Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Lawsuits against pharmacy that allegedly caused meningitis

Lawsuits are mounting in Michigan as more and more residents who came down with meningitis come forward. The outbreak has been linked to a contaminated steroid manufactured by the New England Compounding Center pharmacy in Massachusetts.

The spate of Michigan lawsuits began Oct. 15, with a class-action on behalf of a 46-year-old woman diagnosed with fungal meningitis after being injected with the steroid. This case was the third such lawsuit filed in the nation, and the first in Michigan. Since then, at least five more lawsuits have been filed in Michigan against the pharmacy, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Negligence claims may not have too tough a time succeeding, thanks to some new information brought to light by state documents collected by the Associated Press through a public records request. According to the documents, in 2006 outside investigators found New England Compounding Center’s facilities to be inadequate, with poor contamination control and no written standard procedures for using equipment. The House Committee on Energy and Commerce is now seeking almost 10 years’ worth of safety documents from the pharmacy.

CBS News reports that as of Tuesday, 297 people had been infected with meningitis, and 23 had died.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Country Singer Jason Aldean Admits to Cheating Scandal and Apologizes

This is a country song waiting to happen.

Photos of crooner Jason Aldean getting close with someone who was not his wife, Jessica Ussery, hit the Internet today. And instead of pleading the fifth, Aldean came clean about the cheating scandal and apologized.

Arnold Schwarzenegger confesses to having an affair with Brigitte Nielsen "Hey Guys—I wanted to talk to you directly, so you were hearing the truth from me and not just reading allegations made about my personal life on gossip web sites," Aldean wrote on his Facebook page.

"The truth is that I screwed up. I had too much to drink, let the party get out of hand and acted inappropriately at a bar. I left alone, caught the bus to our next show and that's the end of the story. I ultimately ended up embarrassing my family and myself.

I'm not perfect, and I'm sorry for disappointing you guys. I really appreciate being able to work through this privately with my family and for all your continued support."

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Ron Palillo Dies at 63; Played Horshack on TV

Ron Palillo, who portrayed the goofy high school underachiever Arnold Horshack in the hit 1970s sitcom “Welcome Back, Kotter” with such definitive oddballness that he had trouble for years afterward finding work as an actor, died on Tuesday in West Palm Beach, Fla. He was 63.

The apparent cause was a heart attack, said his agent, Scott Stander.

“I know him, love what he does, not right for the part,” Mr. Palillo said in a 1997 newspaper interview, repeating what he said was the mantra of every casting director he met after his years on “Kotter,” which was on ABC from 1975 to 1979. “Everybody thought of me as Arnold Horshack. I resented Horshack for so many years.”

Saturday, June 23, 2012

LeBron James Completes NBA Ascendancy With Title in Miami

June 22 (Bloomberg) -- Tim Duncan took LeBron James aside after the San Antonio Spurs swept the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2007 National Basketball Association Finals and told James the league would soon be his.

While it may have taken longer than expected by many -- including Duncan, a two-time NBA Most Valuable Player and three- time NBA Finals MVP -- James now sits at the sport’s pinnacle after capturing his first championship with the Miami Heat.

Nine years after turning professional out of high school and two seasons into his move to Miami, James’s All-Star resume finally includes an NBA title, after the Heat upset the Oklahoma City Thunder 121-106 last night.

“It’s about damn time,” James said at the trophy presentation after being named Most Valuable Player of the Finals.

James pledged to produce multiple titles when he left the Cavaliers and signed with the Heat as a free agent in 2010. Last night’s victory to clinch the best-of-seven Finals 4-1 was his first step in delivering on that promise and may have also furthered his global brand.

James at 27 is younger than Michael Jordan was when he captured the first of his six NBA titles over an eight-year stretch. Jordan, the Hall of Fame player with whom James has most often been compared, was 28 and in his seventh season when he and the Chicago Bulls broke through in 1991.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Seattle takes chance on undersized QB Russell Wilson in 3rd round; takes LB Wagner in 2nd

RENTON, Wash. — Finally, Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks took a draft pick that everyone knew.

And yet there were still questions about what drafting Russell Wilson in the third round on Friday night might mean for the Seahawks.

Seattle took Wilson, the star QB that led Wisconsin to the Rose Bowl last season, with the 75th overall pick in third-round, after addressing another need by taking Utah State linebacker Bobby Wagner in the second round. The Seahawks are hopeful that Wagner’s huge production at a smaller college will carry over into the NFL and he can develop into their starting middle linebacker of the future.

While Wagner will have the more immediate impact, it’s the selection of Wilson that grabbed attention.

“We think more than anybody else that was alive in the draft, this guy gives you the chance to have a great player,” Carroll said of Wilson. “It’s going to be really exciting to see what he can bring. All he’s ever done is be great. And the way he finished at Wisconsin last year with the great finishing efforts, the extraordinary ability to control a game, and then knowing what kind of kid he is and the great all-around athleticism he has, he’s just a fantastic chance for us to take.”

Quarterback was an offseason theme for Seattle. The Seahawks signed Matt Flynn, one of the hottest free agents, to a three-year deal in March. Last season’s starter, Tarvaris Jackson, has one year remaining on his contract and won over much of the Seahawks locker room by playing through a painful pectoral injury for more than half the season. The Seahawks were also high on young undrafted free agent Josh Portis, who was the No. 3 quarterback for most of last season.

