Stowaway falls from plane over London, narrowly missing sunbather

LONDON (Reuters) – The body of a suspected stowaway fell hundreds of meters from a plane flying over southwest London, landing in the garden of a man’s home, just missing him as he sunbathed, according to neighbors.

General view outside a house where the body of a suspected stowaway fell into the back garden from a plane flying over southwest London, Britain, July 2, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

Police believe the man fell into the property in Clapham from the landing compartment of a Kenya Airways plane as it lowered its wheels on the approach to Heathrow Airport.

A neighbor, who asked not to be named, said the body landed only three feet (one meter) from the resident.

“He was so lucky not to be hit and killed. The impact obliterated the body,” the neighbor told The Sun newspaper.

“He didn’t even realize what it was to begin with. He was asleep and then there was a huge impact.”

Police said in a statement they were called to a home on Sunday after the body was found. A post-mortem examination is due to be carried out and the man has not yet been identified.

A bag, water and some food was found in the landing gear compartment of the plane after it arrived at Heathrow.

Photographs show the body landed partly on concrete paving slabs and partly on a lawn – leaving a crater in the garden of the house, which is more than 10 miles (15 km) from Heathrow.

Another neighbor told the Press Association that he heard a “whomp” when the body hit the ground, and went upstairs to look out of a window.

“At first I though it was a tramp asleep in the garden. He had all of his clothes on and everything,” the neighbor was quoted as saying.

“I had a closer look and saw there was blood all over the walls of the garden. His head was not in a good way. I realized immediately that he had fallen.”

Kenya Airways said the 4,250-mile trip from Nairobi to Heathrow takes eight hours and 50 minutes.

“It is unfortunate that a person has lost his life by stowing aboard one of our aircraft and we express our condolences,” the airline said in a statement.

Stowaways have previously landed in trees and on shop roofs in London after falling on the approach to Heathrow.

General view outside a house where the body of a suspected stowaway fell into the back garden from a plane flying over southwest London, Britain, July 2, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

Jose Matada fell to his death in 2012 from a British Airways flight from Angola. He was not reported missing and it took six months to identify him.

The inquest into his death heard that he endured temperatures of between minus 50 Celsius and minus 60 Celsius and suffered a lack of oxygen before he fell to earth.

In 2015, the body of a stowaway on a British Airways flight from Johannesburg to Heathrow landed on a shop in Richmond, southwest London. A second stowaway survived the 10-hour flight and was found in the undercarriage of the plane.

Editing by Stephen Addison

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Trailer: LAIKA Lets a Gentle Giant Loose in ‘Missing Link’

In the new trailer for Missing Link, the latest feature project from Oscar-nominated stop-motion powerhouse LAIKA, audiences will get to know a kindly creature of myth and legend — and two intrepid humans dedicated to helping him find his place in the world. The spot also promises more of the innovative artistry and envelope-pushing technical challenges that the studio is known for.

The film is written and directed by Chris Butler (ParaNorman), and features the voices of Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana, Zach Galifianakis, Timothy Olyphant, David Walliams, Emma Thompson, Matt Lucas, Ching Valdes-Aran, Stephen Fry and Amrita Acharia.

Annapurna Pictures will release Missing Link in U.S. theaters on April 12.


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Additionally, fans can check out a new Amazon Alexa experience tied to the film: Missing Link Adventures. This interactive audio story appeals to children’s innate curiosity, while promoting the importance of bravery, kindness and fitness.

Follow the film at missinglink.movie or on Facebook and Instagram @MissingLinkFilm.

Synopsis:

This April, meet Mr. Link: 8 feet tall, 630 lbs, and covered in fur, but don’t let his appearance fool you… he is funny, sweet, and adorably literal, making him the world’s most lovable legend at the heart of Missing Link, the globe-trotting family adventure from LAIKA. Tired of living a solitary life in the Pacific Northwest, Mr. Link recruits fearless explorer Sir Lionel Frost to guide him on a journey to find his long-lost relatives in the fabled valley of Shangri-La. Along with adventurer Adelina Fortnight, our fearless trio of explorers encounter more than their fair share of peril as they travel to the far reaches of the world to help their new friend. Through it all, the three learn that sometimes you can find a family in the places you least expect.

