May 4, 2008

Analysis on Charleston-Gazette OSHA Story

The Charleston-Gazette published a story on how few OSHA inspectors there are to cover the entire state of West Virginia. They presented numbers about the total number of inspections across the state for a given year, the number of citations issued and the total of the fines. They also provided the number of workplace deaths for a given year and compared this to other years.
The reporter would need to know how to use database software in order to keep track of all the statistics. Spreadsheet programs could also be useful in order to analyze and present numbers.

Pharaoh Akhenaten May have had Disease that Made Him Look like a Woman

The Daily Mail reported that Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten who ruled Egypt over 33 centuries ago may have suffered from a genetic disorder that caused him to have a decidedly feminine physique.
Yale Medical School Professor Irwin M. Braverman, who studied sculptures and carvings of the pharaoh, thinks the ruler had Marfan syndrome, a genetic disorder that results in an overproduction of oestrogen. The disease caused him to have breasts, wide hips, and to look pregnant, the Daily Mail reported.
However, Akhenaten was a fully functional male, and, with wife queen Nefertiti, he fathered at least six children, one of whom may have been Tutankhamun.
Braverman spoke about his theory Friday during Maryland's 14th annual Historical Clinicopatholoical Conference, held to help diagnose afflicted historic persons, the Baltimore Sun reported.
However, there is some debate about how well the carvings Braverman studied represent the real Akhenaten. The Baltimore Sun reported that artists may have been incorporating symbols of fertility and afterlife into their work.
Braverman hopes to confirm his theory by using DNA testing. “I'm hoping that after we have this conference and I bring this up, maybe the Egyptologists who work on these things all the time … will be stimulated to look,? he said. (Daily Mail)

Atlas Statue in Rockefeller Center to be Restored

The New York Times reported that the four-story, seven-ton bronze statue of Atlas hoisting the world on his shoulders will receive a thorough cleaning.
The statue, designed by Lee Lawrie and Rene Chambellan, has sat in front of the International Building in Rockefeller Center since 1937. The Star Tribune reported that wax and lacquer have built up over the years, dulling the surface.
The cleaning, which will begin May 5, will last six weeks. EverGreene Painting Studios will use steam and solvents to clean the bronze, then apply a clear acrylic protective coating before hand waxing the piece.
Jeffery Greene, president of EverGreene Painting Studios, said the cleaning should bring out details, such as zodiac signs and artists’ tool marks, that have been hidden, the New York Times reported.
The statue had been regularly cleaned since its installation until at least the late 1980s, but this will be the statue’s most thorough restoration.

Grandma’s Restaurant to Close

KARE 11 reported that Grandma’s Saloon and Grill, a West Bank staple for 27 years, will close its doors May 22. The Minnesota Daily reported that the decision to close came from Grandma’s corporate offices.
A number of factors contributed to the closing. The recent smoking ban and the 35W bridge collapse have taken their toll on the restaurant. The slow economy isn’t helping either.
“There's less disposable income, I get that. Heck, all of us go out less,? said General Manager Hal Holmes.
The closing came as a surprise to the restaurant’s employees, according the Minnesota Daily.
“It was pretty short notice,? server Whitney Peterson said. (Minnesota Daily)
Holmes said he’s going to try to stay open longer to help out his employees. “The longer we stay open, the better it is for our staff,? he said. “They've got four weeks to make as much money as they can.? (Minnesota Daily)

35W Bridge Construction Three Months Ahead of Schedule

The Star Tribune reported that the new 35W bridge crossing the Mississippi could be completed by September, three months ahead of the December deadline.
According to the Bemidji Pioneer, the bridge is 65 percent complete and crews could begin hanging concrete sections as soon as May 14, three months earlier than planned.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation’s contract with construction company Flatiron includes a $200,000 a day bonus for each day that the bridge is finished before the Dec. 24 deadline, up to 100 days. That works out to an extra $20 million for the builders, paid for with federal funds.
Sept. 15 is 100 days early and Flatiron project manager “fully intends to make that? (Star Tribune).
But MnDOT is not so sure. “We are certainly ahead of schedule, there's no question about that, but there's still a lot of work to be done,? MnDOT spokesman Kevin Gutknecht said. “MnDOT's not at a point where it's ready to say ‘yeah, we're going to get done way early.’?

Elderly Woman Trapped under Dead Husband for Four Days

A newspaper carrier rescued an 84-year-old Illinois woman pinned under the body of her dead husband, Marion Daily Republic reported.
Carrier Bruce Pitts found Blanche Roberts March 27, trapped under her husband Fred, who apparently died of a heart attack after mowing the lawn, CBS News reported. The woman had been unable to move for four days.
Pitts said he grew suspicious after the couple’s newspapers were not picked up.
“It was never like them to leave a newspaper in their tube,? Pitt said. “That wonderful, small voice inside me said, ‘This isn't right.’? (CBS News)
According to CBS News, Blanche Roberts was coherent when rescuers found her. She knew her name and the names of her relatives, though she didn’t realize her husband was dead.
“She said, ‘Well, he’s sleeping. He’ll be up in a little while,’’’ Pitts said. (Marion Daily Republic)
As of March 30, Blanche Roberts was in intensive care at Herrin Hospital and “doing fine,? the Marion Daily Journal reported.

