Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Murder in Wellesley: New book revisits Greineder case

Originally posted 9 24, 2012
by BBrown for Swellesley Report

A new book about the gruesome Halloween morning murder of Wellesley’s Mabel Greineder by her husband Dirk at Morses Pond is about to debut. Not coincidentally, the authors will be visiting Wellesley next month to promote their account, almost exactly 13 years after the killing.

A Murder in Wellesley: The Inside Story of an Ivy-League Doctor’s Double Life, His Slain Wife, and the Trial That Gripped the Nation is written by Boston Herald reporter-turned-PR guy Tom Farmer and Marty Foley, who was the lead state police detective on the Greineder case.  The book promises “the untold story” and includes information from those who previously have declined to speak publicly about this case that “bitterly divided” the Greineders’ family. These sources include the Greineders’ niece, Belinda Markel, who testified against Dirk Greineder, as well as Greineder’s college roommates and crime scene investigators.

The case gained national prominence in the early 2000s as salacious details of allergist Greineder’s secret life of porn and prostitutes, against the backdrop of our “well-heeled” community, aired nationally on Court TV. Numerous TV, magazine and newspaper reports rehashed the story, including an A&E documentary program called City Confidential.

Greineder, now in his early 70s, was sentenced to life in prison for murder in 2001 and he has repeatedly sought to appeal the decision. The state Supreme Judicial Court will hear more arguments in November. Farmer declined to speculate on Greineder’s chances of getting a new trial, saying we’ll have to see what the SJC does.

Read the rest of the story

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Pop Warner Changes Tackling Tactics

re-posting from http://www.mycentraljersey.com
Carol Kelly
11:02 AM, Sep 17, 2012

“A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury. It is serious,” Moser said. “You don’t have to hit your head, you can just shake it hard. And no helmet prevents concussion.” Dr. Rosemarie Moser.

The smallest linemen are learning habits to protect themselves from the kinds of brain injuries that have caused football to come under intense scrutiny.

Starting this season, Pop Warner Football’s national organization has set new rules to limit the risk of concussions and other brain injuries for thousands of youth athletes who play in its leagues.

Among the changes: restricting contact drills to a maximum of 40 minutes per practice or one-third of total weekly practice time, and banning full-speed, head-on blocking and tackling drills in which players line up more than 3 yards apart.

 Read the rest of the article

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Calhoun’s Legacy

In 26 years, Jim Calhoun changed a college basketball program, a university, a state, and college basketball. UConn is the best power produced by the Big East; UConn basketball sparked state legislators’ interest in the university, which led to billion dollar investments in UConn; the team’s success led to academic improvements to UConn as well. Calhoun’s teams created Huskymania; in the past 26 years, UConn went from a team that was unable to play in the regular session of its conference tournament to a power that won three national championships. Calhoun was the reason for this success. "Calhoun is the best program builder of all time and the best coach of his generation.

"Calhoun is the best program builder of all time and the best coach of his

Pre-order your copy of Shock the World by Peter F. Burns, Jr. Available October 2012

PETER F. BURNS, JR., was born and raised in Connecticut and educated at UConn. In 2002 the University of Connecticut Alumni Association named him as its outstanding young alumnus of the year. He is a professor of political science at Loyola University New Orleans.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Devastation, Tragedy, Truth, Memorial - KILLER SHOW Reviewed

By Victoria Eagan

I am a survivor of the Station fire. I have worked extensively with family members and fellow survivors for the past 9 1/2 years in fundraising and offering financial and emotional support. With that being said, I truly felt as though I knew all there was to know about the fire as well as the people it affected. I have lived and breathed it since the very first night. I was wrong. I have been asked countless times to talk about that night and tell people what "really happened". I now intend to point them toward this book.

It is a comprehensive and educational account of the facts surrounding the fire and the aftermath. You could read hundreds of newspaper articles (and there are certainly hundreds) that would not give you the concise and accurate information found here.

I applaud John Barylick and his fellow attorneys for this daunting undertaking and the hard work they put in in order to bring some sense of comfort to those affected. Attorneys are often vilified for "taking advantage" of a situation. Those involved in this case (the majority) did it for the right reasons. Without their perseverance and tenacity, so many of the victims' families and survivors would have added financial decimation to their already devastating emotional and physical losses.

I encourage you to educate yourself by reading this book. Remember the loss of life and those who will live with the physical and emotional scars forever. Remember what happened, and honor those lost, by helping to make sure it never happens again. 

Killer Show: The Station Nightclub Fire, America's Deadliest Rock Concert is the first comprehensive exploration of the chain of events leading up to the fire, the conflagration itself, and the painstaking search for evidence to hold the guilty to account and obtain justice for the victims. 