Animation Magazine

Chris Butler Unveils Laika’s Upcoming ‘Missing Link’

Portland-based stop-motion animation hub LAIKA has released a new trailer for its wonderful new globe-trotting movie Missing link, which is coming to theaters on April 13, 2019. The charming adventure centers on Mr. Link, an eight-feet tall, 630-lbs, fur-covered creature, who is funny, sweet, and adorably literal.

Tired of living a solitary life in the Pacific Northwest, Mr. Link (Zach Galifianakis) recruits fearless explorer and cryptologist Sir Lionel Frost (Hugh Jackman) to guide him on a journey to find his long-lost relatives in the fabled valley of Shangri-La. Along with adventurer Adelina Fortnight (Zoe Saldana), the fearless trio of explorers encounter more than their fair share of peril as they travel to the far reaches of the world to help their new friend. Through it all, the three learn that sometimes you can find a family in the places you least expect.

The film is written and directed by Chris Butler (ParaNorman) and produced by studio head Travis Knight and Arianne Sutner. I features the voices of Galifiankis, Jackman, Saldana, Timothy Olyphant, Emma Thompson, Matt Lucas, Ching Valdes-Aran, Stephen Fry and Amrita Acharia.

Butler, who wrote and directed the studio’s acclaimed Oscar and BATFA Award-nominated 2012 movie ParaNorman, and also worked on features such as Tim Burton’s The Corpse Bride and Laika’s Coraline and Kubo and the Two Strings, says he loves telling stories that are outside the realm of traditional animated movies. “Here at Laika, we tend to make movies that other studios may not do,” says the Liverpool, U.K.-born director. “In some ways, The Missing Link may be the most commercial movie that we’ve done, which all started with me saying, ‘I want a stop-motion Indiana Jones.’”

He adds, “I also wanted to a Victorian-era setting, because I am obsessed with that age, in particular Sherlock Holmes. You can basically sum up my childhood with the two movies — ParaNorman and this. We did zombies with ParaNorman, and the rest of my obsessions are showcased in this movie—monsters, Sherlock Holmes, Indiana Jones, the Victorian era—all thrown in together in one story.”

Butler says the wanted to move stop-motion away from the darker themes that the general public associate with the technique. “People think of it as slightly creepy, and I I wanted to step out of the shadows with this movie,” he admits. “I didn’t want it to be a Halloween movie or a ghost story. There’s more to stop motion than Ladislas Darevich, Jan Svankmajer and Tim Burton—as much as I love them. Travis [Knight] always says that we should be able to tell any story in stop-motion. That’s why I wanted to do something that was a polar opposite of those other films.”

Missing Link will be the biggest movie the studio has done in terms of scope and scale. It features more digital characters and set extensions than ever before, and is LAIKA’s first movie not featuring child protagonists. “We really wanted to push everything farther,” says Butler. “Theoretically, this movie shouldn’t have been done in stop-motion, but we managed to tell the story anyway, with a special nod to the colorful photos and grand landscapes from National Geographic magazines. One way to describe it is what if  Around the World in 80 Days was directed by David Lean starred Laurel and Hardy!”

Here is the new trailer for Missing Link:

Missing Link

Missing Link

Chris Butler

Chris Butler

Animation Magazine

Macron and Trump planted tree at the White House. Why it is now missing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron celebrated the special relationship between the United States and France during his state visit to Washington last week by planting a tree with President Donald Trump on the grounds of the White House.

A yellow spot is seen where the tree planted by French President Emmanuel Macron and U.S. President Donald Trump on April 23 stood on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 28, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Now the oak sapling is gone – at least temporarily.

White House photographers noticed the tree was gone days after it had been planted. Mystery ensued.

Slideshow (2 Images)

In fact, the tree, from Belleau Wood in France where almost 2,000 American soldiers died in a World War One battle, had been dug up not long after it was planted. It was put in quarantine, according to U.S. and French officials. The problem: Parasites on the tree could spread to others on the White House property.

“It was actually a special favor from Trump to France to be able to plant the tree the day of the president’s visit,” an official from Macron’s office said.

“Since then, it has returned to quarantine and will soon be replanted in the White House gardens,” the official said, adding: “Don’t worry, the tree is doing very well.”

Reporting by Yuri Gipas and Mike Stone in Washington and Michel Rose in Paris; Writing by Jeff Mason; Editing by Peter Cooney

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Kids With Sickle Cell Are Missing Out On Meds

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Feb. 16, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Less than a fifth of U.S. children with sickle cell anemia are getting the antibiotics that could save their lives, a new study finds.

