Saturday, January 12, 2013

Who Wants the Flu?

Flu season is here again and nobody wants a cold or the flu.  Here are some tips to help prevent the spread of cold or flu and some ways to help you feel better if you get sick.

  • Fever *Not everyone with the flu will have a fever.
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea and vomiting *Sometimes
A flu vaccine protects against the three viruses that research suggests will be most common. This year's vaccine has only been moderately (sixty-two perecent) effective in preventing the flue. So it is important, whether you have had the vaccine, or not, to follow these tips to help prevent getting the flu.
  • Wash your hands often, with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol base hand rub. This is the number one way to prevent the spread of infection. Teach children to wash their hands.

Clean hands prevent the flu:

  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs, like the flu.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs spread this way. 
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people. If someone is coughing or sneezing, try to stay at least six feet away, from them.
If you are sick with a cold or flu, prevent the spread to others.
  • The CDC recommends that you stay home for at least twenty-four hours after your fever is gone, except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever reducing medicine.)
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible, to keep from infecting them.
  • When you sneeze or cough, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sneeze/cough into your elbow, not your hand. Throw used tissues into the trash. 
Remember: Colds and flu are viruses and antibiotics will not help you, unless you have a bacterial infection on top of the viral cold/flu infection.

Care for yourself when you are sick:
  • Get plenty of rest, give your body time to recover.
  • Eat lightly and keep hydrated. You may have a poor appetite, that is normal when you are sick. It is important to drink and keep hydrated. Hot tea with honey and lemon are helpful, if you have a sore throat and/or cough.
  • If you are congested, it may be helpful to avoid dairy, which increases mucous production. 
There are medicines available, over the counter, to treat fever, cough, and congestion. Read labels carefully and follow directions. Do not take more than the recommended dosage. Pay particular attention to "cold medicines" that have multiple ingredients. Exampe: If a cold medicine has acetaminophen, don't take additional acetaminophen (Tylenol), as you can overdose and damage your liver.

It's prefer to treat symptoms and use medicine for each symptom. Yes, you will be taking more medicine, but you will not be taking more dosage of each medicine and you will customize your medicine to only those symptoms you have. You will not be taking medicine for symptoms you don't have. Example: If you don't have a cough, there's no reason for you to take something that has cough medicine in it. If symptoms persist, or get worse, see a doctor.

Certain people are at greater risk of serious flu related complications. This includes young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with certain long term medical conditions. If you are in a high risk group and develop flu symptoms, it's best for you to contact you doctor. Remind them about your high risk for the flu.

CDC Emergency warning signs:

In children:
  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with a rash
In addition to the signs above, get medical help right away for any infant who has any of these signs:
  •  Inability to eat
  • Trouble breathing
  • No tears when crying
  • Significantly fewer wet diapers, than normal 
In adults:
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Flu like symptoms that improve, but then return with fever and worse cough

This video was made for healthcare workers, but it's fun for everyone.

Jurassic Park 4 Confirmed

Universal Pictures made an announcement that has had the movie world buzzing.

They let it be known that work is already underway on Jurassic Park 4, and will be out next summer.

Frank Marshall will be producing it and Steven Spielberg will be on his team, to some degree.

A script has already been written by Mark Protosevich.

Other than that, nothing has been released yet, we'll get back to you once there's more, especially once there is a trailer.

Jurassic Park 4 will hit theaters June 13, 2014.

White House Says: This Isn't the Petition Response You're Looking For

After a month of waiting, the White House has officially responded to one of it's petitions.

The Death Star petition had received enough votes to require a response from the government.

34,435 people signed the petition, asking the government to build a Death Star, for national defense.

Props must be given to the White House for their creative and informative response.

So, while we won't be getting a Death Star any time soon, at least they entertained us in their denying us one.
It follows here, in it's entirety.

This Isn't the Petition Response You're Looking For

By Paul Shawcross
The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense, but a Death Star isn't on the horizon. Here are a few reasons:
  • The construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000. We're working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it.
  • The Administration does not support blowing up planets.
  • Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?
However, look carefully (here's how) and you'll notice something already floating in the sky -- that's no Moon, it's a Space Station! Yes, we already have a giant, football field-sized International Space Station in orbit around the Earth that's helping us learn how humans can live and thrive in space for long durations. The Space Station has six astronauts -- American, Russian, and Canadian -- living in it right now, conducting research, learning how to live and work in space over long periods of time, routinely welcoming visiting spacecraft and repairing onboard garbage mashers, etc. We've also got two robot science labs -- one wielding a laser -- roving around Mars, looking at whether life ever existed on the Red Planet.
Keep in mind, space is no longer just government-only. Private American companies, through NASA's Commercial Crew and Cargo Program Office (C3PO), are ferrying cargo -- and soon, crew -- to space for NASA, and are pursuing human missions to the Moon this decade.
Even though the United States doesn't have anything that can do the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs, we've got two spacecraft leaving the Solar System and we're building a probe that will fly to the exterior layers of the Sun. We are discovering hundreds of new planets in other star systems and building a much more powerful successor to the Hubble Space Telescope that will see back to the early days of the universe.
We don't have a Death Star, but we do have floating robot assistants on the Space Station, a President who knows his way around a light saber and advanced (marshmallow) cannon, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is supporting research on building Luke's arm, floating droids, and quadruped walkers.
We are living in the future! Enjoy it. Or better yet, help build it by pursuing a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field. The President has held the first-ever White House science fairs and Astronomy Night on the South Lawn because he knows these domains are critical to our country's future, and to ensuring the United States continues leading the world in doing big things.
If you do pursue a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field, the Force will be with us! Remember, the Death Star's power to destroy a planet, or even a whole star system, is insignificant next to the power of the Force.
Paul Shawcross is Chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget

