Latest Gifts for the techies - 2011

Don't scale down this holiday season. The Withings Wi-Fi Body Scale not only measures your weight, fat mass, lean mass and body-mass index, but will then transmit that data to your an app on your smartphone and chart it out for you. Just what you need after a big meal. $159.00, Withings.com.

Latest Gifts for the techies - 2011

It's not the size of the speakers that matters. The Jawbone Jambox portable wireless speaker delivers crystal clear sound with an output of up to 85 decibels, enough to fill the largest of New York apartments. 199.99, Jawbone.com

Latest Gifts for the techies - 2011

It's time to stop plugging your camera into your computer. The new Eye-Fi memory card has built in wi-fi capabilities that will tranfer photos and videos wirelessly straight from your digital camera straight to your smartphone, iPad or computer. $47.99 - $79.99, JR.com.

Latest Gifts for the techies - 2011

See without being seen, that's the goal of the Spy Net Video Glasses, which can record up to 20 minutes of video with sound. Perfect for the budding young spy in all of us. $29.99, Target.com.

Latest Gifts for the techies - 2011

Make your Skype/GChat experience a pleasurable one with the comfortable Logitech Wireless Headset H800, which connects to all devices via bluetooth and features a built-in equalizer. $99.99, amazon.com.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

With Christian Bale hanging up his cape, who will be the next Batman?

CHRISTIAN BALE stars as Batman in Warner Bros. PicturesÕ action adventure ÒBatman Begins.Ó PHOTOGRAPHS TO BE USED SOLELY FOR ADVERTISING, PROMOTION, PUBLICITY OR REVIEWS OF THIS SPECIFIC MOTION PICTURE AND TO REMAIN THE PROPERTY OF THE STUDIO. NOT FOR SALE OR REDISTRIBUTION.

Christian Bale, who helped revive the Batman franchise, says he will no longer star as the caped crusader.

The identity of The Caped Crusader may remain a mystery to the citizens of fictional Gotham, but fans of the Batman franchise are clamoring to find out who’ll don the iconic mask next.

Christian Bale, 37, recently told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that the upcoming “Dark Knight Rises” film will be his last, and that his decision to pull the plug on “that Batman era” stemmed from a need to move beyond the comic-book action flicks and onto other projects.

“I wrapped a few days ago, so that will be the last time I’m taking that cowl off,” he said. “I believe that the whole production wrapped yesterday, so it’s all done.

“Everything’s finished. . . . That will be the end of that Batman era.”

But while the English actor moves on to other things — he is set to star in Zhang Yimou’s China-set period drama “The Flowers of War” — a new Hollywood hunk will need to step in and take his place.

Here are a few potential industry heavyweights who just might be able to fill Bale’s rubber-clad shoes:

RYAN GOSLING

The of-the-moment sensitive guy (and unjustly snubbed for People’s Sexiest Man Alive title, according to fans who picketed outside the magazine’s office) can do no wrong. He loves his dog, George, stops fights in the middle of the East Village, and has a perpetual boyish smirk that does well both on and off the red carpet. Bulked up and suited up, he could make a smooth transition from super-cute to superhero.

CHRIS PINE

If nothing else, Pine has the intense gaze and jawline to pull off a brooding Bruce Wayne. And after his turn as Kirk in “Star Trek,” Pine has garnered the kind of clout in action films that will pardon him from career choices like “Just My Luck” opposite Lindsay Lohan.

HUGH DANCY

Claire Danes has a knack for darker, thoughtful roles, and her husband is no different. Dancy, who most recently starred in “Martha Marcy May Marlene” opposite new indie wunderkind Elizabeth Olsen, can shift between subtlety and straight-man almost seamlessly, and his natural charm will likely make for one dashing vigilante. 

Justin Bieber wears $1,650 Christmas ‘sweater’ on ‘Today’ show

 	Justin Bieber performs live on the ‘Today’ show's concert series.

Justin Bieber performs live on the ‘Today’ show's concert series.

Justin Bieber wore what looked like a hokey Christmas sweater during a live performance on Wednesday — but it wasn’t anything a grandma knitted.

The teen pop star crooned holiday ditties along with singing superstar Usher on the “Today” show in a $1,650 red and cream snowflake-patterned sweater coat by designer Junya Watanabe, reports the Huffington Post.

 The Fair Isle Varsity Jacket boasts wool and leather and jaunty brown buttons, according to Mr. Porter, a website that sells upscale men’s clothing.

“Blending the 1950s Americana of the varsity jacket with the tactile, heritage appeal of a Fair Isle knit, with a pleasingly modern result, this jacket is both a fashion statement and stylish enough to look good for years to come,” the site boasts. 

To boost male fertility, cut back on coffee, eat more fruit

A new study suggests men eat a diet high in fruit and grains and low in coffee, alcohol, and red meat.

A new study suggests men eat a diet high in fruit and grains and low in coffee, alcohol, and red meat.

To enhance male fertility during IVF treatments, a new study suggests men eat a diet high in fruit and grains and low in coffee, alcohol, and red meat.

The Brazilian study looked at 250 men undergoing a type of fertility treatment with their partners known as intracytoplasmic sperm injection, an in vitro fertilization procedure in which a single sperm is injected into an egg.

Researchers discovered that men who drank alcohol and coffee and ate a poor diet were less likely to conceive. Being overweight also contributed to lower sperm concentration and motility, and smoking affected sperm motility.

"In contrast, eating more cereal grains was associated with improved sperm concentration and motility," writes American health publication Third Age on the study on Tuesday. "Fruit was linked to a speed and agility boost in sperm."

The study, from the Fertility-Assisted Fertilization Center in Sao Paolo, was published online in the journal Fertility and Sterility on November 11.

Another recent Harvard University study found that a diet of trans-fat laden junk food can render otherwise healthy young men infertile.

Foods that have previously been shown to boost men's fertility include eggs, salmon, natural yogurt, nuts, seeds, berries, sweet potatoes, broccoli, and asparagus. 

Exercise modifies the brain to help weight loss-study report

Young man running in countryside.

When exercise is added to a weight-loss diet, treatment of obesity is more successful than adjusting diet alone, according to a Harvard study.

Start exercising and your brain will want to help you lose weight.

A study examining the neuro-relationship between exercise and diet has found that in addition to fostering healthy eating habits, exercise also increases people’s sensitivity to signs of fullness and satiety and helps overcome food temptations.

According to a Harvard study published for the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology, when exercise is added to a weight-loss diet, treatment of obesity is more successful than adjusting diet alone, said researcher Miguel Alonso Alonso.

Adding exercise to the program also helped weight loss subjects adhere to the diet for the long haul.