“Longstanding recommendations say children with sickle cell anemia should take antibiotics daily for their first five years of life,” the study’s lead author, Sarah Reeves, said in a news release from Michigan Medicine.

These antibiotics can protect the children against potentially deadly infections, Reeves said. She’s an epidemiologist with the Child Health Evaluation and Research Center at the University of Michigan Medical School.

Bacterial infections are a major health threat for children with sickle cell anemia, but taking daily antibiotics can reduce that risk by 84 percent, according to the study.

However, the researchers found that just 18 percent of children with the blood disorder were taking antibiotics daily.

The finding came from analysis of data from 2005 to 2012 on more than 2,800 children, 3 months to 5 years old, with sickle cell anemia. The children lived in Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, South Carolina and Texas.

Sickle cell anemia — also called sickle cell disease — is the most common type of inherited blood disorder. In the United States, it mainly affects racial/ethnic minorities, and 1 in 375 black infants are diagnosed with the disease.

Without antibiotics, children with sickle cell anemia have a 100 times higher risk for bacterial infection and a 300 times higher risk for stroke than other children, according to the researchers. Infections can lead to serious conditions such as meningitis or even death.

The study did not examine why children with sickle cell anemia were not taking antibiotics. The researchers noted, though, that making this happen requires caregivers to pick up prescriptions every two weeks and also remember to give the medication to their child twice a day.

“Doctors need to repeatedly discuss the importance of taking antibiotics with families of children with sickle cell anemia,” Reeves said. “Social factors that may impact receiving filled prescriptions should also be considered, such as the availability of transportation and time to travel to pharmacies to pick up the prescriptions.

“The types of challenges involved in making sure children get the recommended dose of antibiotics is exacerbated by the substantial burden of care already experienced by families to help control the symptoms of this disease,” she said.

Making sure children get the antibiotics they need, Reeves said, requires a joint effort among health care providers, pharmacists and families.

The study was published online Feb. 5 in Pediatrics.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCE: University of Michigan, news release, Feb. 13, 2018

Copyright © 2013-2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

WebMD Health

Black Children Missing Out on Eczema Treatment

FRIDAY, Oct. 13, 2017 — Black children may have more severe eczema than white children, but they are less likely to visit a doctor for this common inflammatory skin condition, new research shows.

Eczema causes the skin to become red and itchy. Roughly 11 percent of children in the United States are affected by the condition, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Previous studies have demonstrated disparities in overall health care utilization among racial and ethnic minorities, but few studies have examined this question specifically for eczema,” said senior study author Dr. Junko Takeshita. She is an assistant professor of dermatology and epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine.

“This is the first study to look at racial and ethnic differences in health care utilization for eczema on an individual level rather than relying on a sample of outpatient visits, making this a unique evaluation of eczema that includes those not accessing care for their disease,” she said in a Penn news release.

The study included health care data on a group of more than 2,000 children and teens under 18 with eczema. The data was collected from 2001 and 2013.

Based on their analysis, the researchers estimated that 66 percent of the nearly 3 million children with eczema are white, 18 percent are black and 16 percent are Hispanic. Overall, about 60 percent of these children have been treated for their condition but the odds of being treated by a doctor also varies by race, the researchers found.

Among the white children with eczema, about 62 percent visited a doctor for the condition. Roughly 58 percent of Hispanic kids with the condition were also treated, compared to just 52 percent of black children.

Overall, black children and teens with eczema are 30 percent less likely to see a doctor than white kids, the researchers calculated.

Those who do see a doctor for eczema however tend to have more office visits and receive more prescriptions than white children, suggesting they have more severe cases of the condition, the researchers said.

“The data show that race alone can be a predictor of whether or not a child with eczema will see a doctor, independent of other social or demographic factors or insurance status,” Takeshita said.

Minority children with eczema also tended to be younger. They were more likely to also have asthma than the white children with the condition. The minority children were also less likely to have private insurance and more likely to come from low-income homes.

“While the study is not without its limitations, our findings suggest there are barriers to health care for eczema among black children, irrespective of income and insurance status, despite likely having more severe skin disease,” Takeshita said.

“Further research is needed to understand what these barriers are and why they exist so that we can ultimately make efforts to eliminate this disparity,” she added.

The study was published recently in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine provides more information on eczema.

Posted: October 2017

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Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Missing something? UK police want help to solve severed finger mystery

British police have launched a public appeal to find the owner of a human finger, seven years after it was found in London.

