Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A fast-moving fire engulfed the home of late singer Johnny Cash on Tuesday. The lake-side home, located in Hendersonville, Tennessee, was the home of the late singer and his wife, June Carter, from the late 1960s until their deaths in 2003.

The home was purchased by former Bee Gees singer Barry Gibb in 2006, and was undergoing renovations at the time. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time, but it is believed that a flammable wood preservative that construction workers had applied contributed to the speed in which the flames spread. Firefighters responded within 5 minutes of the fire breaking out. No workers were killed in the fire, but one firefighter suffered minor injuries.

“Maybe it’s the good Lord’s way to make sure that it was only Johnny’s house,” said Richard Sterban of The Oak Ridge Boys, who lived down the road from Cash. Neighbor Marty Stewart said “So many prominent things and prominent people in American history took place in that house—everyone from Billy Graham to Bob Dylan went into that house.” The home was where Cash wrote many of his hit songs, and appeared in the Cash music video for “Hurt“.

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What Foods are Bad for Your Teeth?



With the end of the year fast approaching, nows the time to start thinking your New Years Resolutions. For lots of people, getting that promotion at work or investing more into your family are one of many resolutions you have planned out. However, lets add great dental health to the list as well.

Why dental health? Your smile is the first thing that represents you wherever you go, and its also plays its part in your overall wellbeing. To keep up that smile, everyone knows that starts with brushing twice and flossing daily, as well as visiting their dentist a minimum of once every 6 months for a thorough cleaning. But wait, theres more. What we dont get to talk about too often is the foods that are either good or bad for your dental health. Today, wed like to highlight how your diet affects your teeth, and what you can do to start eating right even before the clock strikes midnight on New Years.

Plaque is Your Teeths Worst Enemy

Before you start preparing foods for your holiday meals, lets shine light on the big culprit posing harm to your teeth plaque. Plaque is a thin, soft layer that slowly builds on top of your teeth and traps sugars that hit your teeth. Its the job of the bacteria living inside your mouth to break these sugars down, resulting in an acid that is responsible for tooth decay, enamel erosion and close to all dental problems. We fight plaque daily by brushing our teeth when we wake up and before we go to bed, and for the cautious types, after meals. Plaque will always try to build back up, so its our job to learn what foods/drinks are the best and worst for our teeth, so we have the edge on achieving better dental health.

Avoid Foods with High Acidity Levels

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Our teeth are extremely sensitive, and it doesnt help when put in front of us are highly acidic foods and drinks. Acidic foods – including lemons, pickles, grapes, alcohol and coffee being eroding your teeths enamel the moment they have contact. Enamel does not grow back naturally, which can lead to bigger problems such as cavities and tooth decay.

To combat highly acidic foods, you can always purchase an enamel strengthening toothpaste from your local market, and eat less acidic foods not limited to vegetables, whole grains, eggs, and lean meats.

Watch out for Foods High in Sugar

As weve highlighted before, sugar is a main accomplice of plaque. The first step to weakening the threat of plaque is to reduce the amount of foods you eat with high concentrations of sugar. More importantly, its best not to let sugar settle inside your mouth for long. Brushing your teeth between meals and drinking lots of water is important to consider.

Foods that you need to watch out for includes raw sugar, candies, and other desserts. Be sure to skip out on the sodas and other sugary drinks as well. Healthy alternatives packed with flavor includes sweet potatoes, yogurts, apples and shiitake mushrooms.

Keep Away from Foods that Dry Your Mouth

Saliva is your mouths toughest defense system to prevent anything harmful to your teeth. Saliva is a natural base that neutralizes acid secreted by bacteria, aiding in the fight against gum disease and tooth decay. Lets not forget saliva washes away plaque momentarily and helps re-mineralize your teeth. However, dry mouth heavily impairs salivation, and you need to make sure that doesnt happen.

Some things that may cause your mouth to dry out includes alcohol, coffee, energy drinks and even some medicine. Things that will help against this includes water, black or green tea, gum (dont swallow!), strawberries and celery!

Dont Bite What You Cant Chew

For some reason, there are people out there that love hard to chew foods. Albeit your teeth are very strong, and your enamel is the strongest part of your body, theres no reason to be crushing items like ice or popcorn kernels with your teeth! All this ever results in is a chipped tooth and an emergency trip to the dentist. Keep in mind, if something looks to hard to chew, most likely it wasnt meant to be.

