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From Tom Kraeutler - Home Tips to Keep Trick-or-Treaters Safe This Halloween
From Tom Kraeutler - Home Tips to Keep Trick-or-Treaters Safe This Halloween
October 23, 2014

Make Sure Nothing Goes Bump in the Night

Once trick-or-treaters are on the prowl, the only spooky stuff about the experience should be clever costumes and ghoulish decorations at your doorstep. Take time before the little goblins arrive to make your treat headquarters safe and easy to approach with this Halloween home safety checklist.

Costume Common Sense

Halloween costume safety is a big issue that more and more costume manufacturers are taking into consideration. Whether homemade or store bought, your child's costume should provide 3 things -- adequate ventilation (so they can breathe), vision allowance (so they can see) and range of motion (so they can move freely). Dark Halloween costumes should only be worn in daylight, and if your kids plan to keep trick-or-treating into the night, strict guidelines for territories and curfews should be set to further enhance Halloween safety.

Clear the Way

Have fun with Halloween décor, but ensure that adornments don't interfere with walkways, steps or lighting. If you decide to add some scary fun to stair railings, make sure decorations don't hinder the ability to grab the railings for extra support.

Smooth Out Stumbling Spots

Make sure pathways and lighting fixtures are in good shape for the coming wintry weather. Improve your Halloween home safety by addressing loose bricks, paving stones and uneven areas of walkways, and test bulbs in fixtures. You might also like to install a low-voltage lighting kit to illuminate the approach to your home, and add sensored security lights in dark corners.

Don't Forget to Secure Pets

Anxious pets and dramatically dressed visitors can unintentionally scare each other during Halloween festivities, so make sure your furry friends are safely quartered indoors, away from trick-or-treat traffic and spooky sounds.

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Posted by Ken at 6:49 PM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

Good Day Goodies!
Good Day Goodies!
October 23, 2014

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Posted by Ken at 4:50 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

3 Denver girls played hooky from school and tried to join ISIS
3 Denver girls played hooky from school and tried to join ISIS
October 23, 2014

The first indication that something was wrong was a phone call from his daughter's Denver area school to let Assad Ibrahim know that she had not come to class.

He dialed her cell. And she answered. But, officials say, she didn't tell him that she was on her way to Syria to join ISIS.

She was just late for class, that's all, Ibrahim's daughter told him on Friday, according to the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office, which filed a runaway report.

The American girl of Sudanese descent also kept quiet about her two girlfriends, Americans of Somali descent, who were flying with her to Turkey by way of Germany.

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Posted by Ken at 1:43 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

Doug and My Cool Inventions
Doug and My Cool Inventions
October 23, 2014

Doug teams up with Akos Jankura 'The Solutionist' and John Cremeans 'The Doctor of Shopology' from My Cool Inventions Radio in a search for America's Top Invention weekday mornings at 9am (Eastern)!

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Posted by Ken at 1:43 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

Facebook Is a Bigger Source for Political News Than CNN or Fox
Facebook Is a Bigger Source for Political News Than CNN or Fox
October 23, 2014

Facebook is the second-biggest source where Americans with Internet access get their political news, trailing only local TV, according to a Pew Research study.

The report, based on a recent poll of 2,901 people, found 49% of respondents got political news from local TV and 48% from Facebook in a typical week. That compares to 44% for CNN and 39% for Fox News.

Pew cautioned, however, that those percentages were based on the 89% of Americans who have Internet access. If you include unconnected households, then 39% of Americans got political news from Facebook. Pew reports that Facebook is far ahead of YouTube and Twitter as a platform for political news. Just 14% of Internet-equipped respondents said they got such news from YouTube and 9% said they got it from Twitter.

The figures are a reflection of Facebook's broad reach. Some 77% of respondents say they're on Facebook vs. 63% for YouTube and 22% for Twitter. As Pew has previously reported, such users don't necessarily seek out political news on Facebook, but instead see it in their News Feeds.

Since Facebook feeds are driven by friends and acquaintances, the prominence of Facebook as a platform for political news may contribute to the growing political polarization in the U.S. "When it comes to getting news about politics and government, liberals and conservatives inhabit different worlds. There is little overlap in the news sources they turn to and trust," the report's authors write.

Only about 20% of the public is consistently liberal or consistently conservative, according to Pew. (The breakdown is 12% to 9%.) But those on both extremes have more impact on the political process than the other 80% since they are more likely to vote, donate to campaigns and participate directly in politics.

Among consistent liberals, the top news sources are CNN, NPR, MSNBC and The New York Times. No media source is as influential among liberals as Fox News is among conservatives, though. Some 47% of consistent conservatives cite Fox News as their main source of political news.

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Posted by Ken at 1:43 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

Roger Goodell told to testify in Ray Rice appeal
Roger Goodell told to testify in Ray Rice appeal
October 23, 2014

A person familiar with the case has told The Associated Press that an arbiter has ruled that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell should testify in Ray Rice's appeal of his indefinite suspension.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because details of the appeal have not been made public.

The arbiter, former U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones, informed the parties of her decision Wednesday.