Police said on Thursday that the DNA of the severed finger, which came from a male, did not match any missing person or crime reports of the time and they have no other clues.

It was found by a dog in the rear courtyard of a London shop in 2010.

“We have now exhausted all lines of inquiry and have been unable to find out who the finger belongs to and how the finger became detached in the first place. It is quite the mystery,” said Detective Constable Tom Boon.

“We are now appealing for the public to help us solve the case.”

(Reporting by Elisabeth O’Leary in Edinburgh; Editing by Catherine Evans)


Reuters: Oddly Enough

Missing 1 Hour of Sleep May Double Car Crash Risk

By Karen Pallarito

HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Dec. 6, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Missing just an hour or two of sleep at night nearly doubles your chances of a car crash the next day, a new report suggests.

And getting behind the wheel after only four to five hours of shut-eye quadruples that risk. That’s comparable to driving with a blood alcohol concentration considered legally drunk, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety researchers warned.

“This is the first study to actually quantify the relationship between lack of sleep and the risk of being involved in a motor vehicle crash,” said report author Brian Tefft, who added that the risk of sleep-impaired driving has long been “underestimated and underappreciated.”

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recognizes the problem and will soon issue a national strategy to combat drowsy driving, said Bryan Thomas, the federal agency’s communications director.

“Not everyone drinks and drives or texts while driving, but everyone gets tired,” Thomas said. “And far too often, drivers are putting themselves and others at risk by getting behind the wheel without the sleep they need.”

National sleep organizations recommend that healthy adults get seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Teens, young adults and people recovering from a sleep deficit may need even more slumber, according to the report.

Lack of sleep slows reaction times, decreases response accuracy and leads to long lapses in attention, the foundation cautioned.

It makes sense that sleepy drivers’ performance would be impaired, Tefft said. “But before this study, we did not have real-world evidence of the size of the increase in crash risk in relation to the degree of acute sleep deprivation,” he explained.

For the report, which was released Tuesday, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety examined data from a NHTSA survey.

The survey consisted of a representative sample of nearly 4,600 police-reported crashes from July 2005 to December 2007. These crashes involved at least one vehicle towed from the scene of the accident and the dispatch of emergency medical personnel.

Specially trained investigators at the scene assessed factors that contributed to the crash as well as drivers’ sleep routines, changes in sleep schedule and amount of sleep in the 24 hours before the crash.

Continued

The foundation estimated crash risk for a given amount of sleep versus the recommended seven hours or more of sleep. They compared the sleep of drivers whose actions or errors contributed to crashes to drivers involved in crashes not due to their own mistakes.

Sleep-deprived drivers’ crash risk increased steadily with fewer hours of sleep, compared with drivers who got seven or more hours of sleep, the study found.

Drivers operating on four or fewer hours of sleep are a whopping 11.5 times more likely to be involved in a crash than well-rested drivers, the researchers found.

The study authors equated that sleep deficit to driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.12 to 0.15. In most states, a blood alcohol level of 0.08 and higher is considered legally drunk.

Drivers who contributed to crashes were more likely to report having slept less than usual in the 24 hours before the crash. They were also more likely to have altered their sleep schedule in the past seven days.

The youngest and oldest drivers were the most culpable in these drowsy driving-related accidents. By contrast, drivers who did not contribute to crashes were mostly middle-aged, the report said.

Jake Nelson, director of traffic safety and research for AAA, the nonprofit roadside assistance and services organization, urges people to build adequate sleep into their schedules to protect themselves and their loved ones.

“Sleep often ranks low on most of our lists,” he said. “But we do prioritize providing for and ensuring the safety of our families — two important tasks we cannot do if injured or killed because we fall asleep behind the wheel.”

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCES: Brian Tefft, senior research associate, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety; Jake Nelson, director, traffic safety and research, AAA; Bryan Thomas, communications director, U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Washington, D.C.; Dec. 6, 2016, report, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

Copyright © 2013-2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

WebMD Health

Missing Just 1 Hour of Sleep May Double Drivers’ Crash Risk

TUESDAY, Dec. 6, 2016 — Missing just an hour or two of sleep at night nearly doubles your chances of a car crash the next day, a new report suggests.

And getting behind the wheel after only four to five hours of shut-eye quadruples that risk. That’s comparable to driving with a blood alcohol concentration considered legally drunk, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety researchers warned.