April 20, 2008

Second Person from SUV Dies

The Star Tribune reported that a second person from the SUV that plunged into the St. Croix River Sunday night died.
Rohini Krishnamurthy, 27, died Tuesday at 4:20 p.m. at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, the Pioneer Press reported. She had been in critical condition since the accident.
Mohanraj Pothiraj, 28, had died Monday morning, less than 12 hours after being pulled from the submerged vehicle, the Pioneer Press reported.
The vehicle’s other two occupants, Deepa Vellusamy, 25, and Kalaiselvi Vijayakumar, 25, are still at Regions Hospital. As of Saturday night, Vellusamy was in serious condition, and Vijayakumar was in critical condition, the Pioneer Press reported.
The four friends were originally from India and had rented the vehicle for a daytrip to Stillwater, the Pioneer Press reported.
Authorities are still investigating why the four had driven down a disserted dirt road just north of Stillwater. “It would be very premature to speculate as to what happened until we have more facts, which we are trying to obtain,? Stillwater Police Chief John Gannaway said.
The vehicle left the road and plunged into the St. Croix River at about 10 p.m. Sunday night, the Star Tribune reported.
Two 911 calls from within the vehicle were placed. Rescuers arrived at the scene two minutes later and rescuers had pulled all four from the vehicle within 15 minutes, the Pioneer Press reported.
According to the Star Tribune, Stillwater police hoped to interview Vellusamy and Kalaiselvi on Tuesday.

Man Wrongly Sentenced to Life in Prison Released

A 56-year-old man who had been sentenced to life in prison for a 1982 murder he didn’t commit was released from prison Friday, ABC News reported.
Alton Logan, who had spent 26 years in prison, was granted a new trial and released on bail after an attorney came forward with a confession from a client for the crime Logan was sent to jail for, CNN reported.
Logan had been found guilty of killing security guard Lloyd Wickliffe at a McDonald’s restaurant in January 1982, CNN reported.
According to ABC News, a month after Logan’s arrest, Andrew Wilson admitted to attorney Dale Covetry that he had killed Wickliffe.
Covetry described his conversation with Wilson: “We were told that you were the shooter at the McDonals’s. ‘Was that true?’ He said, ‘Uh huh.’ I said, ‘With a shotgun?’ You killed him with the shotgun?’ and he said, ‘Yeah.’? (ABC News)
However, attorney-client privilege forced Covetry to keep the confession a secret. Therefore, he wrote an affidavit that Wilson had committed the crime, ABC News reported. Covetry keep the affidavit locked up until Wilson’s death last year.
“How do you live with yourself having this secret?? Covetry said. “I couldn’t do anything legally or ethically. I represented Andrew Wilson.?
On Friday, Logan’s family cheered as he left prison, CNN reported. “All this time they knew, but they can say nothing,? Logan said (ABC News).
His family had planned a steak and lobster dinner for his first night home, CNN reported. “I’m going to turn him on to life,? Eugene Logan, Alton’s uncle, said. “We’re going to live it together.?

2-year-old Blows into Lake Michigan

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that a 65-year-old man was pushing his grandson in a stroller along Belmont Harbor in Chicago when a strong gust of wind blew the child into Lake Michigan.
The boy was listed in critical condition Friday night after being submerged in the 42-degree water for 15 minutes.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the grandfather, a Serbian who speaks limited English, went in the water to search for the boy. The paper reported he was shouting, “Boy,? while CNN reported the he shouted, “Child.?
Witness John Derscheid called 911 after he realized what had happened. Rescue crews pulled the child and the stroller out of the water and took him to Children’s Memorial Hospital. The grandfather was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital where being treated for exposure, CNN reported.
CNN reported that the grandfather was in stable condition Saturday night, while the Chicago Sun-Times reported he was in critical condition.
CNN reported that the winds at the time of the incident were about 20 mph, with gusts of about 30 mph. “The wind picked up,? witness Derscheid said. “I was getting stuff blown in my face.? (Chicago Sun-Times)

Three Grizzly Bears Arrive at Minnesota Zoo

The Pioneer Press reported that three Grizzly bears from Alaska arrived at the Minnesota Zoo on Friday. The bears will be part of the zoo’s new exhibit about Russia’s Grizzly Coast, which will open June 7.
Sadie, Kenai and Haines had been orphaned as cubs in Alaska and were found on three different days in 2006, the Star Tribune reported. The bears spent two years at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center before their 10-hour flight to Minnesota Friday.
The bears must now undergo a routine quarantine period so zookeepers can monitor them. The Pioneer Press reported that the quarantine period will last 30 days, while the Star Tribune reported that the bears will be quarantined until the exhibit’s opening June 7.
Since their arrival, zookeepers have been keeping the animals entertained by hiding peanuts in their hay and spraying their toys with apple juice. They will also be trained to open their mouths and show their feet when examined, the Pioneer Press reported.
The new exhibit will feature a trout stream, mud pots and geysers. But, according to Diana Weinhardt, supervisor of the new exhibit, the bears will be the stars. (Pioneer Press)