For seven years John Barylick was a lead attorney investigating and prosecuting wrongful-death and personal-injury cases arising from The Station fire. He has practiced law in Rhode Island since 1977.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

5 innovative ways to reinvent the strip mall

Reposted MNN.com 
Originally posted
Tue, Jul 31 2012 at 12:54 PM EST

By Chris Turner 

The strip mall is a ubiquitous but largely unloved featured of the modern city. In a trailblazing design competition, urban design's brightest minds explore ways to make strip malls work better - and look good doing so.

one-story retail strip mall with parked cars lined up in front of the stores

BLANK CANVAS: A typical past-its-prime American strip mall awaits sprawl repair. (Photo: Chika/Flickr)
At the 20th Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU20) this spring in West Palm Beach, Fla., one of the liveliest and most important recurring themes was one that many urbanists now call “sprawl repair.” New Urbanism’s first 20 years were notable primarily for impressive stand-alone neighborhoods like Seaside in Florida and Belmar in Colorado, big projects on huge sites that reinvented the American residential community from scratch. The real sustainability challenge of the next 20 years (and likely beyond), though, will be reconfiguring our existing communities to perform in an age of energy scarcity and declining automobile dependency. An aging population of smaller families will need fewer McMansions and cul de sacs and much more in the way of dense, walkable urban streetscapes.
Some of the most exciting work in this field to date has focused on retrofitting that humblest and least cherished of suburban design features: the strip mall. We all know the function of the standard version of this design, of course — it’s a quick-stop shopping plaza, usually catering to daily needs. There’s a row of four or eight or 12 small retail outlets, often in a straight line, sometimes in an L or C shape. Usually there’s a good-sized anchor tenant or two: a grocery store, a drug store, a Walmart or hardware store. The strip is pulled well back from the road, marooned from the cityscape by a wide desert of parking lot.

Monday, August 6, 2012

No He Won’t Back Down

By Peter F. Burns

As soon as reports came out that Jim Calhoun was on his way to the hospital because of a biking accident, many people tweeted that the UConn coach should retire. Those who didn’t make this stand, asked whether this latest health obstacle would mean the end to Calhoun’s coaching career.

The answer to both questions is simple: No.

Everything in Calhoun’s past suggests that he will come back and UConn will remain a power. UConn men’s basketball doesn’t need to return to power, because it’s already one of the top five programs in the country. Calhoun is the reason for that.

Calhoun has been knocked down before. His first season, the Huskies were 9-19, Calhoun’s only losing season at UConn. The coach told his wife Pat that he wanted out of Storrs, but he wouldn’t leave until the job was done. He promised that UConn wouldn’t experience another season like this under him, and he lived up to his word.

After a disappointing 1992-1993 season, one that ended in the first round of the NIT, Calhoun promised his players that UConn wouldn’t have a disappointing season like this again. In the next three seasons, UConn made the Sweet 16 twice and the Elite Eight once. After 1999-2000 and 2000-2001, two mediocre seasons by Calhoun’s standards, the UConn Phoenix rose again – an Elite Eight appearance in 2002, a Sweet 16 appearance in 2003, and the NCAA title in 2004.

Calhoun came back from off-the-court illnesses as well. He survived prostate cancer in 2003 and returned early to guide UConn to the Big East Conference Tournament finals, a division title, and the Sweet 16. Calhoun also beat skin cancer twice.

Calhoun also fell off his bike in his charity race in 2009. He waited for a replacement bike and finished the race. After the reached the finished line, Calhoun collapsed. He wanted to drive himself to the hospital, but Ray Allen, among others, convinced him to take the ambulance. Calhoun finished the race despite five broken ribs.

In 2010, he missed seven games because of an undisclosed illness. UConn played better when he returned, but missed the NCAA tournament. In 2011, the NCAA announced that it would suspend Calhoun for three games for illegally recruiting Nate Miles. Calhoun showed the NCAA by winning its tournament that season. In 2012, back injuries forced Calhoun to miss eight games. Against Doctor’s orders, Calhoun coached five days after he underwent spinal stenosis.

Jim Calhoun won’t back down. He didn’t back down from the impossible challenges that the Big East, Storrs, and the UConn athletic department presented in his early career. He didn’t back down when people complained that he couldn’t win an NCAA title. He didn’t back down from cancer. He didn’t back down from broken ribs. He didn’t back down from the NCAA. He won’t back down from a broken hip.

Jim Calhoun will retire when he’s ready to do so. He is still the best coach in the game. In the last four seasons, his teams have advanced to two Final Fours and won the NCAA tournament in 2011. That part of the resume alone is better than those compiled by most coaches.