“This is the first study to actually quantify the relationship between lack of sleep and the risk of being involved in a motor vehicle crash,” said report author Brian Tefft, who added that the risk of sleep-impaired driving has long been “underestimated and underappreciated.”

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recognizes the problem and will soon issue a national strategy to combat drowsy driving, said Bryan Thomas, the federal agency’s communications director.

“Not everyone drinks and drives or texts while driving, but everyone gets tired,” Thomas said. “And far too often, drivers are putting themselves and others at risk by getting behind the wheel without the sleep they need.”

National sleep organizations recommend that healthy adults get seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Teens, young adults and people recovering from a sleep deficit may need even more slumber, according to the report.

Lack of sleep slows reaction times, decreases response accuracy and leads to long lapses in attention, the foundation cautioned.

It makes sense that sleepy drivers’ performance would be impaired, Tefft said. “But before this study, we did not have real-world evidence of the size of the increase in crash risk in relation to the degree of acute sleep deprivation,” he explained.

For the report, which was released Tuesday, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety examined data from a NHTSA survey.

The survey consisted of a representative sample of nearly 4,600 police-reported crashes from July 2005 to December 2007. These crashes involved at least one vehicle towed from the scene of the accident and the dispatch of emergency medical personnel.

Specially trained investigators at the scene assessed factors that contributed to the crash as well as drivers’ sleep routines, changes in sleep schedule and amount of sleep in the 24 hours before the crash.

The foundation estimated crash risk for a given amount of sleep versus the recommended seven hours or more of sleep. They compared the sleep of drivers whose actions or errors contributed to crashes to drivers involved in crashes not due to their own mistakes.

Sleep-deprived drivers’ crash risk increased steadily with fewer hours of sleep, compared with drivers who got seven or more hours of sleep, the study found.

Drivers operating on four or fewer hours of sleep are a whopping 11.5 times more likely to be involved in a crash than well-rested drivers, the researchers found.

The study authors equated that sleep deficit to driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.12 to 0.15. In most states, a blood alcohol level of 0.08 and higher is considered legally drunk.

Drivers who contributed to crashes were more likely to report having slept less than usual in the 24 hours before the crash. They were also more likely to have altered their sleep schedule in the past seven days.

The youngest and oldest drivers were the most culpable in these drowsy driving-related accidents. By contrast, drivers who did not contribute to crashes were mostly middle-aged, the report said.

Jake Nelson, director of traffic safety and research for AAA, the nonprofit roadside assistance and services organization, urges people to build adequate sleep into their schedules to protect themselves and their loved ones.

“Sleep often ranks low on most of our lists,” he said. “But we do prioritize providing for and ensuring the safety of our families — two important tasks we cannot do if injured or killed because we fall asleep behind the wheel.”

More information

For sleep tips, visit the National Sleep Foundation.

Posted: December 2016

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Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Many With Diabetes Missing Out on Statins

MONDAY Sept. 12, 2016, 2016 — Nearly all middle-aged patients with diabetes should be taking cholesterol-lowering statins, but cardiologists fail to prescribe these medications for 2 out of every 5 diabetics in their care, a new study finds.

Multiple prior studies have shown that diabetics have a lower risk of heart attack and stroke if they take a statin, even those with no history of heart problems, said senior study author Dr. Salim Virani, a cardiologist at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston.

“That’s not debatable at this point,” said Virani, who is also an associate professor at Baylor College of Medicine. “They should all be on statins.”

But analysis of data from 204 cardiology practices across the United States revealed that 38 percent of middle-aged diabetics have not been prescribed statins.

The American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association have issued recommendations that anyone aged 40 and older with diabetes be prescribed statins.

Dr. Robert Eckel, past president of the American Heart Association, said the statin treatment gap uncovered by Virani and colleagues is “more dramatic than I expected.”

“I perhaps thought 15 or 20 percent of patients with diabetes would not be on statin therapy,” said Eckel, who is chair of atherosclerosis for the University of Colorado School of Medicine. “This is almost 40 percent. That’s unacceptable.”

Worse, there appears to be a great deal of randomness in who gets prescribed a statin, the study found.

The researchers discovered a 57 percent variation in statin prescribing practices, even after accounting for individual patient factors such as age, gender, race, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, tobacco use and insurance coverage.

In other words, if you take two identical patients receiving care at two different cardiology practices, one is 57 percent more likely to be prescribed statins than the other.