But Carroll and general manager John Schneider have said since they arrived that they will look every year at adding a quarterback in the draft. And even though his height was a deterrent for some, it’s hard to argue against Wilson’s production.

After starring at North Carolina State, giving pro baseball a brief try and eventually ending up at Wisconsin, Wilson was one of the best QBs in the country last season. He set the NCAA record for pass efficiency for Wisconsin with a 191.8 rating, while throwing for 33 touchdowns against just four interceptions. He led Wisconsin to the Big Ten title and a spot in the Rose Bowl, where he threw for two touchdowns and ran for another in the Badgers’ 45-38 loss to Oregon.

The concerns about Wilson seemed to be solely based on his height. He measured just shy of 5-foot-11 at the NFL combine, but questions about Wilson’s height followed him to North Carolina State, then to Wisconsin and now to the NFL with the Seahawks.

This is the highest Seattle has drafted a quarterback since taking Rick Mirer with the No. 2 overall pick in the 1993 draft. Wilson had lengthy conversations with Schneider and Carroll at the Senior Bowl and could tell the Seahawks were very interested.

“I knew I had the talent. The only knock on me was my height. I think the main thing was just showing teams through my film that I could really play,” Wilson said.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Jack Robinson

Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson (January 31, 1919 – October 24, 1972) was an American baseball player who became the first black Major League Baseball (MLB) player of the modern era. [1] Robinson broke the baseball color line when he debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. As the first black man to play in the major leagues since the 1880s, he was instrumental in bringing an end to racial segregation in professional baseball, which had relegated black players to the Negro leagues for six decades. [2] The example of his character and unquestionable talent challenged the traditional basis of segregation, which then marked many other aspects of American life, and contributed significantly to the Civil Rights Movement. [3][4] In addition to his cultural impact, Robinson had an exceptional baseball career. Over ten seasons, he played in six World Series and contributed to the Dodgers' 1955 World Championship. He was selected for six consecutive All-Star Games from 1949 to 1954, [5] was the recipient of the inaugural MLB Rookie of the Year Award in 1947, and won the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 1949—the first black player so honored. [6] Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. In 1997, Major League Baseball retired his uniform number, 42, across all major league teams. Robinson was also known for his pursuits outside the baseball diamond. He was the first black television analyst in Major League Baseball, and the first black vice-president of a major American corporation. In the 1960s, he helped establish the Freedom National Bank, an African-American-owned financial institution based in Harlem, New York. In recognition of his achievements on and off the field, Robinson was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Review of tablets for kids

Since the advent of the game-changing Apple iPad early in 2010, tablet computers have been one of the hottest electronics products on the market. Much as adults love them, though, children may just love them even more, as tablet-owning parents can verify.
Toy makers have taken note as well, and this year several companies—Fisher-Price, LeapFrog, and Vtech—have come out with tablet-like toys that feature at least some of the capabilities of real tablets, albeit in less sophisticated, less expensive form. They’re each built of hard plastic that feels as though it’ll take a fair amount of abuse. You’ll find such features as touch screens, music players, cameras and video recorders, and photo-editing apps.
We purchased three of these toy tablets and tested them in our lab and with children within the manufacturer-recommended age ranges to see how well they work—and whether kids will actually settle for toy versions of the real thing. Our conclusion: The child tablets have fewer features than standard tablets, but their learning apps and child-friendly content make them ideal for children. Children can have fun with the toy tablets, particularly the LeapPad. But they may still clamor to play with your responsive, feature-rich tablets and smart phones.
There is also the Vinci Tab (from Vinci), an Android tablet that’s customized for toddlers and young children. It’s quite a bit more expensive than the toy tablets—ours cost $480—and though it lacks wireless-Web capability, it has specs and features comparable to “grownup” tablets. We acquired the Vinci Tab, curious as to whether it’s really worth the extra money. Our conclusion here is that the Vinci didn’t really deliver for the price.
The child-tablet companies make various “learning” claims for their products. Each tablet includes media such as interactive storybooks that read aloud and let children click on words and other elements, spelling and counting games, and creative activities, and more can be purchased as downloads or add-on cartridges. (We aren’t evaluating the educational efficacy of the tablets in this report.)
The toy tablets each have a modest price, at least compared with prices of standard tablets, which can cost as much as $800—but of course, don’t expect the same functionality. And each one requires parental help with adding content or media, especially the Vinci, which has a younger target audience than the others.
All the child tablets can be connected to a PC for new content downloads and software upgrades and to transfer media onto and off the devices. The LeapFrog LeapPad also syncs with the company’s Learning Path website, so parents can check up on what their children are playing and how well they’re doing. Vtech has a similar site that keeps track of kids’ activities on its InnoTab.
Each tablet has a color touch screen display and features at least a few preloaded learning games and apps; you can add to your content by downloading more or buying insertable cartridges. All the devices but the LeapFrog have a memory card slot for additional storage, all but the Vinci have a headphone jack and stylus, and all use four AA batteries, except for the Vinci, which has a built-in rechargeable battery. None of the models have wireless Web connectivity.
Finally, to a greater or lesser extent, all the tablets require parental participation to get new content onto the devices, set up profiles, sync for updates, and so on. So parents, be prepared to help out, at least initially.