Missing From Minnesota: John Bemis, 37

Thirty-seven year old John Bemis is missing from Cloquet, Minnesota.

He was last seen on Monday, and his family reported him missing on Wednesday.

John is described as five foot eleven, one hundred and eighty pounds, with brown hair, and green eyes.

Both of his vehicles are also missing.

Bemis drives a red 2005 GMC Extended Cab Sierra pickup, with "Minnesota Supports our Troops" license 140DH

He also has a red 2009 Kawasaki Enduro motorcycle, with Minnesota license 60170MG.

Anyone with information is should call the Cloquet Police Department at 218-879-1247.

French Special Forces: Lieutenant Damien Boiteux

French Lieutenant Damien Boiteux died from wounds sustained on January 11.

He was the first French casualty of Operation Serval, in Mali.

His helicopter came under fire during air operations over enemy territory.

Boiteux was assigned to the 4th Helicopter Regiment Special Forces, out of Pau, France.

US Army: Sergeant Aaron Wittman

US Army Sergeant Aaron Wittman, twenty-eight, of Chester, Virginia, died of wounds sustained on January 10.

He was the first US casualty of 2013.

His unit came under fire in Khogyani District, Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan.

It was his second deployment to Afghanistan.

Wittman was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia.

Sergeant Wittman had previously been awarded a purple heart and a bronze star.

Thousands Protest in Bahrain

Thousands protested through the streets of Manama, Bahrain, on Saturday.

They were protesting the upholding of jail terms for thirteen people.

The thirteen were arrested in 2011, during protests against the government.

A military tribunal convicted them of plotting terrorism, and sentenced them to jail.

Some of them received terms of as low as five years, while others received life sentences.

A majority of the country feels that the thirteen were innocent of the terrorism charges.

Every appeal for their early release has been denied.

Riots Renew in Belfast

A peaceful protest march in Belfast turned into yet another riot, on Saturday.

The city had finally seen a couple days of peace, after riots last week.

Around a thousand loyalist Protestants were marching through town, protesting decisions to severely reduce the number of days that the British flag flies.

During their march, a mob of masked, hooded, Catholic teens and young adults attacked them.

The peaceful protest broke into a street battle, as more Catholics joined and the noise brought out more Protestants.

Riot police rushed to separate the two groups, using clubs, water cannons, shields, and plastic bullets.

Sixteen police officers were injured, no word on injuries to the two sides was released.

France Raises National Terrorism Warning Level

French President Francois Hollande announced, on Saturday, that the nation's terrorism warning level will be raised.

He made the announcement after sending troops into Mali, where Al Qaeda troops were taking over the country.

Troops were also involved against Al Shabaab forces, in a failed rescue attempt of a French hostage, in Somalia.

With French forces fighting Islamist forces, many believe that the terrorist organizations may attempt to retaliate, by hitting France itself.

France has warned it's citizens abroad to be alert, and ordered all of it's citizens, in Mali, to evacuate the country.

French Troops to The Rescue in Mali

French troops in Mali
French soldiers have come to the rescue of Mali.

Mali has been dealing with Al Qaeda troops taking over the northern part of the country.

France has made it clear that they will not allow Al Qaeda to go any further.

Air power is suddenly a factor, and the French air force has pounded rebel forces.

Sweeping into the country the French army has placed themselves on the front lines, right with the troops of Mali.

They've already held off Al Qaeda attacks, and begun pushing them back.

Their aid has not come without cost, already a French helicopter pilot has been killed.

Spurred on by the French action, West African nations are speeding up their own plans to send troops, to their neighbor's aid.

The European Union also plans to speed up it's sending of troops to train Malian forces.

France and Mali are both asking the US to aid by sharing intelligence assets and by deploying drones.

French Commandos Fail in Hostage Rescue Attempt

Denis Allex
French commandos attempted to rescue a French man who had been held hostage since 2009.

