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Good Day Goodies!
Good Day Goodies!
August 22, 2014

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

Dream Big America - August Finals!
Dream Big America - August Finals!
August 22, 2014

Here are the finalists for August for Dream Big America...

Tom Force from ICE Medical Cards

Ron Ben-Zeev from Complete The Pair

Craig Jackson from Tiger Tiller

To find out more about Dream Big America, click the link below!

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What An ALS Family REALLY Thinks About the Ice Bucket Challenge
What An ALS Family REALLY Thinks About the Ice Bucket Challenge
August 22, 2014

From a blog by Bo Stern...

Well, we are on week two of the very-viral very-everywhere ALS ice bucket challenge. I know, I know, I can hear the groans...it started out cute and now it's out-of-control. Played. Clogging up social media sites everywhere.

I even read this article in which the author called the challenge (that has raised an unprecedented amount of money for one of the most outrageously underfunded diseases) a waste of fresh water. Another headline whined, "Is the Ice Bucket Challenge Going to Cure ALS?" Um, no (and - btw - that's a stupid bar to set for any fundraiser.) Critics complain that the challenge is really about feeding our American narcism and does nothing for ALS awareness or funding. They assert that people should just quietly donate their money and move on with their lives.



I get that they're cranky, but I think maybe they don't realize what it's like to face this insidious disease and then realize that it's nearly invisible to the rest of the world. As I watch my husband become entombed inside his own body, I feel desperate for people to understand that this sort of inhumane condition exists. But for some reason, while everyone acknowledges it's one of the worst fates imaginable, funding for research and patient care is nearly nil. I recently mentioned to a doctor that my husband has ALS and she first looked confused and then said, "Oh, that's Lou Gehrig's Disease, right?" Right. Why does she -a doctor of medicine - still only know it by Lou Gehrigs Disease? Because we humans need to associate things with people. It's easier that way. That's why the celebrity faces and personal challenges happening in the ice bucket challenge are so effective at bringing in money. And if someone gets to look good while plunking their $50 in the ALS tip jar, I have zero problem with that.



Because here's the deal: We are in for the fight of our lives with this monster, and the very LAST thing I want is for people to give quietly, anonymously, and then slink away. Raise the roof! Raise a ruckus! Call all sorts of attention to yourself! I will be happy for you and every Facebook like you receive, as you nudge ALS an inch or two closer to the collective public consciousness.



So, fear not, dear reader, this too shall pass and your Facebook newsfeed will go back to cat videos and kids singing Let It Go. Until that happens, here's a little reminder about what it's like to live with ALS and why this level of awareness is like gold to families like mine.



----------


A Mile in ALS Shoes

People ask me often what it's like to live with ALS. It's a brave question because the answers are not very pleasant. But it's also such a worthy question because understanding how this disease impacts those who suffer from it creates empathy which is so valuable; it carries us into another person's world and allows us to understand what they're feeling and how they're hurting. As I watch my strong husband struggle with things that used to be easy and automatic, I sometimes wish that everyone could see life from his perspective.



If you would like to experience just a tiny corner of an ALS life, I have a list of Empathetic Experiences for you. These are things you can do to walk for just a mile in ALS shoes. If you try one, take a little time at the end to consider that people actually living with the disease have a million miles more to go.

1. Pick up a 10-pound weight. Now imagine it's your fork and move it from your plate to your mouth repeatedly without shaking.

2. Sit in a chair for just 15 minutes moving nothing but your eyes. Nothing. No speaking, no scratching your nose, no shifting your weight, no changing the channel on the television, no computer work. Only your eyes. As you sit, imagine: this is your life. Your only life.

3. Borrow a wheelchair or power scooter and try to maneuver quickly through the aisles at Walmart, without speaking. Note the way people react to you.

4. Strap 25 pounds to your forearm. Now, adjust your rearview mirror.

5. Using none of your own muscles, have your spouse or child or friend get you dressed and brush your teeth. Write down some of the feelings you have being cared for in this way.

6. Before you eat your next meal, take a good, long look at the food. Inhale deeply and appreciate the aroma. Now, imagine never being able to taste that - or any other food - for the rest of your life.

7. Put two large marshmallows in your mouth and have a conversation with your friends. How many times must you repeat yourself? How does this make you feel?

8. Go to bed and stay in one position for as long as you possibly can, moving nothing.

9. Strap weights to your ankles and climb a flight of stairs, taking two at a time. That's the kind of strength it takes for someone with ALS to tackle the stairs on a good day.

10. Install a text-to-speech app on your phone or iPad and use it exclusively to communicate for one day.

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Mo'ne Davis is in a league of her own
Mo'ne Davis is in a league of her own
August 21, 2014

Mo'ne Davis has made history by appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated - a first for a Little Leaguer of either sex.