People who call on Calhoun to retire either don’t like the coach and/or want UConn’s dominance to go away. Calhoun should retire under three conditions: 1. His team underperforms on a consistent basis. That hasn’t happened. 2. Calhoun physically can’t perform as a coach. 3. Calhoun doesn’t want to coach anymore.

The likeliest scenario of those three is that Calhoun will decide when to retire. What’s for sure is that he won’t back down, he’ll fight to return, and UConn will be on top when he leaves.

College teams resemble their coaches. UConn basketball has embodied Calhoun's resilience.  The Huskies have come back to win when games, the season, and even the Calhoun Era have seemed over. 

PETER F. BURNS, JR., was born and raised in Connecticut and educated at UConn. In 2002 the University of Connecticut Alumni Association named him as its outstanding young alumnus of the year. He is a professor of political science at Loyola University New Orleans. Author of Shock the World:UConn Basketball in the Calhoun Era (NUP) available this October.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Concussions in Kids - 'When in Doubt, Sit Them Out'

For the complete on-line article, go NJ Today with Mike Schneider.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Penn State Will Pay the Wages of Sin

Submitted by Guest Author, Roger I. Abrams
The National Collegiate Athletic Association has responded with dispatch to the unspeakable crimes of Jerry Sandusky and those who aided and abetted his perfidy. The Penn State football juggernaut under the leadership of revered coach Joe Paterno has now been revealed for what it is – a cancer in higher education. The NCAA’s swift and sure penalties will act as a stern warning to others around the country who think that an institution’s sports reputation can be protected despite the cost to young men’s lives.

The $60 million fine combined with the reduction in scholarships and the multi-year banning from post-season play is fitting and proper. Vacating Penn State’s victories from 1998-2011 is the only penalty that could be imposed on the Joe Paterno, albeit post-mortem. He will no longer be recognized in the record books as the college football coach with the most lifetime victories.  Suspending football for a few years, the so-called “death penalty” most recently imposed on Southern Methodist University in 1987, would have injured not only Penn State, but also all of its scheduled opponents who would have an open date that could not have been filled. By comparison, the array of NCAA penalties will drive Penn State towards rehabilitating not only its image, but also the reality of the role football plays on its campus. 

Some have questioned the NCAA’s jurisdiction to impose such penalties on member schools. The short answer is that Penn State has already accepted both the penalties and the Association’s power to administer them.  The long answer is that the NCAA is acting in the interest of its 1200 members to cleanse the college sports world of the stench of pedophilia and, more broadly, the arrogance of misguided power. Joe Paterno was a more powerful figure in Happy Valley than any mere college administrator. 

Think for a moment about what Major League Baseball or the National Football League would have done if it were discovered that crimes of this magnitude had occurred in a club’s locker room and that club ownership had been aware of the transgressions. The commissioners would have likely forced the owners to sell their franchises.  All pro sport commissioners have the power to act “in the best interest” of their sports, and perpetrating or allowing criminal assaults to occur in the workplace would warrant a lifetime ban from the game.

While few college sports scandals penetrate the public’s consciousness like the corruption at Penn State, the mindset that countenances such crimes is the rule rather than the exception in college sports. For many, if not most, alumni, of major football-playing universities, the success of the sports team is more important than the success of the physics department. The work of a Nobel-prize winning academic cannot compare with a national championship in football, basketball or hockey.  That is a bizarre contortion of principles and values.

What are semi-professional sports doing at universities in any case? They arose in the nineteenth century as student-run activities and were reluctantly adopted by the colleges where the students had matriculated. The NCAA was created by member schools early in the twentieth century in an effort to reduce the violence in football. College sports grew in social importance as a profit center within academia as an easier way to promote a college’s brand than by enhancing its academic reputation. Coaches became larger than life – big men on campus -- and were compensated accordingly. In many schools, especially at large public universities, it became impossible to stop the momentum towards making academics only a necessary adjunct to sports.

The tragedy at Penn State may be seen years from now as a turning point in college athletics, but I think that is unlikely. No school will make the same errors as Penn State, but the predominance of the sports ethos on campus seems immutable. Programs will change and rules will be rewritten to redress the greatest unfairness, but football and basketball will attract more students and donations to the institution than the men and women faculty members of the school of arts & sciences.

ROGER I. ABRAMS is Richardson Professor of Law at Northeastern University. A recognized leader in the field of sports law, he is the author of Legal Bases: Baseball and the Law,  The First World Series and the Baseball Fanatics of 1903,  and Sports Justice, among others.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Cost of Milk Is Not Just A Local Issue

Milk Money, by Kirk Kardashian is being released this October.   Milk Money is about the failing economics of the traditional small dairy farm, the rise of the factory mega-farm with its resultant pollution and disease, and the uncertain future of milk.

