge at the playground or in the class room you learn in a manner that becomes with repetition, a second nature to you.

Going out into the wider world it may be unsettling at first where you are not taken for what you are. The world is fast settling you to a role that you are sure does not speak for you. You are not so-and so’s son or kid brother. You are what you choose to be. It is here your real knowledge begins in right earnest. How best your conception of your worth is accepted by others? All that clean CVs you present for a position in the company may open the doors or slam shut. You have come to the real test where you must know no one has time or inclination to know you as well you have known. It is somewhat unsettling to know you are assessed by circumstances and facts that didn’t reckon as vital to you. Your identity is seen by world from the wrong end of the glass as it were.

You are a number and  your identity has been mashed and drawn into so many pulses in a virtual space that may be hacked and stolen.

For almost 12 years, a Houston elementary school teacher and an illegal immigrant living in Topeka have engaged in a tug of war to claim the identity of Candida L. Gutierrez in a case that has put a face on the growing crime of “total identity theft” in the United States.

Now to quote from the Associated Press (Wichita,Kan.) —On Monday, the real Candida L. Gutierrez saw her identity thief, Benita Cardona-Gonzalez, for the first time. Their encounter came inside a federal courtroom in Wichita, where Cardona-Gonzalez, a Mexican national, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for possessing fraudulent identification documents.

The plea deal Cardona-Gonzalez struck with prosecutors in January gave her less prison time, but guaranteed she would not contest her deportation. She pleaded guilty to an aggravated felony, which typically results in automatic deportation.


Gutierrez first learned her identity had been hijacked when she was turned down for a mortgage. Each year she trudges to the Social Security Administration with her birth certificate, driver’s license, passport and even school yearbooks to prove her identity and clear her employment record.

She spends hours on the phone with creditors and credit bureaus, fills out affidavits and has yet to clean up her credit history. Her tax records are a mess. She even once phoned the impostor’s Kansas employer in a futile effort to find some relief.

Both women had claimed they were identity theft victims and sought to get new Social Security numbers. The Social Security Administration turned down Gutierrez’s request and instead issued a new number to the woman impersonating her.

And in another ironic twist, Gutierrez was forced to file her federal income tax forms using a special identification number usually reserved for illegal immigrants.

Their struggle finally came to a head when Gutierrez got married a year ago, and her new husband set out to clear her credit history. He traced the identity thief to Topeka and on the Internet he found a press release from the U.S. attorney’s office in Kansas about the prosecutions of other illegal immigrants working at Reser’s Fine Foods, the same manufacturer where Cardona-Gonzalez worked. He contacted federal authorities in Kansas, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson took up their case.

“I don’t think we would ever have solved this issue without Brent’s help,” Marquardt said.

U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren called the case a “classic example” of the harm done by identity theft, saying people who characterize the cases as victimless crimes are uninformed. He said he had some reservations about the 18-month prison sentence and whether it was enough, but decided it was acceptable to meet sentencing objectives and bring closure to the victim.

Defense attorney Matthew Works told the court that his client didn’t have an understanding of how difficult it is for the victim to get her identity back. He said after the hearing that Cardona-Gonzalez has authorized him to do anything he can to “try to fix it” so Gutierrez could regain her identity.

Still pending before the court is a prosecution request that Melgren order the Kansas Office of Vital Statistics to correct the name of the mother on the birth certificates issued to Cardona-Gonzalez’s two children who were born in Kansas.




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What if you have signed a prenup agreement and your marriage bed has begun to smoke?

Elizabeth Cioffi-Petrakis, 39 a Long Island mother of three has become a postnuptial hero, after a prenup nearly cost her everything. In a landmark case she won an appeal overturning a bizarre premarital agreement with her millionaire husband. “This is a landmark decision that will likely be litigated a great deal in the future in similar cases for those who feel their prenups are unconscionable,” says Vicky Ziegler, celebrity divorce lawyer “This is unprecedented in the family law world.”