The study, based on data from epidemiological studies and announced November 23, found that one of the key factors in successful weight loss is a cognitive function known as inhibitory control, the ability to resist a strong inclination or temptation -- like overeating -- and do what is most appropriate or needed.

According to Alonso, living in an obesogenic environment -- an environment that promotes weight gain -- presents a constant barrage of stresses on these neuro-cognitive resources, leading to impaired judgement and facilitating impulses to overeat, he said.

Exercise, however, helps improve the brain’s executive functions and overcome these strains, he said.

Past studies have also shown that exercise -- in the form of table tennis -- helped children with developmental coordination disorder to improve their inhibitory control.

Meanwhile, according to fitness experts polled by WebMD.com, the most effective exercises for losing weight include walking, interval training, squats, lunges, push-ups, ab crunches and the bent-over row -- exercises that either target multiple muscle groups, are suitable for different fitness levels or help burn calories more effectively. 

WiFi may damage sperm quality: Study

Man lying on sofa, working on laptop computer.

Man lying on sofa, working on laptop computer.

WiFi technology may cause a major handicap for men hoping to build a family: sperm damage.

A team of Argentine scientists led by Conrado Avendano of the Nascentis Center for Reproductive Medicine in Cordoba found that placing drops of semen from healthy men under a laptop connected wirelessly to the Internet kills or maims the little swimmers.

The scientists reported their findings this month in the medical journal Fertility and Sterility.

After four hours next to the WiFi-connected computer, 25% of the sperm had stopped moving and nine percent showed DNA damage.

By comparison, semen kept at the same temperature but away from the computer showed just a 14% drop in mobility and only 3% suffered DNA damage.

Semen placed under the computer without the WiFi connected did not experience significant levels of sperm damage, the study says.

Avendano blames the discrepancy on the electromagnetic radiation emitted by wireless communication.

"Our data suggest that the use of a laptop computer wirelessly connected to the Internet and positioned near the male reproductive organs may decrease human sperm quality," Avendano and his team wrote in this month's article, Reuters reports.

The study is not the first to sound an alarm over the potential of mobile communications technology to undermine sperm health.

A Canadian study reported last year also found evidence indicating that wireless radiation caused DNA damage in sperm.

Computers also wreck havoc on semen just by being hot.

A 2004 American study found that placing a portable computer on the user's lap could boost scrotum temperature by nearly three degrees. Scientists have established that heat damages sperm. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What To Do If You're In An Accident

Drive long enough and the odds are pretty good that you'll be in an accident eventually. No matter how vigilant and aware of your surroundings you are, some other driver isn't and will create a situation where your vehicles collide. So what are you supposed to do after you've been in an accident? What do you need to do to protect yourself and to make sure that you and your vehicle are taken care of?

1) Be Safe

If the accident is minor and the cars are still working, move them out of the main flow of traffic. Every year you hear stories of fender benders that turn into something worse because another vehicle hits the stopped cars, so make sure to put out road flares and reflective warning signs, even if you are on the side of the road. Unless the cars are disabled there's no reason to not move them to a safer location to continue the process - this protects the cars and you.

2) Exchange Information

Get the other person's personal and insurance information. If the person that was driving wasn't the person that owned the vehicle be sure to find out the relationship between them (friend, family, etc) and get the owner's information as well. Be polite, and never admit fault, even if you believe it to be yours.

3) Document What Happened

Take down notes of your account of the incident while they are fresh in your mind. Take pictures of the vehicles, the damage, and where the accident happened if you can do so safely. If there were any witnesses to the accident be sure to get their information as well, as they can be helpful if there's a dispute over what happened.

3) File A Report

Depending on where you are, and their current priorities, the police may not be able to send an officer to the scene of your accident for a statement and to file a report. If that's the case, be sure to file one on your own with the police department as your insurance company may use it as a reference.

4) Call Your Insurer

Once you've returned home be sure to call your insurance company. They'll want the information you gathered from the other driver as well as information about the accident. This process will be easier if you know what coverage you have, so it doesn't hurt to look that up before making the call.

5) Don't Be Afraid to Get a Lawyer

You may not need a lawyer. If the accident is minor, insurance agrees to cover the damages, and there are no injuries, it's fair to assume everything will be taken care of and there's no need to involve lawyers. If, however, there are disputes about who is at fault, or if the accident was severe and there are injuries, especially lingering ones that will require extended care, it may be necessary to retain the services of a personal injury attorney. Remember that just because you contact an attorney doesn't mean you have to go to court, so there's no harm in at least reaching out to make sure you're protected and that you will be taken care of in the long term, not being brushed aside by the insurance company making a quick offer to settle. Call personal injury lawyer for consultation at 877 824 0343/866 943 0897/877 855 3715 

 

IRS Tax settlement - Perfect Tax Relief

Internal Revenue Services, or commonly known as IRS, is a tax collection agency that implements harsh actions and penalties on the people who turn out to be tax evaders. If you are in a condition that you have to deal with IRS, then you should consider some professional help. The help can be sought at Internet as there are many online tax help firms that help you solve your tax related problems. These agencies have highly qualified professionals that can solve your IRS tax problems. These individuals, apart from filling your income tax return, will also help by speaking on your behalf and negotiate with federal officials to increase your tax rebate.

If you are planning to deal with IRS on your own, then it can be very disturbing and difficult.

When you get to know that you have taxes that are overdue and you will not be able to repay them on time, then you might start accumulating late charges and other funds as penalties. It is very important to take control of unpaid taxes as these can get out of control very quickly.

If you are determined to work on your tax issues on your own, then you have to deal with IRS and work out on payment arrangements. It should be noted that IRS is an agency that is very strict with its policies and is very rigid to any change.

The most important thing that is required while dealing with IRS is honesty. You have to trustful and should not lie in any case. Any lie spoken, will be caught and you will put to adverse penalties. Honesty is the only policy that can help you go further and can help you plan an action through which you can pay back the money that you owe to IRS.

You should keep in mind that it is very difficult to reduce your tax debt on your own. You should use a tax debt relief specialist, as he will help you all along the process.

There are many complicated issues, which you may encounter while dealing with IRS and there are many paper filling that needs proper assistance.

So if you are looking for a professional attorney to work on your IRS related Tax debt relief, then these are some factors that should be kept in mind:

- The attorney that you are hiring should have years on experience and should be a specialist in the related field.

- If needed, you can take references from other lawyers to find the best-suited lawyer.

IRS tax debt relief is something that can be handled in many different ways. If you are dealing with your debt on your own, then it is very necessary to make proper preparations. But a professional help is always suggested. In case if you are in the middle of the discussion with IRS, then also you can hire an attorney as in such cases the IRS stops and reschedules the discussion.

