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City of Brotherly Love to love Michael Vick..?

It’s all over the news, MySpace and Facebook status updates and has been tweeted via all the latest tweets thanks to Twitter. Michael Vick is signed as the new quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Not even 24 hours ago it was rumored Vick might join up with the Buffalo Bills. I think it’s safe to say we can discount Mr. Adam Schefter of ESPN for that one. Poor call, dude.
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Chevy’s Volt a much needed jolt

A few months ago, people cried over the treatment of ‘Government Motors’ and its bailouts and eventual bankruptcy filing, while conspiracy theorists predicted the company would be a government entity within the private business sector.  While many of those claims are still on their way to being proven false, the idea that GM would grow stale or would fail even with government intervention seem to be way off the mark.  GM has needed a change in its public image, that much anyone can agree on.  In many ways, GM needed not years of gradual improvement, but something so significant and earth shattering that it broke the hanging cloud of doubt over General Motors and its smaller companies and would renew interest in the struggling automaker.
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Can you really be scared to death? And other weird ways that may invite Death home

It’s common to hear of someone dying of a broken heart, or being scared to death, common as in just kidding or pure jest…right? Well, maybe not.

According to an article published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, there have been cases documented of people actually dying from strong emotions.

Some of the examples include Roman emperor Nerva (A.D. 30-98), who died due to a fit of anger directed at some senator who offended him; a 13th century pope (Innocent IV) was said to have died of grief when his army was overthrown, and it was also told that some American patriots died of sheer happiness after finding out that General Cornwallis’s men had been defeated (more like creamed) at Yorktown.

G. L. Engel, author of the study, also gathered 170 recent accounts of death due to life disturbing events like the death of someone close, threat of injury or death, death upon reuniting with someone long lost, grief, death by mourning or on an anniversary, happy endings…etc.

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Criticism of controversy is laughable

One of my favorite sports writers does a syndicated piece for Fox Sports and writes often on controversial topics that range from ethnic diversity to marriage, to articles on athletes simply being underachievers.  His articles are filled with substance and good points but are usually marred by the topic itself, with many readers who are blinded by the “politically correct necessity complex,” dismissing any of the just statements and label the works as garbage libel.

I’m sorry, but he’s billed as a controversial writer and paid to do exactly that.  He does it with tact and keeps it within the realm of understanding for many who couldn’t tell the difference between a technical foul or a personal foul.  

As with many controversial sports writers, Jason Whitlock takes flack for pretty much all he says, and I suppose it’s to be expected with writing the topics and toeing the line he does, but it would be nice to see the readers actually read his articles and absorb the content instead of reverting to gut reactions to things they may not want to hear.

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Celebrity narcissism reaching public?

Though I didn’t know it when I first picked up the book from my local library, one of the most interesting facts to me about The Mirror Effect: How Celebrity Narcissism is Seducing America, initially, came with discovering the author’s background.

Dr. Drew Pinsky is the host of VH1’s Celebrity Rehab, a reality television show, thus making Dr. Pinsky a reality television star. The focus of his book is describing to America its fixation on celebrities and how a narcissistic behavior can result from that. Essentially, Dr. Pinsky tries to tell us that we’re all narcissistic in one way or another, and that this “pathology” stems from the media constantly covering celebrities and their lives. It’s a “celebrity fixation,” as Pinsky terms it.

Right off the bat I was struck with the pangs of hypocrisy, and I hadn’t even read the first page of the book; just the back cover and did a little research online about the author. (Actually, there are two authors – Dr. Drew Pinsky and social scientist Dr. S. Mark Young – but the second plays a minor role, aiding Pinsky in the actual studies with his expertise, and does not star on Celebrity Rehab with Pinsky. Therefore, when I pass a judgment like this one, I do not mean to include Dr. Young.)

So, to say the least, I wasn’t impressed at the start with this book, but then I began to dig into it.