In the tradition of Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser, Kardashian asks whether it is right that family farmers in America should toil so hard, produce a food so wholesome and so popular, and still lose money. This gripping investigation uncovers the hidden forces behind dairy farm consolidation, and explains why milk—a staple commodity subject to both government oversight and industry collusion—has proven so tricky to stabilize. Meanwhile, every year we continue to lose scores of small dairy farms. With passion, wit, and humor, Milk Money shows where we are now, how we got here, and where we might be going.

Kirk focus is on the American milk industry, but USA dairy farmers are not the only ones feeling the economic pressures. In London, England,  diary farmers across the country are being ‘exploited appallingly by supermarkets and milk buyers of all kinds’ and were receiving an average price 6pence per litre below their cost of production. A recent 2pence cut in prices sparked an immediate meeting with farmers and government officials.

Are there solutions?
There is government support for dairy farmers but it is limited and only available during economic down turns. The funds are difficult to obtain and do not cover the full loss experienced by the farms.

Keep Local Farms is an education and contribution program that connects consumers with local dairy farmers and encourages the purchase of local foods.  It is a way to educate consumers about the value of local dairy farms, raise funds to support dairy farms throughout New England, and drive dairy sales. They have partner programs with colleges, universities, and businesses who show support by helping with fund raising and/or donating monies based on sales of milk. The Keep Local Farms program will provide assistance to dairy farms regardless of the price of milk. When milk prices rebound, funds are pooled in preparation for a milk price down turn. The funds collected will also be used for special projects such as grants for renewable energy or environmental protection on farms.

At the end of the day, dairy farmers need to support their families and hold onto to their homesteads.  Consumers of milk and other dairy products need to appreciate and realize the hard dedicated work that goes into these products and be willing to pay fare trade value for them. Simple as that.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Lord Helps Those Who Help Themselves

Repost from A New World
By Bill Hewitt, author of A Newer World (UNH Press)
June 19, 2012

I wrote in April about Germany’s ambitious goal of deriving 100% of its electricity from renewables by 2050.  It seems to me that they’re going to get there a lot sooner than 2050.

Solar electricity world record: Germany cranks half its power with PV was the headline recently from SmartPlanet.  Germany hit a breathtaking 22.15 gigawatts of PV output on May 25th.  There are several astonishing things about that, one of which is that the US may get to 3 GW of installed capacity this year, a drop in the bucket compared to Germany’s herculean output.

Why is the US such a laggard?  For one thing, the renewable energy feed-in tariff that Germany pioneered, led by the renewable energy visionary Hermann Scheer, has enabled independent power producers there to build out this enormous capacity.  What’s another amazing aspect of all this?  It’s that the amount of PV available during the day – when power is in greatest demand – actually enables a lowering of peak prices.  That’s unheard of in the power business, but the Germans are doing it, as I pointed out in my post from April about 100% renewables.

As Reuters indicates in its article on Germany’s breakthrough, the 22+ GW of power provided about a third of the nation’s needs on a workday, Friday the 25th, but half the next day when offices and factories were closed.  With Germany’s 29 GW of installed capacity in wind – the largest amount in Europe – there’s really no stopping them from carbon-free power, or, as Hermann Scheer described it, a technology-driven energy economy.

Read Bill Hewitt's entire article "The Sun Shines on Germany"

Friday, June 22, 2012

"3rd year of Pop Warner, I was knocked unconscious" - George Visger

Reprinted from MomsTeam.com
Submitted by George Visger on Wed, 06/20/2012 - 18:45.

Long Term Effects of Concussions in Youth Sports

My football career began at age 11 playing Pee Wee Pop Warner for the West Stockton Bear Cubs.  During my 3rd year of Pop Warner, I was knocked unconscious in a meaningless "Bull In The Ring" drill and was hospitalized.   I went on to to play for the undefeated and nationally ranked Amos Alonzo Stagg High in Stockton, CA in 1975, and attended the University of Colorado on a football scholarship in 1976.

While at Colorado, I majored in Fisheries Biology, played in the 1977 Orange Bowl, and was a 3 year starter at defensive tackle.  The New York Jets selected me as a 6th round pick in the 1980 NFL draft, but I ended up playing the 1980 and 1981 seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, who had picked me up before the 5th game of the 1980 season, a few days prior to the first Dallas game.  After two days of practice I was put in the game early in the first quarter and suffered a major concussion on my first play.  The trainers and doctors laughingly told me later that week (when my memory returned), that I went through over 20 smelling salts during the game to keep me on the field.  They would hand me a handful each time I came out, pop a couple to clear the cobwebs, and I would go back in.