Allied State is a full service tax firm that handles all types of Tax Litigation and Controversy matters. They offer professional tax negotiation services to candidates who wish to find a way to a tax settlement with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). For more information call : 888 654 1884/888 653 0957

 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Holiday shopping season - 7 tips to beat buyer's remorse

SENDER: "Dominguez, Robert"

It's easy to overspend when you’re caught up in the spirit of holiday shopping.

It’s even easier to do so without a budget in place, and come January, when the rent is due and credit card bills start piling up, you’ll be suffering from more than a hangover.

This can easily be avoided, though. Not only should you evaluate your finances and assign a strict budget for spending on gifts and seasonal extras, you should learn to avoid common purchase pitfalls that land many shoppers in holiday-buying remorse.

1) Tempting sales signs that lead to impulse buys

Just as important as a budget is knowing what you plan to buy every time you enter a store. This will keep you from overspending on unnecessary items.

Make a list and go over it twice before checking out, to avoid impulse buys. Don’t let sale signs tempt you into spending more than you planned.

2 )Overlooking return/exchange policies

When the shopping gets going, we forget to read return and exchange policies, which can lead to sticky situations and a waste of money.

While some stores extend their return-policy period, most require a gift receipt and may only allow in-store exchanges.

There are also retailers that charge a restocking fee, so it’s always important to read or ask a sales clerk about the return policies before making a purchase.

3) Falling for misleading markdowns

Some retailers have been known to inflate original prices of merchandise to make markdowns look like a better value. Do your homework and research prices of specific goods you plan to buy so you don’t get fooled by false discounts.

4) Missing coupons

Retailers release coupons throughout the holiday season. Be sure not to overlook added discounts, be they from circulars, social media and even your mobile device.

Download CouponSherpa’s free mobile coupon app to get in-store coupons on your phone so you never miss out.

5) Not pricing the competition

Retailers are in fierce competition mode, which means they’re fighting for sales and using various gimmicks to win you over.

Stores have beefed up price-matching policies and some, like Sears and Home Depot, not only guarantee to match the lower price at another store, they will give you an added 10% off.

Though this is great for saving money, you need to do your homework, otherwise you could end up overpaying for an item that’s cheaper next door.

6) Don’t assume discounts are applied

Many retailers hire seasonal sale clerks to help with the holiday shopping rush. Many may not be ready to take on the masses, and checkout mistakes can occur.

Always review your receipt to ensure discounts were applied so that you don’t overspend.

7) Filling up on cheap checkout-aisle extras

There’s a reason checkout aisles are stocked with cheap goods: It’s the retailer’s last chance to get you to spend more before leaving the store.

Those inexpensive items are much more tempting when priced under $10. During busy shopping days, many shoppers sift through the stash while waiting in long lines.

However, purchasing a few of such extras at every store is a quick way to rachet up your holiday bill. 

Black Friday looks to be a bigger deal than ever - Stores across the country will likely be packed with plenty more bargain hunters this year

It was a 4 a.m. rush hour for most Black Friday shoppers last year. Photo by AP

It was a 4 a.m. rush hour for most Black Friday shoppers last year.

Black Friday shoppers, get ready to sharpen those elbows.

Stores across the country will likely be packed with plenty more bargain hunters on this year’s big holiday-season buying weekend, according to a new survey by the National Retail Federation.

With a growing number of major retailers planning to open earlier than ever on Black Friday — midnight on Nov. 25, which will mark the official start of the holiday shopping season — stores and malls will have up to 10% more frenzied consumers than last year jamming aisles and looking for great deals, the NRF said.

Up to 152 million people plan to shop the weekend after Thanksgiving, either at stores or online — about 14 million more than the 138 million who planned to do so in 2010.

“We are fully expecting Black Friday to be a very big day for shoppers this year,” said National Retail Federation spokeswoman Kathy Grannis .

“Typically in an economic downturn, shoppers look to this weekend to really make a dent in their holiday shopping lists because the deals are so good, and the midnight openings are a direct result of retailers responding to consumer demand,” Grannis said.

Several national chains with New York-area stores, including Best Buy, Macy’s, Target and Kohl’s, are letting customers in at midnight for the first time rather than the 4 or 5 a.m. Black Friday openings of the past.

Toys “R” Us and Wal-Mart are opening even earlier — 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., respectively, on Thanksgiving night.

The survey also found that shoppers are increasingly using social media sites to hunt for bargains. More than 17% will monitor retailers’ Facebook pages, while 11.3% will visit group-buying deal sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial. 

Black Friday looks to be a bigger deal than ever - Stores across the country will likely be packed with plenty more bargain hunters this year

It was a 4 a.m. rush hour for most Black Friday shoppers last year. Photo by AP

It was a 4 a.m. rush hour for most Black Friday shoppers last year.

Black Friday shoppers, get ready to sharpen those elbows.

Stores across the country will likely be packed with plenty more bargain hunters on this year’s big holiday-season buying weekend, according to a new survey by the National Retail Federation.

With a growing number of major retailers planning to open earlier than ever on Black Friday — midnight on Nov. 25, which will mark the official start of the holiday shopping season — stores and malls will have up to 10% more frenzied consumers than last year jamming aisles and looking for great deals, the NRF said.

Up to 152 million people plan to shop the weekend after Thanksgiving, either at stores or online — about 14 million more than the 138 million who planned to do so in 2010.

“We are fully expecting Black Friday to be a very big day for shoppers this year,” said National Retail Federation spokeswoman Kathy Grannis .

“Typically in an economic downturn, shoppers look to this weekend to really make a dent in their holiday shopping lists because the deals are so good, and the midnight openings are a direct result of retailers responding to consumer demand,” Grannis said.

Several national chains with New York-area stores, including Best Buy, Macy’s, Target and Kohl’s, are letting customers in at midnight for the first time rather than the 4 or 5 a.m. Black Friday openings of the past.

Toys “R” Us and Wal-Mart are opening even earlier — 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., respectively, on Thanksgiving night.

The survey also found that shoppers are increasingly using social media sites to hunt for bargains. More than 17% will monitor retailers’ Facebook pages, while 11.3% will visit group-buying deal sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial. 

Erectile dysfunction risk seen in men who take several medications

The more medications a man took, the more likely he was to experience erectile dysfunction, according to a recent study.

The more medications a man took, the more likely he was to experience erectile dysfunction, according to a recent study.

Erectile dysfunction may not just be a fact of aging — it may have to do with how many medications you’re taking.