Food is Supposed to Make You Happy

We eat food for two reasons, to have energy and to feel happy. Even when this guides purpose is to show you what foods to avoid, it shouldnt stop you from enjoying foods and drinks you like. So long as you keep it to moderation, and stress the little dental health tips such as brushing, flossing and trips to the dentist, you should be okay.

For more information, or have questions concerning the foods youre eating are good or bad for your teeth, feel free to contact us online ( or by phone at (800) 959-3732.

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Sunday, August 21, 2005

A robotic system at Stanford Medical Center was used to perform a laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery successfully with a theoretically similar rate of complications to that seen in standard operations. However, as there were only 10 people in the experimental group (and another 10 in the control group), this is not a statistically significant sample.

If this surgical procedure is as successful in large-scale studies, it may lead the way for the use of robotic surgery in even more delicate procedures, such as heart surgery. Note that this is not a fully automated system, as a human doctor controls the operation via remote control. Laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery is a treatment for obesity.

There were concerns that doctors, in the future, might only be trained in the remote control procedure. Ronald G. Latimer, M.D., of Santa Barbara, CA, warned “The fact that surgeons may have to open the patient or might actually need to revert to standard laparoscopic techniques demands that this basic training be a requirement before a robot is purchased. Robots do malfunction, so a backup system is imperative. We should not be seduced to buy this instrument to train surgeons if they are not able to do the primary operations themselves.”

There are precedents for just such a problem occurring. A previous “new technology”, the electrocardiogram (ECG), has lead to a lack of basic education on the older technology, the stethoscope. As a result, many heart conditions now go undiagnosed, especially in children and others who rarely undergo an ECG procedure.

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Thursday, November 8, 2007

What you are about to read is an American life as lived by renowned author Edmund White. His life has been a crossroads, the fulcrum of high-brow Classicism and low-brow Brett Easton Ellisism. It is not for the faint. He has been the toast of the literary elite in New York, London and Paris, befriending artistic luminaries such as Salman Rushdie and Sir Ian McKellen while writing about a family where he was jealous his sister was having sex with his father as he fought off his mother’s amorous pursuit.

The fact is, Edmund White exists. His life exists. To the casual reader, they may find it disquieting that someone like his father existed in 1950’s America and that White’s work is the progeny of his intimate effort to understand his own experience.

Wikinews reporter David Shankbone understood that an interview with Edmund White, who is professor of creative writing at Princeton University, who wrote the seminal biography of Jean Genet, and who no longer can keep track of how many sex partners he has encountered, meant nothing would be off limits. Nothing was. Late in the interview they were joined by his partner Michael Caroll, who discussed White’s enduring feud with influential writer and activist Larry Kramer.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Sweden’s first royal wedding since 1976 took place Saturday when Crown Princess Victoria, 32, married her long-time boyfriend and former personal trainer, Daniel Westling, 36. The ceremony took place at Stockholm Cathedral.

Over 1,200 guests, including many rulers, politicians, royals and other dignitaries from across the world, attended the wedding, which cost an estimated 20 million Swedish kronor. Victoria wore a wedding dress with five-metre long train designed by Pär Engsheden. She wore the same crown that her mother, Queen Silvia, wore on her wedding day 34 years previously, also on June 19. Victoria’s father, King Carl XVI Gustaf, walked Victoria down the aisle, which was deemed untraditional by many. In Sweden, the bride and groom usually walk down the aisle together, emphasising the country’s views on equality. Victoria met with Daniel half-way to the altar, where they exchanged brief kisses, and, to the sounds of the wedding march, made their way to the the silver altar. She was followed by ten bridesmaids. The couple both had tears in their eyes as they said their vows, and apart from fumbling when they exchanged rings, the ceremony went smoothly.

Following the ceremony, the couple headed a fast-paced procession through central Stockholm on a horse-drawn carriage, flanked by police and security. Up to 500,000 people are thought to have lined the streets. They then boarded the Vasaorden, the same royal barge Victoria’s parents used in their wedding, and traveled through Stockholm’s waters, accompanied by flyover of 18 fighter jets near the end of the procession. A wedding banquet followed in the in the Hall of State of the Royal Palace.

Controversy has surrounded the engagement and wedding between the Crown Princess and Westling, a “commoner”. Victoria met Westling as she was recovering from bulemia in 2002. He owned a chain of gymnasiums and was brought in to help bring Victoria back to full health. Westling was raised in a middle-class family in Ockelbo, in central Sweden. His father managed a social services centre, and his mother worked in a post office. When the relationship was made public, Westling was mocked as an outsider and the king was reportedly horrified at the thought of his daughter marrying a “commoner”, even though he did so when he married Silvia. Last year, Westling underwent transplant surgery for a congenital kidney disorder. The Swedish public have been assured that he will be able to have children and that his illness will not be passed on to his offspring.