Rice was suspended indefinitely Sept. 8 for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy after a video of Rice hitting his then-fiancee in an elevator was released publicly. Goodell originally had suspended the running back for two games.

Once the video became public, the Baltimore Ravens cut Rice, and the league banned him indefinitely. The league considered the video to be new evidence, giving Goodell the authority to further suspend Rice.

The players' union appealed Rice's suspension, saying he should not be punished twice.

Jones was jointly picked by the commissioner and the players' union.

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Posted by Ken at 1:43 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

Dukes Of Hazzard Co-Stars John Schneider and Tom Wopat Record Christmas Album
Dukes Of Hazzard Co-Stars John Schneider and Tom Wopat Record Christmas Album
October 23, 2014

It's been more than three decades since John Schneider and Tom Wopat were just'a good ol' boys, never meaning no harm. But the Dukes of Hazzard co-stars are still very much a team. On October 28th, the pair will release Home for Christmas, an 18-track holiday album that mixes seasonal standards like "I'll Be Home for Christmas" and "Silver Bells" with humorous, left-field tracks like "Johnny, It's Cold Outside," a bromantic reinterpretation of Frank Loesser's "Baby, It's Cold Outside." Wopat, who wrote all the lyrics to "Johnny, It's Cold Outside," shares the microphone with Schneider on the bulk of the tracks, although each actor sings a pair of solo tunes, too.

Schneider and Wopat have long histories as vocalists. Two years before The Dukes of Hazzard aired its pilot episode, Wopat landed a role on Broadway, replacing one of the lead actors in the musical I Love My Wife. He stayed with the production until May 1979 and eventually returned to Broadway in the Nineties, even earning a Tony nomination for his work in the revival of Annie Get Your Gun. Meanwhile, Schneider launched a popular solo career during the Eighties, hitting his stride during The Dukes of Hazzard's final season and scoring four chart-topping country hits before the decade came to a close. He co-produced many of his biggest singles, too.

Home for Christmas is the duo's first full-length record. According to Wopat, the album's lush string arrangements - most of which were written by jazz musician John Oddo - have "that classic Fifties and Sixties sound." Jazz plays a major role throughout the disc, although songs like "On a Quiet Christmas Morn" are steeped in fiddles and country harmonies, sounding like something that might've once blasted from the dashboard stereo of the General Lee.

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Posted by Ken at 1:43 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

Ebola plush toys are big sellers
Ebola plush toys are big sellers
October 23, 2014

Ebola plush toys have been selling so fast in response to this year's outbreak that a Connecticut manufacturer, Giantmicrobes Inc., can't keep them in stock.

The company, which was founded a decade ago, makes stuffed toys based on the appearance of microbes like Ebola, Chicken pox, bed bugs, and even non-harmful microscopic organisms things like brain and red blood cells.

The items are meant to be educational tools for young children, Laura Sullivan, vice president of operations, told CBS News.

"It started with the common cold and similar things," she said. "It was marketed to pediatricians and parents initially. The idea is that kids respond favorably to stuffed animals."

"It's a neat little product," she added. "In the case of Ebola, it's been a helpful way for families talk about it and take some of the scariness away."

Giantmicrobes began offering a plush version of the Ebola virus about five years ago, but now the company has a hard time keeping it in stock.

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Posted by Ken at 1:43 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

Can drinking soda make you age faster?
Can drinking soda make you age faster?
October 23, 2014

Soft drinks are a $61 billion a year business in the U.S. But could drinking soda shorten your life?

A new study in the American Journal of Public Health this week says the answer might just be yes.

The first-of-its-kind study looked at whether America's thirst for soda speeds up how the body's cells age. Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, used a sample of 5,300 healthy adults.

"We think we can get away with drinking lots of soda as long as we are not gaining weight," said Elissa Epel, who worked on the study for five years. "But this suggests that there is an invisible pathway that leads to accelerated aging, regardless of weight."

Epel's team discovered that in people who drank more sugar-sweetened beverages, the ends of their chromosomes, known as telomeres, were shorter. The shorter the telomere, the less a cell can regenerate, aging the body and raising the risk of disease and early death.

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Posted by Ken at 1:43 AM - Link to this entry  |  Share this entry  |  Print

Cell transplant allows paralyzed man to walk again
Cell transplant allows paralyzed man to walk again
October 23, 2014

A ground-breaking cell transplant has allowed a paralyzed man to walk again, researchers announced Tuesday.

Polish man Darek Fidyka, 38, had been left paralyzed from the chest down after a 2010 knife attack caused an 8mm gap in his spinal cord. An initial 13 months of rehabilitation followed by an additional 8-month program before the experimental treatment had not produced an improvement in his condition, researchers said.

But two years after the 2012 cell transplant he can walk with the aid of a Zimmer frame, also known as a walker.

Scientists at University College London (UCL) developed the treatment, which saw olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) from the nose transplanted to Fidyka's spinal cord. OECs are what allow the sense of smell to return when nerve cells in the nose are damaged.

Surgeons at Wroclaw University in Poland led by Dr Pawel Tabakow injected the OECs above and below Fidyka's spinal cord gap, then used nerve tissue taken from his ankle to act as a bridge for spinal nerves to grow across, UCL said.

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