The more medications a man took, the more likely he was to experience erectile dysfunction, according to a study published in the British Journal of Urology.

In fact, taking multiple medications put a man at higher risk of ED than old age.

Some medications, including beta blockers, anti-depressants and other anxiety medications have already been shown to cause sexual side effects.

A study of men from Southern California took prescription drugs as well as over-the-counter medications into account when asking them about their erectile dysfunction.

Researchers discovered that the more medications a man took, the more severe his ED was likely to be.

About 30% of men taking 10 or more medications had severe ED, compared with just 6.9% of patients who took two or fewer medications.

“We don’t recognize how much these medications do effect subtle changes in ED,” Dr. Andrew Kramer, a urologist at the University of Maryland Medical Center, told MSNBC. “And even slight changes in erectile function can have an impact on a man’s sexual activity.

“It doesn’t take much for a guy to notice ED.”

Researchers are recommending that doctors talk to their patients about how many medications they’re taking before handing out prescriptions for Viagra. 

Sexually transmitted diseases seen among bisexual and gay black men is raising high

While syphilis rates fell 1.6% from 2009 to 2010, the rate among young black men rose 134% since 2006, according to the recently released data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While syphilis rates fell 1.6% from 2009 to 2010, the rate among young black men rose 134% since 2006, according to the recently released data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Of the 19 million people that were diagnosed this year with a sexually transmitted disease, one population has been hit the hardest — young, gay and bisexual black men.

While syphilis rates fell 1.6% from 2009 to 2010, the rate among young black men rose 134% since 2006, according to the recently released data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

HIV infections are also spiking within this population.

St. Louis Health Director Pam Walker told CBS News KMOX that of the 400 new cases of gonorrhea and 126 new cases of chlamydia she’s been seeing, 90% are African-Americans between the ages of 15 and 24.

Walker believes online meetups are a serious culprit.

“You don’t have to spend a week in a bar to find somebody you’re comfortable with,” she said, “People are doing it online and they’re doing it faster.”

Across all populations, the rate of chlamydia has steadily increased to 1.3 million cases in 2010.

Researchers believe the rise is due to better screening and more patients being propertly diagnosed.

Blacks and Hispanics are more affected by STDs than whites. This is likely due to social and economic factors — such as low income and lack of access to health care.

Half of sexually transmitted diseases are being spread among the young, according to the CDC.

Young people represent 25% of sexually active people in the U.S. but account for nearly half of new STD cases.

Treating sexually transmitted diseases costs the U.S. $17 billion annually. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

New York tops best bars list; The complete list of the World's 50 Best Bars

Cocktail

Drinks International gives cocktail kudos to the Clover Club, PDT, the Pegu Club and other first class NYC watering holes.

New York is dominating the world’s bar scene.

Drinks International, based out of the UK, has publishedits version of the World’s 50 Best Restaurant awards, with the World’s 50 Best Bars list.

From secretive speakeasies that require walking through phone booths, wardrobes and hidden, unmarked doors, editors and bar professionals around the world selected their picks for the best bars around the world.

While New York and London dominate the top 10 list, watering holes from 16 countries are represented along the way, including bars from France, Spain, Denmark, Spain, Japan, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and Russia.

About 100 of the world's top bar professionals contributed to the list which was released last week, including the Playboy Club's Salvatore Calabrese, King Cocktail Dale DeGroff, Esquire's David Wondrich and diamond ice-carver Hidetsugu Ueno. Votes were received from every continent.

Here are the top 50 bars in the world, according to a panel of 100 bar professionals and Drinks International:

1. PDT, New York

2. Connaught, London

3. Artesian, London

4. Death & Co, New York

5. Milk & Honey, London

6. American Bar at the Savoy, London

7. 69 Colebrooke Row, London

8. Drink, Boston 

9. Harry’s New York Bar, Paris

10. Black Pearl, Melbourne, Australia

11. Pegu Club, New York

12. Dry Martini Bar, Barcelona

13. Eau De Vie, Sydney

14. Bramble, Edinburgh

15. Employees Only, New York

16. La Capilla Bar, Mexico

17. Merchant Hotel, Belfast

18. Nightjar, London

19. Smuggler’s Cove, San Francisco

20. Buddha Bar, Paris

21. Skyview Bar, Dubai

22. The Varnish, Los Angeles

23. Tippling Club, Singapore

24. Milk & Honey, New York

25. 878 Bar, Buenos Aires

26. Der Raum, Melbourne

27. Callooh Callay, London

28. Clover Club, New York

29. Door74, Amsterdam

30. Tommy’s, San Francisco

31. Floridita, Havana

32. City Space, Moscow

33. Matterhorn, Wellington, NZ

34. High Five Bar, Tokyo

35. Le Lion, Hamburg

36. LAB, London

37. Boadas, Barcelona

38. Dutch Kills, New York

39. Worship St Whistling Shop, London

40. BarAgricole, San Francisco

41. Papa Doble">Papa Doble, Montpellier

42. Quo Vadis, London

43. Lounge Bohemia, London

44. Mayahuel, New York

45. Mutis, Barcelona

46. Ruby, Copenhagen

47. Rules, London

48. Hemingway Bar, Paris

49. Zuma, Dubai

50. Star Bar, Tokyo

 

Tea made from panda feces expected to be most expensive brew in the world

 	epa02238386 A panda approaches an icy birthday cake at the Shanghai Safari Park in Shanghai, China, on 06 July 2010. People hold a celebration for two pandas born after the Sichuan Earthquake. Ten young pandas from Sichuan are in the park in a mission to entertain tourists during the World Expo. EPA/Liu Xingzhe

Pandas snack on bamboo, which contains an element that can prevent cancer.

The world’s most expensive cup of tea is packed with cancer-fighting elements, but it’s not without a stomach-turning catch — the tea leaves get a boost from panda feces.

Wildlife expert An Yashi is launching the special blend of green tea, which could cost up to $36,000 per pound, Australia’s SBC.com reported.

Yashi, a college lecturer at Sinchuan University, said using panda excrement to fertilize the tea plants has a health-promoting upside because it contains nutrients from one of the bear’s favorite meals — bamboo.

“Pandas have a very poor digestive system and only absorb about 30 percent of everything they eat: that means their excrement is rich in fibers and nutrients,” said Yashi, noting that those nutrients make their way into the tea through the fertilization process.

“Just like green tea, bamboo contains an element that can prevent cancer — and enhance green tea’s anti-cancer effects — if it is used as fertilizer for the tea.”

Yashi, who collects the dung at a panda breeding center in southern China, said he hopes the tea will snag him a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records once it’s released.