Westling underwent years of training to prepare for his new role in the royal family, including lessons in etiquette, elocution, and multi-lingual small talk; and a makeover that saw his hair being cropped short, and his plain-looking glasses and clothes being replaced by designer-wear.

Upon marrying the Crown Princess, Westling took his wife’s ducal title and is granted the style “His Royal Highness”. He is now known as HRH Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland. He also has his own coat-of-arms and monogram. When Victoria assumes the throne and becomes Queen, Daniel will not become King, but assume a supportive role, similar to that of Prince Phillip, the husband of the United Kingdom’s Queen Elizabeth II.

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Thursday, September 2, 2010

It has emerged that the 33 Chilean miners trapped underground after the mine they were working in collapsed could be brought to the surface in a shorter time than was initially feared. While officials publicly announced that the men would not be brought to the surface until Christmas, sources inside technical meetings have revealed that they could in fact be on the surface by early November. The news comes as families were allowed to speak by radio-telephone to their trapped loved ones on Sunday. Over the weekend, video images filmed by the miners emerged showing the miners playing dominoes at a table and singing the Chilean national anthem. The miners also used the camera to send video messages to their families on the surface, saying that they regularly broke into tears, but were feeling better having received food and water.

The grainy nightvision images, filmed on a high definition camcorder that was sent down a small shaft to the mine, show the men in good spirits, chanting “long live Chile, and long live the miners.” They are unshaven and stripped to the waist because of the heat underground, and are seen wearing white clinical trousers that have been designed to keep them dry. Giving a guided tour of the area they are occupying, Mario Sepúlveda, one of the miners, explains they have a “little cup to brush our teeth”, and a place where they pray each day. “We have everything organized,” he tells the camera. Gesturing to the table in the center of the room, he says that “we meet here every day. We plan, we have assemblies here every day so that all the decisions we make are based on the thoughts of all 33.” Another unidentified miner asks to rescuers, “get us out of here soon, please.” A thermometer is shown in the video, reading 29.5C (85F).

As the film continues, it becomes evident that the miners have stuck a poster of a topless woman on the wall. The miners appear shy, and one man puts his hand to his face, presumably dazzled by the light mounted on the cameraman’s helmet. One miner sent a message to his family. “Be calm”, he says. “We’re going to get out of here. And we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your efforts.” Another said that the miners are “sure that there are people here in Chile that are big people, that are powerful people, that are intelligent people, and they have the technology and they will all work together to get us out of here.” Speaking to the camera, one says: “we have had the great fortune that trapped in this mine there are good, professional people. We have electricians, we have mechanics, we have machine operators and we will let you know that while you are working to rescue us on the surface, we are down here ready to help you too.” It has been reported that Mario Gómez, 63, has become the group’s “spiritual leader”, having worked in the mines for over fifty years. He has requested that materials to build a shrine be sent down to the cavern.

Upon seeing the video in a private screening, family members, who are living in a small village of tents at the entrance to the San José copper-gold mine—which they have named Camp Hope—were elated. “He’s skinny, bearded and it was painful to see him with his head hanging down, but I am so happy to see him alive”, said Ruth Contreras, the mother of Carlos Bravo, who is trapped in the mine. The video, of which only a small portion has been released to the public, shows the miners, many of them wearing helmets, cracking jokes and thanking the rescuers for their continued efforts. The supplies are being sent to the men through a small shaft only twelve centimeters wide, and a laboratory has been set up with the purpose of designing collapsible cots and miniature sandwiches, which can be sent down such a narrow space.

CNN reported on Friday that “officials are splitting the men into two shifts so one group sleeps while the other works or has leisure time .. On average, each man has lost 22 pounds (10 kilograms) since they became trapped three weeks ago, and dehydration remains a threat. But a survey of the men indicates that at least nine miners are still too overweight to fit through the proposed rescue shaft. Initially, the miners survived by draining water from a water-cooled piece of equipment. To stay hydrated in the 90-degree mine, each miner must drink eight or nine pints of water per day.”