By comparison, an earlier analysis of statin use among similar patients within the VA health care system showed only 20 percent variation in prescriptions. Virani said that’s likely because VA doctors have uniform protocols and shared electronic health records, which produces more consistent care compared to individual cardiology practices.

For this study, researchers analyzed records of 215,193 patients with diabetes but no overt heart disease who visited a cardiologist between May 2008 and October 2013. They were aged 40 to 75.

The researchers found that only about 62 percent of middle-aged diabetics were prescribed a statin.

Those prescribed statins were more likely to have risk factors that endangered their heart health, the study reports. Further, they also were more likely to receive non-statin cholesterol-lowering therapy (28 percent versus 13 percent for people not receiving a statin) and had lower mean LDL “bad” cholesterol readings (90 mg/dL versus 103 mg/dL).

There are some patients who aren’t prescribed statins due to side effects like muscle aches and pains, Virani said. Anticipating this, the researchers removed 5,722 patients from their analysis who had documented statin intolerance in their medical records.

Undocumented statin intolerance might account for some of the patients who did not receive a statin in the final analysis, but not many or most, Virani said.

Statin side effects can be handled without taking a patient off the drug completely, Virani added.

“A lot of these patients can be switched over to a different statin, especially if a health-care provider can have a discussion about the benefits of taking it,” he said.

Many of these patients likely don’t get the statin prescription they need because their busy doctor is focused solely on the medical issue that brought the two together that day, Virani said.

“We have to take the time to close the loop and make sure we’re not just treating them for the current problem, but also what we can do to reduce their risk of heart attack or stroke in the future,” he said.

There’s one bit of good news from this study, Eckel noted — the percentage of diabetics on statins is growing gradually.

“The good news is the trend is increasing, but it’s not as exponential as we’d like to see it,” Eckel said. “It’s a gradual upward slope, in terms of patients receiving statins.”

The study, which was funded through an American Medical Association Foundation seed grant, was published online Sept. 12 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

More information

For more on statin use among diabetics, visit the American Diabetes Association.

Posted: September 2016

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Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Radar scan of Shakespeare’s grave confirms skull apparently missing

Shakespeare’s skull is likely missing from his grave, an archaeologist has concluded, confirming rumors which have swirled for years about grave-robbers and adding to the mystery surrounding the Bard’s remains.

Four hundred years after his death and burial at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Stratford-upon-Avon, central England, researchers were allowed to scan the grave of England’s greatest playwright with ground-penetrating radar.

But in the area under the church floor where the Bard’s skull was expected to be, they found signs of interference.

“We have Shakespeare’s burial with an odd disturbance at the head end and we have a story that suggests that at some point in history someone’s come in and taken the skull of Shakespeare,” said archaeologist Kevin Colls from Staffordshire University.

“It’s very very convincing to me that his skull isn’t at Holy Trinity at all.”

The findings deepen the mystery around Shakespeare’s last resting place.

The grave does not bear his name, merely this warning rhyme: “Good friend, for Jesus’ sake forbear, to dig the dust enclosed here. Blessed be the man that spares these stones, And cursed be he that moves my bones.”

In their quest to find Shakespeare’s skull, Colls’s team also investigated a long-standing tale that it was hidden in a sealed crypt in another church 15 miles (24 km) across the English countryside in Worcestershire.

But analysis of that skull showed it to be that of a woman who had been in her 70s when she died.

The story of Shakespeare’s missing skull appeared in The Argosy magazine in 1879, which blamed the removal on trophy hunters from the previous century when grave-robbing was common.

Skulls were worth collecting because genius, thought some at that time, would be evident in the remains of a man like Shakespeare, whose character Hamlet famously holds a skull while musing on death.

The scan of the grave where Shakespeare’s remains rest next to those of his wife Anne Hathaway was conducted in a non-intrusive way, said the team, who will present the results in a Channel 4 television documentary due to air in Britain on Saturday.

“There are so many contradictory myths and legends about the tomb of the Bard,” said Colls in a statement.

“These results will undoubtedly spark discussion, scholarly debate and controversial theories for years to come. Even now, thinking of the findings sends shivers down my spine.”

(Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by Stephen Addison)


Reuters: Oddly Enough

D.A.R.E. Leaves Ents Dazed and Confused Over Marijuana Missing As Gateway Drug

Lighting up a subreddit thread yesterday, a sharp-eyed ent (a marijuana enthusiast) made a seemingly significant discovery when observing that D.A.R.E., a Reagan-era anti-drug propagandist group, had mysteriously lost their reference to marijuana as a degenerate gateway drug.