"Steroid use is so 20th cen­tury" Roger I. Abrams

Law professor Roger Abrams, author of Sports Justice, (Northeastern University Press) analyzes the repercussions of baseball great Roger Clemens’ acquittal Monday of lying to Congress about steroid use. Photo by Mary Knox Merrill.

This entry was posted in Society & Culture and News@Northeastern
Interviews and written by Greg St. Martin
June 21, 2012

Q. What does the Clemens verdict mean for professional sports?

A.  The acquittal of Roger Clemens might someday be seen as the end of the steroid era in base­ball. While the crim­inal case was based on charges that Clemens lied to Con­gress, the case turned on his alleged behavior in using performance-​​enhancing drugs. Some com­men­ta­tors remained con­vinced that the “Rocket” was “dirty.”  Appar­ently, acquit­tals in a court of law do not always trans­late into acquit­tals in the court of public opinion. The most famous sports acquittal was of the eight ballplayers from the Chicago White Sox who threw the 1919 World Series. After they cel­e­brated their court vic­tory, base­ball com­mis­sioner Kenesaw Moun­tain Landis banned them from base­ball for life.

Q. Do you think that the Clemens case will also end the government's prosecution of sports figures for the use of illegal drugs?

A. One really has to ques­tion any fur­ther use of lim­ited public resources in this manner. Now that the Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens cases are over, we can begin to worry about the next gen­er­a­tion of performance-​​enhancers based on genetic engi­neering. Steroid use is so 20th cen­tury. The legit­i­macy of the sports we love depends upon our belief that the games are played on the level. That will remain a sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenge for the major sports in the years to come, although I would doubt that we would see much by way of crim­inal prosecutions.

Q. Speaking of sports and steroid accusations, what is this new case against Lance Armstrong all about?

 A. The United States Anti-​​Doping Agency has made public some drug use alle­ga­tions about the cham­pion cyclist, which appar­ently will be sup­ported by state­ments made by his former team­mates. It is impor­tant to note that the USADA is not a gov­ern­ment agency, although it sounds like it is one. It is con­nected to the national and inter­na­tional pri­vate sports estab­lish­ment. The USADA and its sib­ling, the World Anti-​​Doping Agency, tend to act like anti-​​drug zealots. We will have to see how Arm­strong responds to these accu­sa­tions, but he has tri­umphed in the past much as he did in the moun­tains and val­leys of France, win­ning seven Tour de France races in a row.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Repost from Yahoo Sports > Rueters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The largest U.S. youth football program has instituted strict new regulations aimed at better protecting players from concussions and other head injuries, according the a report by NBC News on Tuesday.

Pop Warner, a nonprofit organization with football and cheerleading programs, is rolling out the new regulations amid growing concern about concussions at all levels of football. Some 2,000 former NFL players sued the league last week alleging it concealed the risk of brain injury from players.

Pop Warner's new rules would closely regulate contact during practice, which accounts for more head injuries than games, according the NBC's report.

It said most Pop Warner teams practice nine hours a week, and under the new guidelines only a third of that time could be spent in contact with another player. In addition, no head-to-head hits would be allowed and tackling could only be initiated within a three foot zone during practice.

NBC said there are more than 4 million concussions in sports and other recreational activities each year in the United States each year. Football accounts for more than half of those.

AHEAD OF THE GAME  by Rosemarie Scolaro Moser
A new look at understanding and preventing sports concussion in children and teens

Sports-related concussions, also known as mild traumatic brain injuries, have become a national epidemic. As many as 63 percent of high school students have already had at least one concussion, while another 500,000 children between the ages of ten and fourteen visit ERs for concussion annually. 

New research has shown that there is no such thing as a simple “bell-ringer,” and that sending a child back on the field too soon puts his or her physical and emotional health at risk. Yet it is all too easy to miss the warning signs of concussion, or to encourage kids to “walk off” a potentially devastating injury.

Ahead of the Game is the first book to give parents of school-aged athletes the tools they need to keep kids safe on the field, court, diamond, or rink. Rosemarie Scolaro explains how:

• Helmets and mouth guards, even when properly fitted, cannot prevent concussion
• Concussions may negatively affect a child’s GPA, school performance, and emotional behavior
• Girls are more vulnerable to concussion than boys
• State concussion laws may not be enough to keep kids safe

Ahead of the Game clearly lays out the basics of identification, management, and treatment of concussion in kids, and details the vital steps we can take to protect their most vital organ—the brain—before an injury occurs.