But while there are jubilant celebrations on the surface that the miners are alive, officials are now nervous that the miners could become depressed, trapped in a dark room the size of a small apartment. Chilean health minister Jaime Mañalich said that, on the video, he saw the telltale signs of depression. “They are more isolated, they don’t want to be on the screen, they are not eating well”, he said. “I would say depression is the correct word.” He said that doctors who had watched the video had observed the men suffering from “severe dermatological problems.” Dr. Rodrigo Figueroa, head of the trauma, stress and disaster unit at the Catholic University in Santiago, Chile, explained that “following the euphoria of being discovered, the normal psychological reaction would be for the men to collapse in a combination of fatigue and stress … People who are trained for emergencies – like these miners – tend to minimize their own needs or to ignore them. When it is time to ask for help, they don’t.” NASA has advised emergency workers that entertaining the miners would be a good idea. They are to be sent a television system complete with taped football matches. Another dilemma facing Mañalich is whether the miners should be permitted to smoke underground. While nicotine gum has been delivered to the miners, sending down cigarettes is a plan that has not been ruled out.

With the news that drilling of the main rescue tunnel was expected to begin on Monday, officials have informed the media that they hope to have the miners out of the mine by Christmas—but sources with access to technical meetings have suggested that the miners could actually be rescued by the first week of November. A news report described the rescue plan—”the main focus is a machine that bores straight down to 688m and creates a chimney-type duct that could be used to haul the miners out one by one in a rescue basket. A second drilling operation will attempt to intercept a mining tunnel at a depth of roughly 350m. The miners would then have to make their way through several miles of dark, muddy tunnels and meet the rescue drill at roughly the halfway point of their current depth of 688m.” Iván Viveros Aranas, a Chilean policeman working at Camp Hope, told reporters that Chile “has shown a unity regardless of religion or social class. You see people arriving here just to volunteer, they have no relation at all to these families.”

But over the weekend, The New York Times reported that the “miners who have astonished the world with their discipline a half-mile underground will have to aid their own escape — clearing 3,000 to 4,000 tons of rock that will fall as the rescue hole is drilled, the engineer in charge of drilling said Sunday … The work will require about a half-dozen men working in shifts 24 hours a day.” Andrés Sougarret, a senior engineer involved in operating the drill said that “the miners are going to have to take out all that material as it falls.”

The families of those trapped were allowed to speak to them by radio-telephone on Sunday—a possibility that brought reassurance both the miners and those on the surface. The Intendant of the Atacama Region, Ximena Matas, said that there had been “moments of great emotion.” She continued to say that the families “listened with great interest and they both felt and realized that the men are well. This has been a very important moment, which no doubt strengthens their [the miners’] morale.” The phone line is thought to be quite temperamental, but it is hoped that soon, those in the mine and those in Camp Hope will be able to talk every day. “To hear his voice was a balm to my heart … He is aware that the rescue is not going to happen today, that it will take some time. He asked us to stay calm as everything is going to be OK … He sounded relaxed and since it was so short I didn’t manage to ask anything. Twenty seconds was nothing”, said said Jessica Cortés, who spoke to her husband Víctor Zamora, who was not even a miner, but a vehicle mechanic. “He went in that day because a vehicle had broken down inside the mine … At first they told us he had been crushed [to death].”

Esteban Rojas sent up a letter from inside the mine, proposing to his long-time partner Jessica Yáñez, 43. While they have officially been married for 25 years, their wedding was a civil service—but Rojas has now promised to have a church ceremony which is customary in Chile. “Please keep praying that we get out of this alive. And when I do get out, we will buy a dress and get married,” the letter read. Yáñez told a newspaper that she thought he was never going to ask her. “We have talked about it before, but he never asked me … He knows that however long it takes, I’ll wait for him, because with him I’ve been through good and bad.”

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Sunday, August 6, 2006

The Reuters news agency has retracted a photograph of Beirut, Lebanon, after finding out that it was altered. Reuters released a statement saying: “Photo editing software was improperly used on this image. A corrected version will immediately follow this advisory. We are sorry for any inconvience.” The photograph had shown two plumes of black smoke rising out of buildings in Beirut.

Meanwhile a Reuters employee was suspended after using Reuters internet access to issue a threat saying, “I look forward to the day when you pigs get your throats cut.” The e-mail was sent to Charles Johnson, who maintains the Little Green Footballs blog. Johnson said: “This particular death threat is a bit different from the run of the mill hate mail we get around here, because an IP lookup on the sender reveals that he/she/it was using an account at none other than Reuters News. I think it’s more than fair to say that Reuters has a big problem.”

Reuters spokesman Ed Williams said: “I can confirm that an employee has been suspended pending further investigation. The individual was not an employee of Reuters’ news division.”

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By Nemanja Kuzmanovic

For almost half a century, South Africa was placed under apartheid, a means of segregation where the white where separated from the black. Even if more blacks inhabited the country, the whites were given more privileges. It was a serious form of discrimination that was criticized by many nations around the world.