All the more remarkable is the fact she had no legal help worth an onion. “I won it because I pretty much did it myself,” Cioffi-Petrakis told Yahoo! Shine. “I had three prior attorneys who messed up my case big-time. And I was pretty much dead in the water until I got educated.” To win the case, Cioffi-Petrakis had to prove her husband was a louse who even gave those critters hiding within the woodwork a bad name.

In January, a judge ruled in Cioffi-Petrakis’s favor, finding that she had successfully proven what is called “fraud by the inducement” in a contract. To do that, Cioffi-Petrakis explained, she presented the court with “patterns of behavior” to show that Petrakis “was not honest when he made the promises.”

Moral of the story is this. Marriage is fulfilling requirements of love that is part biological and part spiritual. It is also a risk when two strangers decide to cast their lot and their vulnerable selves unprotected within a space of a marriage bed. There is no room for error. Prenup or not you have to face the music if one of the players want out.

A burning bed does none any good 


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Five months before the earth opened and swallowed his home, Buddy Wicker welcomed inspectors sent by State Farm Insurance to his house, who surveyed the property and deemed it free of any sinkhole risk.

Last week, a 20-foot-wide sinkhole yawned under Wicker’s Seffner, Fla., home, killing one of its residents, and sucking down a bedroom. The entire home was later demolished.(ack:http://www.lohud.com/usatoday of March8,’13)

Sinkholes are frequent in Florida area in the spring and summer seasons.From the above new clip it would seem we are not often certain over what we base as certainties. Let me quote a passage from my 2006 book The Life of Aesop

‘An anecdote that Maimonides told of his master impressed Aesop greatly. He said how Iadmon had set his eye on a piece of land that promised a great deal. It had a well and consequently a fertile soil. So he moved heaven and earth to acquire it. After he had paid in gold and took over he found to his chagrin the well had overnight gone dry! Unknown to him the City had earlier diverted a canal in another section far from the spot. But just as soon as Iadmon had begun improving his property he was without the water! Well many crowed he had it coming to him. Iadmon naturally made a loss!

What diverted Aesop was the idea of it. He thought of an unseen world that sustained another world in which man planted and harvested, a world where he made claims and fought tooth and nail to make riches. If he thought of profits from a deal it soon spiraled onto many more deals. More profits. Would he not if he could, decimate every competitor in his path? ‘A man so wheels and deals without fully realizing the risks involved.’

Aesop asked the little master if he were not nervous of things going wrong. “Politics is a very fickle master to serve,” he said. The little Master replied, “All that negative thoughts cripple you from venturing forth. You must be bold in order to win Dame Luck!” He was sure his pessimism arose from miserable experiences of his infant days.’

Who would cease to take risks in life? Only the cowards, I dare say. But we ought to understand we can only give our best shot in any enterprise and leave it that. Where your win or loss is going to affect your family and many others you need to have a plan B. Success in life is for the brave at heart, and for the smart.


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A country mouse by name Joe Krone went to preach the gospel of good news. Only news that he could tell happily was that the mice in the town could contribute generously to the poor country mice. The town mouse by name Ch.Oral Roberts wondered how a mouse  who cut off the hands of the believers and made their children fight with rockets and assault rifles could clap hands and say’ Praise the Lord Cat’ The country mouse defended himself saying his life was the best because poverty of the country side made him and his brethren look up for fresh manna and land flowing with honey and milk. Pastor Roberts was astounded. Ch.Oral and Krone went hand in hand to find out whether any other mouse could tell the good news better than they. Indeed they came across Pope Weasel who said his Holy See was the best. He showed the pomp and pleasure palaces built for servants of Lord Cat.  Krone asked His Holiness,‘Why these mice are in purple?’

The Pope gave a shudder. ‘It is Friday and they want no fish but arrange a cross dress for their midnight service. That night the two mice were shocked and wondered how the congregation of mice could tolerate the wicked ministers of the Lord Cat.

Next morning they had an audience with the Pope. They cried and said, their spirits were sad because of all the nonsense that went on.’Oh your holiness, Why can’t you throw these wicked ministers in purple?’

The Pope smiled sadly and said, ‘I am a weasel but these mice will not change a thing and they are too many in numbers’.