The Gateway philosophy surmises that individuals begin addictive habits with socially acceptable substances – think tobacco and alcohol – then making the transition to more mind-altering drugs like LSD or heroin.

Pleased yet confused by the website’s omission, the more observant supporters of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program (a.k.a. D.A.R.E.) have been duped before by the low-tech reality of these antidrug crusaders. Late last summer, D.A.R.E. made a serious online faux pas by telling the truth. Accidentally publishing an inadvertent op-ed piece that pointed out the dangers of keeping marijuana illegal.

In that truthful Freudian slip of a post, D.A.R.E. published a piece by an ex-deputy sheriff turned legalization Crusader, which set the Internet ablaze when he claimed, “I know from enforcing senseless marijuana laws that children only are being put in more danger when marijuana is kept illegal.” After leaving the post up for 72 hours – it was abruptly yanked from their website with no explanation given.

Not exactly a tech savvy company

Similar to their previous mistake of unintended truth telling, D.A.R.E. simply never got around to defining marijuana as a gateway drug on their website. Instead, D.A.R.E. only identifies marijuana once on their “Keeping Kids Drug-Free” page, at the end of a short paragraph describing the slippery slope of tobacco use…

“Tobacco use is associated with alcohol and illicit drug use and is generally the first drug used by young people who enter a sequence of drug use that can include tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, and harder drugs.”

Regardless of whether or not D.A.R.E. has ever identified marijuana as a gateway drug on their propaganda filled site, most see it for what it is… scare tactics. Despite several studies dispelling the antiquated notion that marijuana is a gateway drug – this Cold War relic of a bygone philosophy continues to distribute distorted “facts” based on erroneous assertions.

(Photo Courtesy of /r/tress )

Marijuana

Two Imagi Execs Go Missing in China

Imagi-Studios-150

Financially troubled Hong Kong animation studio Imagi International, which produced 2007?s TMNT, made public Friday that two of its mainland Chinese board directors have gone missing. Imagi has not been able to contact chairman Shan Jiuliang since mid-October, and non-executive director Wen Di has not been heard from since November 8. The company has set up a special committee “to protect the company’s interests and assets.”

Many in China generally assume such disappearances are the result of secretive arrests made as part of the country’s various (and increasing) corruption probes. Such arrests and detainments have been growing under President Xi Jinping, and the government rarely reveals details of the allegations, or where or by whom the detainee is being held.

According to Patrick Frater’s report for The Boston Herald, the disappearances of Shan and Wen are part of a growing pattern of Hong Kong companies being affected by mainland Chinese judiciary actions. Earlier this month, prominent businessman Guo Guangchang was reported missing by entertainment conglomerate Fosun International but resurfaced after four days. Alibaba Pictures Group head Patrick Liu Chunning was also detained earlier this year.

Shan Jiuliang

Shan Jiuliang

Animation Magazine

Bones found in California belong to Swedish girl missing 30 years

Bones found in the Northern California foothills have been identified as belonging to a Swedish exchange student who went missing more than 33 years ago, prompting police investigators to reopen the case, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The remains, consisting of only seven bones, were discovered in Fremont, California, in 2010 and in November were matched to 21-year-old Elisabeth Martinsson, the Marin Independent Journal reported on its website.

Marin County Coroner’s spokesman said he could not immediately comment to Reuters on the case.

Martinsson, of Uddevalla, Sweden, had been staying as an exchange student with a family in Greenbrae, across the San Francisco Bay from Fremont, when she was reported missing on Jan. 17, 1982.

Martinsson, who also had been working as a nanny, vanished after buying a pair of boots in the nearby community of Larkspur and had not been seen in the more than three decades since.

Some 10 days after her disappearance Henry Lee Coleman, 31, and Sabrina Ann Johnson, 26, were arrested after they were found in Oklahoma with the yellow Volkswagen Rabbit that Martinsson had been driving.

Coleman, who had previously served time in prison for rape, was convicted of auto theft and sentenced to five years in prison, according to the Independent Journal.

Investigators were seeking additional tests on the bones and trying to determine Coleman’s whereabouts, the newspaper said. Martinsson’s remains, which were cremated, would be sent back to family members in Sweden.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Bill Trott)


Reuters: Oddly Enough