Thousands lined up hours before game time for the hottest ticket in Williamsport: Watching Philadelphia's Taney Dragons. Ace pitcher Davis is a big part of the draw.

"Throwing 70 miles an hour. That's throwing like a girl," Davis told CBS News.

The 13-year-old is the only girl in Little League history to throw a complete game shutout in the World Series.

"I just got to stay calm," she said. "It's just my instinct to just calm down ... because I know we still have to bat and our bats are dangerous and you just have to stay calm with it and your team will help you out."

Her team is the first from Philadelphia ever to make it to the Little League World Series.

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Doug Stephan Coffee
Doug Stephan Coffee
August 20, 2014

Click the link below to find out how you can give a daily cup of milk to a child in need with your daily cup of coffee!

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US officials: Video shows American's beheading
US officials: Video shows American's beheading
August 20, 2014

A grisly video released Tuesday shows Islamic State militants beheading American journalist James Foley, U.S. officials said, in what the extremists called retribution for recent U.S. airstrikes in Iraq. The militants threatened to kill another captive they also identified as an American journalist.

Separately, Foley's family confirmed his death in a statement posted on a Facebook page that was created to rally support for his release, saying they "have never been prouder of him."

"He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people," said the statement, which was attributed to Foley's mother, Diane Foley. She implored the militants to spare the lives of other hostages. "Like Jim, they are innocents. They have no control over American government policy in Iraq, Syria or anywhere in the world."

The statement was posted on a Facebook page called "Find James Foley," which his family has used a number of times since his November 2012 disappearance. Earlier Tuesday, a red-eyed but gracious Diane Foley said the family would not have an immediate statement when approached at her home by an Associated Press reporter. A priest arrived at the home several hours later.

Foley, a 40-year-old journalist from Rochester, New Hampshire, went missing in northern Syria while freelancing for Agence France-Presse and the Boston-based media company GlobalPost. The car he was riding in was stopped by four militants in a contested battle zone that both Sunni rebel fighters and government forces were trying to control. He had not been heard from since.

The video released on websites Tuesday appears to show the increasing sophistication of the Islamic State group's media arm and begins with scenes of President Barack Obama explaining his decision to order airstrikes.

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

Surviving Ebola, but Untouchable Back Home
Surviving Ebola, but Untouchable Back Home
August 19, 2014

The neighbors lined up, smiling and mouthing soft congratulations when the van pulled in bearing Jattu Lahai and her 2-year-old daughter.

No one moved to embrace them. Nobody stepped out of the line of 30-odd people as Ms. Lahai, an Ebola survivor, walked to the room she shares with her husband. A conspicuous space formed around the smooth-faced 26-year-old woman and her baby, also a survivor, as she sat on a bench.

"When I fell sick, everybody abandoned me," said Ms. Lahai, in her darkened room for the first time since the ambulance whisked her away two weeks ago on a trip most do not return from. Crying softly, she wiped her tears with the hem of her dress and spoke a quiet prayer. "I didn't think I was going to come home again," she said, cradling her daughter, Rosalie.

Here in the Ebola zone, the world is divided in three: the living, the dead, and those caught in between. For those lucky enough to survive, coming home is another struggle entirely.

Ms. Lahai's homecoming experience - muted and cool - has been shared by many of the survivors of the Ebola epidemic spreading across West Africa. Doctors Without Borders says only 61 of the 337 Ebola patients treated at its tent-camp treatment center in nearby Kailahun have survived. When they go home, some are greeted warmly, with hugs and dancing. But others, like Ms. Lahai, feel a chill of wariness, or worse. In some places, health workers said, the neighbors flee.

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Doug and My Cool Inventions
Doug and My Cool Inventions
August 19, 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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German intelligence recorded Clinton, Kerry calls
German intelligence recorded Clinton, Kerry calls
August 18, 2014

Germany's intelligence service has intercepted phone calls by two U.S. secretaries of state, German media reports reveal.

The news comes several months after Germany complained about the United States eavesdropping on its politicians.

German intelligence service BND intercepted a phone call from then-U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton "by chance" while Clinton was traveling on a U.S. government plane, the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported. The magazine Der Spiegel said this happened in 2012.

And Der Spiegel reported BND intercepted a satellite call from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in 2013.

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Ferguson Protesters Guard Stores From Looters
Ferguson Protesters Guard Stores From Looters
August 18, 2014

Chaos broke out in the streets of Ferguson on Friday night, the same day that police announced the name of the officer who killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown and released footage appearing to show Brown stealing cigarettes from a convenience store. Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson later said Friday the initial contact between Brown and officer Darren Wilson was not related to a convenience store robbery.

A peaceful protest on Friday night turned into another confrontation with police after some in the crowd reportedly threw rocks and people began looting stores, including the convenience store that Brown was accused of robbing. Police formed lines and fired tear gas to disperse the crowd.

In the midst of it all, protesters took it upon themselves to guard stores against looting.

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