France Proposes Bill Cracking Down on Eating Disorder Encouragement

The Star Tribune reported that the lower houses of French Parliament have passed a bill that would make Web sites, magazines and other mass media outlets that encourage “extreme thinness? illegal. The bill awaits the Senate’s approval in the coming weeks.
The New York Times reported that the bill was proposed by conservative lawmaker Valérie Boyer. The Star Tribune reported her name as Valery Boyer.
“We have noticed that the sociocultural and media environment seems to favor the emergence of troubled nutritional behavior, and that is why I think it is necessary to act,? Boyer said. (New York Times)
If passed, the punishment would be a fine up to $71,000 and three years in prison for promoting anorexia or bulimia in the mass media, the Star Tribune reported.
The bill comes as a reaction to the anorexia-related death of Brazilian model Ana Carolina Reston in 2006.
Critics of the bill say that it is too vaguely worded, and doesn’t clearly define “extreme thinness,? the Star Tribune reported.
“Never will we accept in our profession that a judge decides if a young girl is skinny or not skinny. That doesn’t exist in the world, and it will certainly not exist in France,? Didier Brunbach, president of the French Federation of Couture, said. (New York Times)

April 13, 2008

Analysis of Diversity in CNN Article on Jewish Marathon Runners

The CNN article is about how Jewish runners are dealing with the Boston Marathon taking place during Passover and how that is disrupting their eating habits as they prepare for the race.
The article does move beyond stereotype. I think Jews are generally viewed as staunchly religious. However, this article moves past that stereotype by providing a broad spectrum of views from Jews. Some are modifying their religious rituals in order to accommodate for the marathon. Others are eating things they would normally not eat in order to adhere to their religious beliefs. Others are ignoring their religion altogether in order to participate in the marathon.
This article uses mainly quotes to provide a sample of views on the subject.

Rare Seahorses found in Thames

Colonies of the endangered short-snouted seahorses have been found living in the Thames River, the BBC reported. Scientists conducting routine surveys have found five seahorses in the river in the past 18 months, the Guardian reported.
This announcement came in the wake of the species gaining legal protection last month, the Guardian reported.
“Now they are protected, conservationists are more relaxed about telling the world they are there,? Alison Shaw, manager of the marine and freshwater conservation program and the London Zoo, said. (Guardian)
Under the law, anyone found killing, injuring or taking these animals would face a fine and six months of imprisonment, the Guardian reported.
BBC reported that the seahorses thrive in muddy, shallow waters or seagrass beds. They usually live around the Canary Islands or Italy, but their presence in the Thames indicates that the river’s water quality is improving.
“It demonstrates that the Thames is becoming a sustainable bio-diverse habitat for aquatic life,? Shaw said.

British Children’s Entertainer Found Dead

The body of a man, who authorities believe to be British television host Mark Speight, was found early Sunday in London’s Paddington station, the BBC reported. A formal identification has not yet been made, the Guardian reported.
Authorities are investigating, but are classifying the death as “unexplained.? However, they have confirmed the man was not hit by a train, the BBC reported.
The Guardian reported that Speight had been in a “vulnerable? state since the Jan. 3 death of his fiancé, Natasha Collins. Collins died of a drug overdose and boiling water burns after a night of partying with Speight, BBC reported. Speight had been arrested on suspicion of murder following the incident, but no charges were filed, BBC reported.
Speight was last seen entering the Queen’s Park tube station Monday. He was reported missing later that same day after he failed to meet Collins’ mother for coffee, the Guardian reported.
Speight hosted the BBC children’s show SMart until February, the BBC reported.
“Caring and compassionate in everything he did, Mark was truly gifted in life and we are proud to have represented him as a friend and client for almost 20 years,? Speight’s agent said through a spokeswoman. (BBC)

19-year-old Set Self on Fire, Father Also Burned Trying to Distinguish Flames

The Star Tribune reported that a 19-year-old Hudson man apparently set himself on fire in his family’s garage early Wednesday morning.
Brandon Helm suffered burns on over 80 percent of his body. His father, Michael Helm, 43, was also injured as he tried to distinguish the flames.
Police are investigating whether Brandon set himself on fire intentionally or if it was an accident, the Hudson Star-Observer reported.
The fire was reported at 1:22 a.m. Wednesday. According to the Hudson Star-Observer, fire crews used hand-hoses as well as a truck-mounted “master stream? to control the fire.
Brandon was taken immediately to Regions Hospital in St. Paul, while his father was taken to Hudson Hospital before being transferred to Regions, the Hudson Star-Observer reported.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Michael was listed in serious condition, but Brandon’s condition was unknown, the Star Tribune reported.
The fire also damaged the garage, destroyed two cars that were in the garage and caused smoke damage to the attached house, the Hudson Star-Observer reported.