The Country Mouse suggested, ‘May be you can sell all these gold and silver and donate to us in the country. We have needy brethren.’

‘Oh no,’ the Pope said with a shudder,’I cannot spend a dollar without getting the permission of my Secretary general. He is a nasty cut throat.’ Oral and J. Krone pressed harder to no avail. “Give us all. For a good cause. We shall call it Church of Zion’ The Pope went white with fear,’ At least I get to wear my mitre and white shoes. If I join with you shall not even leave my tail to my body.’ The Pope scurried away.

Joseph Krone, the country mouse said,’There goes a prisoner of conscience.’

Ch.Oral the town mouse said,’It is time to part. I want to found a new Home for retired Popes.’

Krone said, ‘I want to arrange a great Revival meeting in the dust bowl.’ 


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Brain cells can live at least twice as long as the organisms in which they reside, according to new research. The study, published on Feb. 25 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that mouse neurons, or brain cells, implanted into rats can survive with the rats into old age, twice as long as the life span of the original mice.

A co-author of the study Dr. Lorenzo Magrassi, a neurosurgeon at the University of Pavia in Italy said,” So if the human life span could be stretched to 160 years, “then you are not going to lose your neurons, because your neurons do not have a fixed lifetime.”

While most of the cells in the human body are being constantly replaced, humans are born with almost all the neurons they will ever have.

The findings are good news for who seek immortality. Like Dr. Ipso Facto who explored every nook and cranny of the earth to attain immortality. It took him a thousand years to reach the source of spring from where water welled into tiny jets. It would give whoever drank from it immortal life. Only problem was that he did not know what he was there for. His mind was completely gone. I do not know if it were alzheimer or plain dementia. But he stood wondering under the sweltering high noon and died of sunstroke.

Life is simply not extending length in years but getting many advantages of living among life forms right. If you have no awareness of surroundings as in the case of Dr. Ipso Facto you get sunstroke; if there aren’t any living soul living (like Robinson Crusoe) to enthuse you to add zest to life and so on you have put back civilization back for a millennia. Time hangs heavily on you and you may wish you died and put an end to your misery. 

Or worse still you may be competing with your great grandchildren, sons,daughters and your own family for the fast dwindling food reserves.


Who wants to live forever? It is a disaster to end up with a case:” Here is my ex-wife forgotten but not gone.” Pay up, alimony, man, she says.


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According to the latest findings the scientists seem to think our universe is inherently unstable and an ‘event shall happen at the speed of light’ and spell doom for it. 

A subatomic particle discovered last year may be the long-sought Higgs boson particle. It is a manifestation of an energy field pervading the universe- the Higgs field, which is thought to explain why particles have mass. 

The mass of the particle, which was uncovered at the world’s largest particle accelerator — the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva — is a key ingredient in a calculation that portends the future of space and time.

“This calculation tells you that many tens of billions of years from now there’ll be a catastrophe,” Joseph Lykken, a theoretical physicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill., said Monday (Feb. 18) here at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

After searching for decades for proof that this field and particle existed, physicists at the LHC announced in July 2012 that it is a sure bet and it is the Higgs boson.

A little bubble of what one might think as an ‘alternative’ universe is likely to replace the present.(Reuters)

God’s particle as it is called in popular parlance gave us a chance to make this earth as we know it today. President Obama is hinting of’ sequestering by a meat a cleaver’ may not be the ideal to save the nation’s economic health. Well calculations of partisan politics whether in Capitol Hill or in Tunisia will not mean a straw. 

Is it some poetic justice where 1% of the US has cornered all the nation’s wealth and the GOP is still filibustering with an eye for tax cuts for the super rich? Just as Higgs Boson particles gave mass to our universe and these shall be taken away. When or why may not be for us to predict. Perhaps St. Paul may prove to be right about death afterall!

Death as we know the term shall be swallowed up in victory. (1Co15:54)  The Preacher of the old cried,’Vanity oh vanities!'(ack: clara moskovitz/LiveScience.com and Reuters)


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