But he’s not the first to use feces to fertilize tea plants. Kopi Luwak, the world’s most expensive coffee, is made from droppings of the Indonesian civet cat. 

Women suffer quicker brain damage from alcohol abuse: study

Women suffer a 50-percent reduction in the so-called serotonin function in their brain after four years of excessive drinking.

Women suffer a 50-percent reduction in the so-called serotonin function in their brain after four years of excessive drinking.

Women alcoholics suffer damage to the part of their brain that controls moods, impulses and sleep three times faster than their male counterparts, a Swedish study showed Wednesday.

Women suffer a 50-percent reduction in the so-called serotonin function in their brain after four years of excessive drinking, while men show the same amount of damage after 12 years of alcohol abuse, according to the study by researchers at Gothenburg University.

"The impairment is progressing much faster in women," explained Kristina Berglund, who conducted the study with colleagues from the university's Department of Psychology, as well as two researchers at the faculty of Health Sciences, known as the Sahlgrenska Academy.

Serotonin is a brain neurotransmitter that is. among other things. critical to the development and treatment of depression and chronic anxiety.

It also regulates impulse control and our ability to fall asleep and stay awake.

The researchers studied several brain functions of 42 people -- a third of them women -- who admitted to alcohol dependency, along with 28 control subjects.

"We saw that the alcohol dependent individuals had significantly lower serotonin functions," Berglund told AFP.

The women tested said they on average had been drinking the equivalent of about 12 bottles of wine a week for four years, while the men had been drinking the same amount, but for 12 years.

However, "we could see the damage to the serotonin function was equal between men and women," Berglund said.

The results, which are scheduled to be published in the journal of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research in January, had come as a partial surprise to the researchers, she said.

"We were not surprised to find that the serotonin function was impaired in the alcohol-dependent individuals, but we were surprised to see that women were so much more vulnerable, even in the brain," she said.

Ulf Berggren, one of the Sahlgrenska Academy contributors to the study, meanwhile stressed that while the timing was different, men ultimately suffered the same degree of harm to their serotonin function as women.

The study authors acknowledged more research was needed, especially since they had used such a small number of test subjects.

Berglund also said that while the researchers had connected significant serotonin function harm to alcohol abuse, they still needed to look at the psychological impact of the damage.

"We know this function is significantly impaired, but what does this mean? What are the consequences? That's a question that needs answering," she said. 

Consumers shun 'diet' foods in favor of 'zero' and 'smart'

Consumers are getting tired of 'diet' foods and seeking foods with positive messages that deliver more.

Consumers are getting tired of 'diet' foods and seeking foods with positive messages that deliver more.

The term 'diet' on food labels has become increasingly unpopular over the years, with consumers drawn more towards products for the ingredients they contain, rather than what they don’t contain, heard attendees of a virtual weight management conference.

Words like 'zero' and 'smart' are replacing terms like 'low-calorie' and 'low-fat' in labels by savvy marketers, said Tom Vierhile, director of Datamonitor in the US, who noted that the number of new products featuring the word 'diet' has plummeted in the last five years.

"Avoidance-type claims are becoming less popular," Vierhile said. "We’re seeing a big drop in the use of words like diet and dieting and companies are using words like zero which carry less baggage," reported industry publication FoodNavigator-USA which hosted the webinar last week.

A protein shake developed especially for people living with diabetes was used as one example of a successful product and marketing campaign.

Glucerna Hunger Smart Shakes have 15g of protein to help manage hunger and are made with Carb Steady, slowly digestible carbohydrates designed to help minimize blood sugar spikes.

The shakes also contain fiber, 25 vitamins and minerals, and picolinate to help the body’s insulin work more efficiently.

Unlike diet foods, the protein shake is sold on the principle of what the product can do for the consumer, rather than for the ingredients it lacks.

The rising interest in what the industry calls functional foods -- foods that come with health claims -- is prompting companies to come up with a variety of products that pull double duty: satisfy taste buds and deliver a health benefit. While vitamin D-fortified foods like orange juice and milk have become mainstream, cereal manufacturers like Kellogg’s in the UK and bread makers are also adding the vitamin into their products. Artery-cleaning foods have also been touted as the next big trend in functional foods.

Similarly, sales of portion-controlled foods like 100-calorie packs have begun to slow, which will force companies to seek out other weight-management solutions, Vierhile said.

Other ingredients that hold promise in the world of weight management products include Satisfit, a soluble methyl cellulose which forms a gel mass in the stomach and has been shown to linger there for two hours to help with satiety.

Okara is another high-protein, high-fiber pulp which has also been shown to help people feel full longer. 

Congress pushes back on healthier school lunches

Congress is pushing back against the  Obama administration's attempt to make school lunches healthier.

Congress is pushing back against the Obama administration's attempt to make school lunches healthier.

Congress is unraveling the Obama administration's attempt to make school lunches healthier, pushing back against Agriculture Department efforts to limit french fries and pizzas, reduce sodium and boost whole grains on school lunch lines.

A spending bill released late Monday would force the department to drop an attempt to limit servings of potatoes per week, delay proposed limits on sodium and delay a requirement to boost whole grains. The department proposed the standards earlier this year.

 The spending bill also would allow tomato paste on pizzas to be counted as a vegetable, as it is now. The department's proposed guidelines would have attempted to prevent that.

The changes had been requested by food companies that produce frozen pizzas, the salt industry and potato growers. 

Men flock to Brooklyn juice bars for all-natural drinks with names like 'Armageddon' that boost sexual stamina

 	Marlon Edwards whips up a batch of Armageddon, a libido-enhancing energy drink, in his Punch Line Juice Bar in Crown Heights.

Marlon Edwards whips up a batch of Armageddon, a libido-enhancing energy drink, in his Punch Line Juice Bar in Crown Heights.

Forget Viagra. The Armageddon is here.

For men looking for a boost - a virility boost, that is - special concoctions that combine natural aphrodisiacs and health-food ingredients are must-haves on the menu at juice bars across Central Brooklyn.

“A lot of customers out there need help with their sex drive, and they expect us to provide the help,” said Marlon Edwards, a manager of Punch Line Juice Bar in Crown Heights — where a top-selling beverage is a $15, 32-ounce men’s libido enhancer suggestively named Armageddon.

The dictionary definition of Armageddon is a world-ending cataclysm — but it’s also a play on words, Edwards explained. Say it slowly with the right inflection and it sounds like, “I’m-a [gonna\] get it on.”

Potions to improve stamina in the sack are especially popular at juice bars in sections of Crown Heights, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Flatbush where Caribbean immigrants shop.