Thankfully, in 1990, the segregation scheme came to an end. And an inspirational political figure rose to powerNelson Mandela, the countrys first President elected by the majority, meaning by both black and white South African citizens. Ever since, South Africa has done ways to improve its image to the world and one of its ways was to boost its tourism.

Indeed, South Africa is a beautiful place. It has been blessed with some of the most breath-taking natural resources unrivaled by other countries. It also boasts of a wide array of animals in its safari. Get to see elephants, the largest land mammals, up close by visiting the Addo Elephant National Park in Port Elizabeth. There are around 450 elephants in this place. Aside from elephants, you will also be able to see the animals known to be the Big Seven of Africalions, buffalo, rhinoceros, leopards, southern right whales and great white sharksin this national park. Aside from interacting with the elephants and other members of the Big Seven, you can also hike, watch birds, and fish in this wild life sanctuary. This is a good place to interact with and appreciate the beauty of Mother Nature.

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Delta Airlines and South African Airways both offer direct flights from New York to Johannesburg, South Africa. They are the only two airlines that have this provision.

There are a number of five star hotels in South Africa that are willing to accommodate you. There is the Hyatt Regency in Johannesburg. This hotel with more than 250 rooms and suites will really make you feel that you experience South Africas beauty as most of its rooms have that ethnic touch. Another five-star hotel in Johannesburg is the Emperor Hotel Caesars Gauteng, which boasts of nearly 200 rooms and a casino.

If you are planning to stay in Pretoria for your vacation in South Africa, you may check in the Sheraton Pretoria Hotel, which is a favorite of businessmen as it is located in one of the countrys biggest commercial hubs.

If you love sports, then 2010 is probably the best way to travel to South Africa. It will be hosting one of the biggest meets in the sporting worldthe FIFA World Cup, where several countries from different regions will be competing for the chance to be considered as the best football (or soccer) country in the world. The tournament will be held in 10 major cities, including Pretoria and Johannesburg. The constructions of several stadiums in these cities are already almost done, and the people and the government of South Africa are already making sure that football fans or casual tourists will enjoy their stay in South Africa.

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Monday, December 22, 2008

A suspected United States military air strike launched by a remote-controlled and unmanned CIA aircraft on Monday morning killed at least 8 militants. Media reports claim that in two separate attacks, three missiles were fired by US drones at South Waziristan’s Karikot and Shin Warsak villages, a tribal area in northwest Pakistan, well-known as center of Taliban and Al-Qaeda activity. The site of the attack is about nine miles (15 km) from the town of Wana in South Waziristan, an ungoverned tribal region.

South Waziristan is the southern part of Waziristan, a mountainous region of northwest Pakistan, bordering Afghanistan and covering some 11,585 km² (4,473 mi²). It comprises the area west and southwest of Peshawar between the Tochi River to the North and the Gomal river to the south, forming part of Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The North-West Frontier Province lies immediately to the east. The region was an independent tribal territory from 1893, remaining outside of British-ruled empire and Afghanistan. Tribal raiding into British-ruled territory was a constant problem for the British, requiring frequent punitive expeditions between 1860 and 1945. The region became part of Pakistan in 1947.

A senior security official said that “two vehicles fitted with guns were destroyed,” adding that “the eight people killed were all inside the vehicles.” Pakistani intelligence said they believed the extremists killed were members of local Pakistani Taliban groups. The reports also said that the missiles “targeted vehicles mounted with anti-aircraft guns, and one missile missed its intended target and landed near a house.” A local official said nine other extremists were wounded in the drone strike.

Agence France-Presse has reported that “a missile attack late last month by a US jet killed Rashid Rauf, the alleged Al-Qaeda mastermind of a 2006 transatlantic airplane bombing plot, as well as an Egyptian Al-Qaeda operative, security officials have said.” US unmanned drones have launched not less than 20 missile attacks in Pakistan Afghan border or tribal areas since August. The strikes have raised tensions between Washington and Islamabad.

In November, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani viewed these missile strikes as flagrant violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. He announced his government was considering “a number of options to counter attacks”. BBC has reported, however, that Pakistan “has been reluctant to move either diplomatically or militarily to stop these strikes.” “This has fuelled speculation that the attacks may be part of a secret pact between Pakistan and the US,” it added. Meanwhile, President George W. Bush, last week, said that “you know very well that when it comes to certain matters, the U.S. government doesn’t discuss operations.” He ruled out consultations with other governments, including Pakistan, prior to drone strikes operations.

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