What Do Committed Couples REALLY Argue About?

Repost from psychologytoday.com 

It doesn't have to be sex; devoted couples can argue about soup. 
They bought a few bulbs to plant last fall, anticipating an early summer filled with bright colors and enviable floral arrangements. They worked the soil together, laughing and talking. Everything was perfect until The Wife mentioned that she really liked the forsythia at their friend’s house and suggested that they might consider some plantings along that line.

The Husband--gently, sweetly, thoughtfully--corrected her and pointed out that their friend’s house was bordered, not by forsythia, but by hydrangeas.

Laughing again, she--thoughtfully, sweetly--corrected his correction, and reminded him how much more she knew about landscaping. She read magazines; she, after all, had purchased books on the very topic. With a smile, she also reminded him that when it came to recalling the names of things, he wasn’t exactly first in line for the prize.

Gently, lovingly, with a husbandly concern for her well-being, he responded that, until fairly recently, she couldn’t tell a rose from a pair of pants, for all she knew about gardening, whereas he had grown up with a trowel in his hand, to which she replied that he better get ready to throw in the trowel because he couldn’t tell his pants from his----; oh, well, you know how the story ends.

Author Photo
GINA BARRECA has appeared on 20/20, 48 Hours, NPR, The Today Show, Joy Behar, and Oprah to discuss gender, power, politics, and humor. Her books, which have been translated into seven languages, include They Used to Call Me Snow White But I Drifted, Babes in Boyland, and It’s Not That I’m Bitter. She is a professor of English and feminist theory at the University of Connecticut.

Gina Barreca is author of  Make Mine a Double
Why Women Like Us Like to Drink (Or Not)
University Press of New England

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Dr. Kate Tulenko Touring

Dr. Kate Tulenko is spending the next few weeks discussing ways health care workers can meet the needs of local health care facilities. She has authored the book, Insourced where she discusses the new changing dynamics in health care employment and who is getting the jobs, hint, not US specialist, but those from other countries.  She also explains how this affects the overall employment situation, the cost for medical care and training. 

The following podcast is the first of many interviews and appearances.

Listen to internet radio with TheMasterCommunicator on Blog Talk Radio

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Rob Brooks speaks at Wits University


How music, sex help us evolve

Noni Mokati
Rob Brooks is paid to think about sex for a living. But there’s more to life than what happens in the bedroom, according to the evolutionary biologist.
In his latest book, titled Sex, Genes and Rock n Roll, Brooks – a professor and director of the evolution and ecology research centre at the New South Wales University in Sydney, Australia – seeks to explain how music, evolution, our choice of diet and genetic pool affects who we are.
Rob Brooks, author SEX, GENES & ROCK'N'ROLL
Picture: Refilwe Modise
“A lot of what we do is constantly aimed at making ourselves attractive for a possible mating partner.
“This is why reproduction is the main theme of evolution,” he said before giving a much-anticipated public lecture at Wits University this week.
SEX GENES AND ROCK'N'ROLL by Rob brooksBrooks, 41, explained that every person alive today was a success story and that the success emanated from various activities.

 “For instance, people who make the best music have the best partners. Music moves us. It stimulates our romantic senses. Every single person can attest that their first date which had some bit of music… allowed them to grow closer and bond – and sometimes were able to create life,” he said.

Read the rest of the story 
To review/ purchase a copy of Sex, Genes and Rock'n'Roll visit UPNE's website http://www.upne.com/1611682366.html

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Debate over youth football; concussion vs percausions

In Yesterday's USA TODAY SPORT section an article was posted regarding whether or not  parents should allow their children to play tackle football, and at what age to play vs. the risk of concussions. 

 Many of the comments found below the article were as enlightening about head concussions in youths as the article. It appears there is a true division over safety in youth football. Some parents and adults, in general, felt that if football gear was going to be regulated and how to 'hit', then all sports, including riding a bike, should be banned completely. Then, there were comments comparing football to rugby, the thought process was to forgo all head gear, padding and the like, then there would be less hitting, because as pointed out, rugby players don't use their heads like battering rams.  Lastly, some discussed at what age to play, the suggestion was simple, take the adults out of the game, and let the kids play, they have a better concept of self preservation and aren't likely to play near as rough and tough as they would with parents and coaches yelling at them to put all they've got into the game. 

Then we had those totally agreeing with the children not playing tackle football till they are more developed physically (14ish), and that the younger age children should play flag football. Of course for all children, regardless of age,  how to tackle, fall and be hit would be taught by coaches that believe kids should be playing for the love of the sport not just to win, i.e.,  that they, the kids, do not need to sacrifice their brains for the lack of the coaches'.   