Half of Punch Line’s customers come from the Caribbean, where men get together on Fridays and Saturdays and mix up virility drinks in their homes, said Edwards, 28, who grew up in Trinidad. Other buyers are Brooklynites who’ve heard their Caribbean friends’ boasts.

Plenty of people come to the Nostrand Ave. shop with one thing on their minds: Sex.

“First-timers walk in and pick the Armageddon off the menu,” Edwards said. “They know by the ingredients what it is. It’s why they’re here.”

It contains bois bande, a tree bark that’s an aphrodisiac, which is soaked in ginseng, a popular energy booster. Sea moss boosts lung power and keeps the joints and back supple. It’s got linseed for heart health, cashews and peanuts for protein and is blended into almond, rice, soy or whole milk, so it goes down smoothly.

Men searching for extra schwing go for straight shots of bois bande, $5 for two ounces, or ask for the Full Clip, a secret recipe that’s not listed on the menu but is a big fave.

“Wives come buy it for their husbands,” he said. It’s $12 for an 8-ounce bottle.

At Bush Doctor, a Bed-Stuy juice bar, the virility booster is by far the most expensive therapeutic drink. Guys go for it anyway.

“They’re willing to pay the price,” said Tiecha Merritt, 41, the owner of the Putnam Ave. shop.

While her popular cold remedy, called witch brew tea, is $5 for a 16-ounce dose, the Gun Shot Reload, a mix of ginseng, Vitamin B12 and other ingredients, goes for $13 for a 5-ounce glass.

“I give it an A-plus-plus,” said customer Joe Isaacs, 35, of Mount Vernon, who buys Gun Shot Reload two or three times a month.

Isaacs, who was born in Guyana, frowns on pill-popping to enhance sexual performance.

“Everybody up here talks about Viagra — we use natural stuff,” he said. 

Police cleared defiant Occupy Wall Street protesters from Zuccotti Park

Lone protester stands stunned as police around her begin dismantling the Occupy Wall Street encampment at Zuccotti Park early Tuesday morning.

Lone protester stands stunned as police around her begin dismantling the Occupy Wall Street encampment at Zuccotti Park early Tuesday morning.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly watches as cops clear out the park.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly watches as cops clear out the park.

The ouster of the occupiers began with a flash of blinding light.

Hundreds of cops in riot gear had been massing in the shadows around Zuccotti Park, encircling with a blue ring of steel the protesters who had been camped there for nearly two months.

Dozens of NYPD Emergency Service Unit trucks had lined South St. near Pike Slip, waiting for the order to move in. Sanitation crews had moved in huge metal bins in anticipation of the cleanup.

Then, shortly before 1 a.m., with Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and Chief of Department Joseph Esposito looking on, the ESU trucks began rumbling down Broadway, their powerful klieg lights illuminating the park like a movie set.

The die was cast.

Blinking in the glare, many of the 200 or so protesters — some roused from their sleep — appeared stunned when police officers with megaphones began ordering them out of the park.

“All property, including personal property, must be removed immediately,” they read from a script. “This is a health hazard. If you refuse to leave the park, you will be subject to arrest.”

Moving at lightning speed, cops flipped over tents in waves to make sure nobody was hiding beneath the tarps. Some of the protesters quickly grabbed their gear and scrammed.

But the hard-core refuseniks — a group of about 150 — moved to the middle of the park, where they locked arms and chanted, “Whose park? Our park” and “We’re not going nowhere.”

They were drowned out by the sound of sanitation crews dismantling the encampment and dragging off mattresses, blankets, tables, chairs and guitars.

“Those who were arrested wanted to be arrested,” said Kelly. “There was an awful lot of taunting and getting into police officers’ faces.”

When it was over, Zuccotti Park was clear for the first time in two months, some 220 people were behind bars, and the NYPD faced fresh criticism from angry protesters who accused them of heavy-handed tactics.

Among those arrested were eight reporters covering the unfolding drama, including one for the Daily News.

Eager to avoid, or at least limit, the violence that other cities experienced while trying to oust Occupy Wall Street demonstrators, the NYPD hatched its own battle plan in secrecy, sources said.

Last Wednesday, several hundred cops took part in crowd control drills on Randalls Island. But the officers who took part in the siege of Zuccotti Park had no inkling anything was afoot until just hours before it happened, sources said.

Most were in the last hour of their shifts when they were ordered to report to lower Manhattan with their “hats and bats,” which is cop-speak for helmets and batons.

Hoping to catch the protesters by surprise, police brass had also kept the community affairs cops who regularly interacted with the protesters in the dark, sources said.

The NYPD chose 1 a.m. to strike because it was the quietest time in the encampment.

Kelly, dressed in a dark suit, crisp white shirt and pink tie, observed — but did not direct — the eviction, sources said.

Before the cops began arresting protesters about 3 a.m., police removed the reporters, so what happened in the ensuing hours is based largely on witness testimony.

Protester Matt Baldwin said the cops went to town on a group of protesters who had lashed themselves together with a rope.

“They bashed their knuckles with the billy clubs and put them on the ground and pulled them out," said Baldwin, 30, of Boston, who escaped with his 26-year-old wife, Liz, as the evictions were underway. “My wife is pregnant; I had to get her out of there.”

Many protesters ran head-long into other police officers who had sealed off the subway stations around the park and cut off all access to the Brooklyn Bridge.

Scuffles broke out between cops and about 100 demonstrators at 1:45 a.m., a block north of the park near the intersection of Broadway and Cortlandt St.

“Shame!” the protesters chanted. “This is a peaceful protest!”

Among those arrested was City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez (D-Manhattan), who was reportedly bleeding from his forehead when he was taken into custody. Kelly said Rodriguez was trying to get through police lines and was unaware he had been hurt.

By 4 a.m., police were still battling a handful of stubborn resisters in the park who refused to give up without a fight, but for all practical purposes, the park was cleared.

Meanwhile, a large group of protesters regrouped in nearby Foley Square and held what they called a General Assembly to decide what to do next.

By 4:30 a.m., another large crowd had gathered at Broadway and Pine St, and the most defiant climbed on police cruisers and dared cops to arrest them. Others let the air out of the cruisers’ tires. Forty minutes later, the police had enough and ordered the crowd to disperse.

When they refused, officers moved in and were bombarded with food, water bottles — and even a wooden plank — by the angry demonstrators, police said.

Those who weren’t arrested retreated to Foley Square. And by 8 a.m., that group was on the move again, this time to a new encampment at Canal St. and Sixth Ave.

As dawn broke, commuters arriving downtown found Zuccotti Park cleared of demonstrators, and several stopped to tell the cops, “Good job.” 