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Civil Rights Movement, looking back

It’s been more than 50 years since the start of the Civil Rights Movement. So much has taken place in those short decades, but it’s hard to imagine, for me, a world much different than today, with so many opportunities for so many different people. I was born in the ’80s, so I really have no perspective on what took place in those crucial years. I thought it might be interesting to take a look back and interview some people who actually experienced the movement to see what they have to say after all these years, paying particular attention to the the black movement and the idea of racism.

(What I found may surprise you. I know it did me.)

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Clinton is like a bad case of herpes

Americans have what must be the shortest memory of any modern society, eagerly placing the blame on the nearest figurehead available, failing to use reason and rational thinking to seek the root of any problem.  Our society has long relied on storytellers to give us the details on a platter, and for us to follow blindly without looking into history and precedent set to determine where the truth may be hidden behind a veil of lies and misdirection.

Take the economy for instance.  America blames Bush for our economic turmoil, much to the public’s own ignorance.  He provided a convenient scapegoat for all the troubles in foreign policy with the wars around the world to our dismay at our economic stability on the domestic front.  His goofy grin and poor public speaking ability allowed the populace to mock him at will, believing him to be incompetent.  Unfortunately, competence does not always come hand in hand with charisma, otherwise Obama would be the savior a blind America has hoped for and yet has not seen.

The root of our economic problems sits before our former President Bush.  Our problem rests in a man known for his fiasco in Yugoslavia, his bombing of the no-fly zone in Iraq, and the military SNAFU he caused in Somalia.  Oh, and he is also known for not knowing the definition of the word ‘is’ and of ‘not’ having sexual relations with one Monica Lewinsky.

Yes, America’s herpes has come out of remission once again: Bill Clinton.

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Cure for red tide

As his blue eyes peer out from behind no-frame glasses, 71-year-old inventor Bob Rigby sits drinking his second coffee of the morning. Born and raised in Venice, Fla., Rigby is familiar with the area and smiles at each person walking by.

Rigby has experienced all that comes with growing up on the Gulf Coast of Florida, including red tide. After seeing some of its terrible affects, he decided to take matters into his own hands, and in 1992, he began research to find a cure.

Nine years later, Rigby found it.

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Consignment competition sees small-time shops suffer

Christine Clifford, owner of the Clothes Line Too consignment boutique in Clearwater, Fla. stands in the center of her store surrounded by hundreds of trendy clothing pieces, colorfully decorated walls, sparkling jewelry and three smiling customers. If one didn’t know any better, this place might seem like just another expensive clothing store in the mall, and that these four women were simply carrying on together like best friends shopping on a typical Saturday afternoon.

Clothes Line Too is one of many consignment shops or clothing resale stores where people can bring in their old clothes to be considered for consignment. Many people don’t realize it, but places like this are more than just good for the few extra bucks they provide their clients’ wallets.

“I love my job because of the people. They become like family and you discover there’s more good out there than you might think,” Clifford says, as she pushes up a cheerful grin and hangs some new items on a nearby rack. “During certain times of the year, like around Christmas, my assistant Trisha and I will do something I call ‘late-nights’ where we’ll keep the store open extra hours for people who work late. For example, last year a man came in with three women. He gave them each $50 to buy whatever clothes they wanted. The women, I found out later, were some of his employees, single mothers who just needed a little help. I thought to myself, what a nice guy.”

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California’s polluted past and…promising present?

It’s been said that in California, it will be the crowds, the traffic, the cold or the pollution that kills you. Well, in regard to my own personal and eventual death, none of these means appeal to me in particular. Not the smothering by strangely dressed tourists, the collision of a several-ton vehicle impacting my tiny frame of a body, or the slow takeover of freezing cold temperatures gripping me so tightly as to extinguish all the life remaining inside me. But pollution? I don’t think I could imagine the possibility of some thick, smoggy, chemical substance finding its way into my body and then taking over some invaluable major organ, forcing me to battle it out in an end-all, beat-all fight to which I inevitably lose.

With this in mind, I don’t know if California is a place I want to visit, let alone call home, any time soon…or is it?

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