University Press of New England/ Dartmouth College Press are pleased to announce the release of AHEAD OF THE GAME: The Parents' Guide to Youth Sports Concussion by Rosemarie Scolaro Moser, PhD.  Dr. Moser is a neuropsychologist, hockey mom, and director of the Sports Concussion center of New Jersey. She is the official neuropsychologist for Philadelphia Soul Arena Football, Trenton Steel Arena Football, and Trenton Titans Professional Hockey. 

Dr. Moser doesn't tell parents if they should allow their children to play sports or not. Her book is a Parents' guide designed to help parents decide what precautions to take before an injury occurs and how to identify, manage and treat a concussion. AHEAD OF THE GAME enables parents to make decisions and evaluate their child's welfare during their active years in youth sports.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Moms' Club: The New Happy Hour?

HuffingtonPostRe-Posted: 05/22/2012 3:49 pm

Excerpt by Laura Rossi Totten from "Mom's Club: The New Happy Hour" from MAKE MINE A DOUBLE: Why Women Like Us Like to Drink (Or Not), edited by Gina Barreca. Used with permission from University Press of New England, www.upne.com
When we exchange our Prada bags for Baby Bjorns, we also unwittingly check off the box that says "mothers don't drink." But just because we popped out a baby does not mean we still don't want to pop the Veuve Clicquot!

Why is it that as soon as we become mothers, we are expected to leave our cosmos at the bar and settle for reruns of Sex and the City? Are all mothers who crave a glass or two of wine regarded as closet alcoholics?

When I was single and living in New York City, I regularly went out for a drink with the girls. I loved these evenings (or Saturday afternoons or Sunday brunches) -- they were a fabulous mix of fun, laughter and group therapy with smart, funny, like-minded women. After I married and moved, I continued the tradition with new friends, sharing a glass of wine with a gal pal after work or on the weekends in my new city. My friends and I always referred to these nights as "going out for drinks" or "cocktails with the girls."
 Read the rest of the story at HuffingtonPost online. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Gates Foundation $100,000 in Grants for Global Health

 Originally published Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at 9:02 PM


Associated Press

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation plans to announce more than 100 cutting-edge global health grants to fund projects ranging from unmanned drones to deliver vaccines to using temporary tattoos to monitor pregnant women in remote areas.

In an announcement Wednesday, the foundation will name scientists from around the world, but mostly in the United States, who will be getting $100,000 Grand Challenges Exploration grants to see if their highly speculative ideas have potential to save lives in the future.

Another six ideas have passed the initial stage and will be given $1 million each to advance their projects, the foundation said.

Over the past four years, the foundation has funded more than 600 projects from more than 20,000 proposals submitted by researchers in 44 countries. Foundation officers consider the money a kind of startup fund for the future of global health and development research. They do not expect all the ideas to pan out but are hoping one or two eventually will change millions of lives.

The projects that get $1 million to continue work remain highly speculative. Among the six getting larger grants are a breathalyzer test for tuberculosis and various efforts toward developing AIDS and cholera vaccines.

Read the rest of the story at SEATTLE TIMES

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Taking the leap into a green energy future


Repost from: TroyMedia
May 14, 2012

Fossil fuels will be with us for quite some time

The leap Turner is referring to is the next industrial revolution, that is, replacing non-renewable energy with renewable energy in the next 50 years. “We need to move to wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, some small scale hydro, maybe some large scale hydro and maybe some nuclear.”
Galvanized by the attention that wasn’t being paid to climate change, Turner started writing about solutions instead of problems.

Turner inspired many people with his first book, The Geography of Hope. Like his latest book The Leap, it’s focused on telling the stories of the people who are not simply dabbling in green energy solutions, but taking the leap and “going all the way in their thinking.”

“The grand narrative of the industrial revolution is in some ways about people seizing opportunity,” said Turner. Today that opportunity is in renewable energy where not only can we seize a sizable economic opportunity but avoid catastrophe at the same time. 

David Dodge is the host and producer of Green Energy Futures, a multi-media series presented at www.greenenergyfutures.ca. The series is supported by TD, Suncor Energy and the Pembina Institute.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Concussions are NOT Limited to Just Football and Boys

NBC's Rock Center recently aired an interview with Allison Kasacavage, a young, athletic 15 year old who is now sitting on the sidelines of her favorite sport--soccer--recovering from a concussion.  Below are excerpts of the interview/article. To read the entire piece and view the interview at Rockcenter.msnbc.  