Facebook spam: Site under siege with shocking pornographic and violent images

Young woman using laptop; raising eyebrows; shocked; suprised; Compassionate Eye Foundation/Chris Newton/OJO Images Ltd /Getty

Facebook users are raising eyebrows at a recent wave of shocking spam.Users are unknowingly sharing the X-rated links with fellow members

volley of graphic spam has made some users’ Facebook feeds accidentally scandalous.

The content includes pornographic and violent images that are causing discontent among Facebook users, reports Graham Cluley, a tech consultant at Sophos and a blogger for their Naked Security blog.

Among the disturbing images being circulated is a photo of an abused dog and a Photoshopped image depicting Justin Bieber performing a sex act, reports Cluley.

"It seems highly offensive spam content has successfully spread via Facebook for 24 hours or more," wrote Cluley. "It's precisely this kind of problem which is likely to drive people away from the site. Facebook needs to get a handle on this problem quickly, and prevent it from happening on such a scale again."

On Tuesday, in a statement to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook admitted there was a “coordinated spam attack” that happened because some users were tricked into pasting malicious links into their browsers – which allowed third parties to post X-rated content – without the user knowing it.

“We’ve put in place backend measures to reduce the rate of these attacks and will continue to iterate on our defenses to find new ways to protect people,” a Facebook spokesman told the newspaper.

The spam has been the latest in a spate of public relation missteps for the social media network. Earlier this week, Salman Rushdie blasted Facebook for not allowing him to use Salman – instead requiring to use his first name, Ahmed. They later corrected that decision after Rushdie protested. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Adriana Lima defends extreme Victoria's Secret diet

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09:  Model Adriana Lima walks the runway during the 2011 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show at the Lexington Avenue Armory on November 9, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)

Adriana Lima says now that her 'intense' diet prior to the Victoria's Secret runway show isn't as crazy as the media made it out to be.

Rock-hard abs are a common sight on the Victoria's Secret runway, but the sacrifices that go with attaining them aren't actually as drastic as they seem, according to Adriana Lima.

Prior to the highly anticipated event, Lima told the Daily Telegraph that the days leading up to the show involved a very strict regimen of twice-daily workouts and absolutely no solid foods.

Twelve hours before the show, that intake slimmed down to "no liquids at all, sometimes you can lose up to eight pounds just from that," she'd said.

After the Internet began to buzz about Lima's "crazy" diet," the lovely lingerie model, 30, spoke with E! Canada, explaining that there was a "misunderstanding" about just how intense her diet was.

"I just have an athlete's mind and I appreciate doing this thing," she told E! Online. "It's not that I do crazy diets throughout the year. I just do it for this particular thing. After this show, I become normal again!"

The new mom even made a point to show off her backstage snack while speaking with E! Canada: Coffee, water and a piece of cake.

"I have my Starbucks coffee right there ...it was a misunderstanding," she said.

Lima is particularly anxious to get the message out to impressionable young women that her diet is part of her job, but not a part of a normal healthy lifestyle.

"Those teenagers out there, don't go starving yourself or only drinking liquids," she said. "Don't do that please."

The Victoria's Secret angel even decided to tone down her own pre-show preparations this year.

"This year, even though my diet was intense, I took it a little bit easier on the working out so I won't be as muscular," she said. 

Harry Potter fans bring wizard world to life in Quidditch match

Harry Potter fans 9-year-old James and 11-year-old Gillian Murphy of Massapequa, Long Island at the annual Quidditch World cup on Randall's Island. Over 100 teams face off at the game of Quidditch inspired by the Harry Potter series.

Harry Potter fans 9-year-old James and 11-year-old Gillian Murphy of Massapequa, Long Island at the annual Quidditch World cup on Randall's Island. Over 100 teams face off at the game of Quidditch inspired by the Harry Potter series.

While most Americans were centered on football this weekend, Harry Potter fanatics are crazy about Quidditch.

Ichan Stadium on Randalls Island was transformed into tournament headququarters Saturday, with tents hawking everything from roast turkey legs to magic wands. Fans turned out in droves dressed in their wizarding best.

“It’s awesome. It gives people an excuse to keep the world of Harry Potter alive,” said Chelsea McQuaid, 18, representing U-Mass muggles in a long black wizarding robe with a remote-controlled dragon named Koschei perched on her shoulder.

“This is so cool!” squealed Jay Vogel, 6, the spitting image of the boy wizard in his wire-rim glasses. “I got a broomstick pen, and everything is really good!”

Behind him, the souvenir stand had just sold out of $60 replica broomsticks.

The co-ed sport blending rugby, field hockey and soccer (played on brooms) may not be airborne like in the books and movies, but the league is reaching new heights. The two-day tournament first came to the city last fall, with 46 teams on four fields at DeWitt Clinton Park in Hells Kitchen.

The 2011 festivities kicked off with an opening ceremonial procession presenting the almost 100 teams (including two university divisions and a high school league).

New York’s own NYU club fell to the University of Miami, however, by more than 150 points — but they weren’t admitting defeat.

“We’ve got three more games today, and another [Sunday]," said team captain Sarah Landis. “This cup is still anybody's game.”

New York’s own NYU club fell to the University of Miami, however, by more than 150 points — but they weren’t admitting defeat.

“We’ve got three more games today, and another [Sunday\],” said team captain Sarah Landis. “This cup is still anybody’s game.”

Visit worldcupquidditch.com for more info. 

Cops clear Occupy Wall Street protesters out of Zuccotti Park

 	Police gathered a massive mobilization on Tuesday morning at Zucotti Park

Hundreds of Occupy Wall Street protesters moved to Foley Square in downtown Manhattan Tuesday morning after helmeted, baton-wielding police evicted them from Zuccotti Park overnight.

During a three-hour General Assembly meeting, the demonstrators plotted their possible next moves — including marches on Canal St. or on Wall St.

They also discussed marching to NYPD headquarters or occupying Manhattan Criminal Court in solidarity with the 70 to 100 protesters who were arrested during the raid.

Cleaning crews descended on Zuccotti Park and scrubbed every flat surface while scores of cops kept everyone out with metal barricades.

 
As of 7 a.m., there were no protesters in the park — just employees of Brookfield Properties, which owns the property and asked for the cleanout.

“That was my home,” said Shane Stoops, 23, a protester from Seattle who said he had been at Zuccotti since the dawn of the protest Sept. 17.

“You see all those garbage trucks? That’s where I live now. They took my life...all my clothes, my four-man tent and mattress, all of my books and three years of drawings.”

Mayor Bloomberg said that once the cleaning is finished, the anti-greed movement can return to Zuccotti, but protesters will not be allowed to rebuild their tent city.