Denis Allex had been kidnapped on July 14, 2009, while in Mogadishu, Somalia.

On Saturday, French commandos went in, to rescue him.

When the troops arrived, Allex's captors killed him.

During a firefight two French commandos and seventeen Al Shabaab militants were killed.

Chinese and Japanese Jets Scrambled

Chinese J7 Fighters
Saturday began with a showdown between China and Japan.

Once again a Chinese plane violated Japanese airspace, causing Japan to launch F15s. But this time China didn't just back down.

They responded by launching J7 and J10 fighters. Japan scrambled more F15s and defense forces went on alert.

The aircraft met over islands, which Japan owns, but China claims. After eyeing each other for a bit, the Chinese planes left and headed back to China.

China responded to the incident by announcing several more squadrons will be moved to Shuimen Air Base, right by the Chinese coast, and the nearest point to the disputed islands.

Japan is now considering giving it's pilots permission to fire warning shots, of tracers, past Chinese planes that violate the airspace.

That would be an extremely dangerous move, as it would be one step closer to war between the two countries.

Missing From California: Heather Till, 35, and Toddler

Thirty-five year old Heather Till and her twenty-one year old son are missing from Marysville, California.

They were last seen Wednesday morning.

Police are concerned as she is hearing impaired and has an unspecified medical condition.

Heather is described as five foot four, one hundred eighty pounds, with brown hair, and blue eyes.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Marysville Police Department at 530-749-3900.

They were found safe, on Monday.

Missing From Illinois: Bernice Thomas, 48

Forty-eight year old Bernice Thomas is missing from Chicago, Illinois.

She was last seen Wednesday evening.

Police are concerned as she left everything behind, including her phone and keys.

Bernice is described as five foot three, one hundred and fifty pounds, with black hair, and brown eyes.

When last seen she was wearing a black sweater with pink accents, black pants, and a black headband.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Chicago Police at 312-745-6052 with case number HW-112247.

Missing From California: Kathleen Pace, 65

Sixty-five year old Kathleen Pace is missing from Rocklin, California.

She was last seen Tuesday, when she left for Fontana, to visit her sister.

Kathleen is described as five foot two, one hundred and thirty-five pounds, with grey hair, and green eyes.

Her vehicle is a turquoise 1993 Plymouth Sundance with California license 3ARE938.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Rocklin Police Department at 916-625-5400.

She was located sick, but safe by police, Sunday evening

Silver Alert: Kansas: Donald Brickley, 80

Officials in Kansas have issued a silver alert for the state.

Eighty year old Donald Brickley is missing from El Dorado.

Authorities are worried about him as he has alzheimers, and may be lost and confused.

He was last seen about 01:00 CST Saturday morning.

Donald is described as five foot six, one hundred and fifty pounds.

Brickley may be driving a blue four door pickup truck with a Tonneau cover.

Anyone with information is asked to call the El Dorado Police Department at 316-321-9120.

Police found him about 15:30 CST and reported that he seemed fine.

No further details were released.

Missing Iowa Teen Safe

A missing Iowa teen has been reported home safe.

Seventeen year old Jacob Shultz had been missing since Monday.

According to his family, he returned home Friday night.

No further information was released.

Washington Amber Alert Cancelled, Police Still Looking for Kidnapper

An amber alert for the state of Washington was cancelled, Friday night.

Eight year old Anh Bao Nguyen-Duffy had been missing since Wednesday.

Her father, who does not have custody, had taken her, but dropped her off at a friend's house, Friday night.

Police are still looking for Hung Bao Nguyen on charges of felony harassment, second degree arson, and assault.

Nguyen is described as five foot seven and one hundred forty-five pounds.

No further description, or photo, was released at this time.

He drives a black 1998 Ford F-150 with Washington license B27504V.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Kent Police Department at 253-856-5800.

Missing From Pennsylvania: Helle Williams, 17

Seventeen year old Helle Williams is missing from O'Hara Township, Pennsylvania.

She was last seen January 5, after leaving a friend's in Fayette County.

No description, other than the photo, has been released.

Anyone with information should call the O'Hara Police at 412-473-3056.

Police Find Missing California 11 Year Old Safe

Police say they found a missing California boy safe.

Eleven year old Damian Smith had been missing from the town of Arvin since Thursday morning.

Late Friday night police recovered him safely.

They did not release any further information.

Missing From Arizona: McKayla McCormick, 15

Fifteen year old McKayla McCormick is missing from Awatukee, Arizona.

She was last seen on Wednesday night.

McKayla is described as five foot five, one hundred and seventeen pounds, with brown hair, and brown eyes.

When last seen she was wearing a black jacket, a black Tshirt with silver wings on the back and "Red Neck Angel" on the front, dark blue jeans, and camouflage work boots.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Phoenix Police Department at 602-534-2121.