The Facts
"She is one of hundreds of girls across America each year who suffer concussions while playing soccer. With the steady popularity of youth soccer, more girls are playing the game than ever before.  Girls make up 48 percent of the more than 3 million kids registered in US Youth Soccer leagues. The number of girls suffering concussions in soccer accounts for the second largest amount of all concussions reported by young athletes, according to the American Journal of Sports Medicine.  (Football tops the list.)"

Allison's Concussions
"Allison still remembers when she suffered her first serious concussion in October 2008.  It came when she collided with another player on the field. “When I like got up, my head was like pounding,” Allison said. “There was, like, a pulse in my head. It was like the strangest thing.  There was a heartbeat in my head and I had no idea what it was and why it was there.  I have never felt that before and I was just so confused,” she said."

"After Allison had apparently healed from the concussion, she returned to soccer.  She’d been a star player since she was six years old, working her way up to one of the top teams in Pennsylvania.  She said that her identity had been wrapped up in the game and she felt pressure to please her coaches.
Allison said that she was nervous about heading the ball, but continued to do it.
“If you didn’t head the ball, you were like the weakest link,” Allison said."

"When heading, players attempt to use their foreheads to direct the ball, often jumping with opposing players, a move that can lead to collisions between players, bumped heads and strained necks. "

"Her parents said that they knew about the danger of concussions in sports like football, but it wasn’t until Allison had her first serious head injury that they realized what a big problem concussions can be in soccer. “I think that we were blind to what was going on around us because, yes, it was about the team.  It was about the winning. It was about all the, it was almost like a routine of, like I said, an awful lot of practices and you just went through it and really your lives rolled by with soccer being the most important thing,” said Lex Kasacavage, Allison’s father."

Help for Parents
Many medical professionals and schools are discussing what preventative measures can be taken for injuries like Allison's. Dr. Rosemarie Scolaro Moser, a hockey mom, neuropsychologist, and Director of the Sports Concussion Center in New Jersey, has recently released a book to help parents.  Ahead of The Game: The Parents' Guide to Youth Sports Concussion provides parents with plain facts on how to identify, manage, and treat concussions. Parents will learn the steps THEY can make to protect their children.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

New Book Examines the Age of Porches and Porches Through the Ages

Repost from University Communications  (The University of Vermont)
by Amanda Kenyon Waite   04-25-2012

Before the days of automobiles, air conditioning, television and radio, there was the front porch. No dust kicked up by traffic, a cool breeze on a hot day, and the entertainment of neighbors and strangers passing by made the porch a haven for neighborhood dwellers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

"The porch was this kind of extended threshold," says Thomas Visser, associate professor of history and director of the Historic Preservation Program. "It was neither inside nor outside, but it was a place to meet and greet strangers. It was a place to socialize informally." That time period is what Visser calls the "golden age" of the porch, a structure, he says, that serves as a virtual stage for human interaction. "It's a prop, if you will. Without the porch, it often would be very difficult for that social engagement to happen."

Visser traces the story of the porch -- and verandas, colonnades, porticoes and piazzas -- their styles, attributes, and functions in his latest book, Porches of North America. He's spent the past 10 years researching the topic and writing more than a few lines of the book, it's worth noting, on the porch of his Burlington home.

Visser's fondness for porches stems from childhood memories of summers spent eating and even sleeping on the screened-in, southeastern-facing, corner porch of his parents' New Hampshire home. "It was just one of the most enjoyable parts of the house and one of the most enjoyable aspects of summer life."
Read more

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Successful Book Signing at the Turner Classic Movies

 Shannon Clute and Richard Edwards, authors of The Maltese Touch of Evil,  just had a wonderfully successful book signing at the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) Classic Film Festival in Los Angeles last weekend. They were both featured on a film noir panel at the Festival, and which was immediately followed by their book signing. During the signing, they sold and signed 40 copies. Their book, The Maltese Touch of Evil, was also sold at the  TCM Boutique at the Festival.  Moreover, the TCM online shop has our book listed on their main page. http://shop.tcm.com/books/index.php?v=tcm_books&icid=leftnav_tcm_books

There are pictures of their panel and book signing, with one glorious photo that does an incredible job highlighting our book at this TCM photo gallery - but you do have to click through 53 photos to get to the first photo of our panel, and 54 photos to get the wonderful book publicity photo, and there is also a photo of them at the book signing: http://www.tcm.com/festival/about/gallery-specialevents.html

Finally, Richard has been asked to appear on a film podcast in July to promote The Maltese Touch of Evil. The podcast is entitled The Projection Booth, and is hosted by Mike White. The PB website is http://projection-booth.blogspot.com/