“Unfortunately, the park was becoming a place where people came not to protest, but rather to break laws, and in some cases, to harm others,” the mayor said in a statement about five hours after the raid.

“Protesters have had two months to occupy the park with tents and sleeping bags. Now they will have to occupy the space with the power of their arguments.”

The eviction began around 1 a.m. when a horde of cops surrounded the park and used a bullhorn to notify protesters that sanitation trucks would be clearing out the site.

“If you fail to immediately leave the park, you will be subject to arrest," they said.

The protesters were defiant at first, chanting: "Whose park? Our park! No retreat. No surrender!"

"When the cops closed in, people tried to hold on to one another. Cops pulled people out, but we went back in," said Jose Mediaville, 29, a former Marine from Brooklyn. "A white shirt got frustrated. He yelled, 'Come on, let's do this.'

"I tried to avoid them, but they got me. They smashed people in the hands and broke the human chain. They lifted me up and threw me out like a rag doll," he said.

"If they think this is the end of it, they're crazy," Steve Iskovitz, 51, a mental health counselor from Pittsburgh, said. "People will strike back."

Police began tearing up the tents wholesale by about 1:45 a.m. after throwing reporters out of the park and corralling the protesters in the center.

"The police have us surrounded," Tyrone Greenfield, 23, of Brooklyn, said as sanitation workers tossed tents into dumpsters.

One young man wearing a gas mask tore up the notice after a cop handed it to him.

"Everybody stay calm, the police want you to become violent," protesters shouted. "Do not become violent. Pass the message."

One protester, 32, who gave his name as Daryl W, called his mother. "We're about to be raided I just thought I'd let you know I love you bye," he said.

"They don't even obey their own rules," Frank Olivo, Bronx, 21, said. "What they're doing is against the law."

Some protesters sang the Beatles song "Revolution." Helicopters flew noisily overhead.

"I have not broken the law tonight," yelled protester Eamon O'Rourke as cops stuffed him into a squad car.

Occupy Wall Street sent out a message on Twitter that said cops were using pepper spray.

City Council member Ydanis Rodriguez was arrested, and a tweet alleged he was beaten and bleeding.

"They took oaths to protect and serve," Jason Lee, 36 of Brooklyn, said. "They broke that oath tonight. They destroyed what we built. That's tyranny by any definition."

Paul Kostora, head of the medical tent, said he was working with a patient when police pulled him away.

"They pulled me out stethoscope, white coat and all as I was telling them I have a patient in there," he said. "One girl has a heart condition and wasn't feeling well. They manhandled her and threw her on the ground."

By 3:30 a.m., cops had cleared the kitchen area of the park, where protesters had formed a human chain, cuffed those arrested with plastic ties and loaded them in vans.

The showdown came after protesters had vowed to "shut down Wall St." on Thursday to mark two months of occupation. "It's still on. It'll be bigger than ever. People are mobilizing now. They're wounded now and preparing for comeback," said Matt Baldwin. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Penn St. sex abuse scandal forces parents to ask kids tough questions

A group of students at Penn State collect money for childhelpusa.org outside Beaver Stadium before an NCAA college football game against Nebraska Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011 in State College, Pa.

She  is the mother of a 10-year-old boy and they live in a big football town where Saturdays are all about the high school team. The mother is not much of a sports fan, though, and had to call a friend Saturday to find out where she could find the Penn State Nebraska game on television.

“It wouldn’t have dawned on me to ever watch a Penn State football game,” she was saying, “until now.”

She has not followed the story about sexual abuse there, about a coverup that will someday be discussed in this country as a Watergate of sports, as a sports fan. She has only followed it, with growing horror, as a parent. And when the game was over on Saturday, and we had seen these ridiculous pictures of people who seemed to be mourning a football coach and Penn State football more than they were the children who were victimized, she sat down with her son.

“I asked him if he knew what had happened at Penn State, and he said no,” she said. “And then I explained it to him as best as I could, a more specific conversation than we’d ever had on this subject, the one that all parents have as a way of trying to keep their children safe.

“And at the end of it, I told him again that if something bad happens, if you think somebody is ever trying to do something bad, tell me. Tell your father. Tell a teacher. But tell somebody who can do something about it. Really, the conversation was about how you can’t stay silent in the face of evil in the world.”

We only begin to find out about the silences at Penn State, about what kind of coverup they had there, what the people in charge knew and when and why they didn’t do more when first warned that there might be a monster in their midst. Watergate was a small, dumb burglary, but one that eventually threatened the foundations of our government. The crimes at Penn State, against children, are much worse, so much worse that they become another part of American life that makes us all wonder if everything is unraveling in front of our eyes.

On Friday night, the President of the United States said that we can’t merely “rely on bureaucracy and systems in these kinds of situations. People have to step forward, they have to be tapping into just their core decency.”

I first walked into a New York newsroom a long time ago. This is the worst story to come out of sports in my time in the business. And as bad as it is already, it will get worse. The silence at Penn State in the presence of evil has now become a roar much louder than you get at the huge football stadium there, where the tears of the people in the stands Saturday seemed more for Joe Paterno and for one another than for sexually abused children. Then later we saw one of the saddest and dumbest pictures I have ever seen on television, two men kneeling on Paterno’s front lawn as if in prayer. Someday we will find out why years after the first red flags were waved on this Jerry Sandusky, once Paterno’s top assistant, nobody still thought to call a cop after one of Paterno’s graduate assistants saw Sandusky allegedly rape a 10-year-old boy against a shower room wall.

No shout was raised that night, when a child was obviously too scared to cry for help, even when he saw Mike McQueary, the graduate assistant, looking right at him. McQueary waited a day to tell Paterno. Paterno waited another day to tell his athletic director. You know the rest of it, at least what we know of it so far. Now even Tom Corbett, the Pennsylvania governor, says that it was McQueary’s responsibility to intervene that night, to do more than he did.

They all should have done more at Penn State. Shame on all of them. Over time, after the lawyering and spin-doctoring and investigations and trials and lawsuits, we will get some of the answers we seek. And if we find out that there was some kind of coverup at Penn State, if these cowards really were more worried about protecting Penn State football than abused, defenseless children, you tell me why they get to keep playing football at Penn State.

No wonder the Nebraska coach, a decent man named Bo Pelini, wondered out loud why the Penn State-Nebraska game was even played on Saturday.

It was Justice Louis Brandeis who once wrote that “sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants, electric lights the most efficient policeman.” But why did it take so long for the lights to come on at Penn State? We live in a world, because of the evil in it, where we are told constantly that if we see something, it is our duty to say something. How in the world, in the face of evil like this, did all these men lose their voices, and their way, at Penn State? 

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