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January 31, 2013

Fan who got scammed out of $5,900 for Super Bowl tickets ends up getting free tickets


 Sharon Osgood, a hardcore 49ers fan who desperately wanted to follow her team to New Orleans, wired $5,900 to a seller on Craigslist offering two Super Bowl tickets. She and her boyfriend had pooled their money to get the tickets and travel to New Orleans to root on her beloved team.
You can guess where this is going. The "seller" turned out to be a scammer. When the highly-anticipated FedEx package arrived at Osgood's home on Monday, there were no tickets inside, just the message above.
Terrible story, right? Putting aside the First Law Of The Internet — Never Trust Anybody — and the constant warnings on Craigslist not to wire money, this is a shame. Six grand is a lot of money. And despite what you may think of Osgood's gullibility, the scammer did have a decently persuasive story: he was a tax attorney in Boca Raton, Fla., and a Ravens season-ticket holder who couldn't attend the game because of his pregnant wife.
Osgood and the seller apparently communicated several times by phone, email and text. Alas, it was all a long con. And the seller is no longer answering his phone or email, according to the San Jose Mercury-News. Sad story, right?
Well, there's a happy ending. Once Osgood's tale made the news, both Ticketmaster and the 49ers stepped in with ticket offers. Ticketmaster came through with four free tickets, and the 49ers with a fifth. Osgood will also get to have breakfast with Troy Aikman, oddly enough. (She ought to sell the extra tickets. Poetic justice.)
Now it's a great story, right? Of course, Ticketmaster's motives aren't purely altruistic. The company will have a ceremony to present Osgood with the tickets ... and you can bet there'll be mention of Ticketmaster's much-maligned "convenience charge" as a safeguard against this kind of theft.
"I wish I could tell you that we don't hear this story a lot, but we do," Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard told the Mercury-News. "There are a lot of places that fans go to buy tickets that aren't safe, and they get completely exploited. And it drives us crazy."

Violent Test Questions At Florida High School Upset Parents


The fate of Florida science teacher Dean Liptak is unclear as parents express concern over violent test questions that involve propelling students and driving over babies.
According to WTSP, the Fivay High School teacher in Hudson, Fla., assigned test questions like:
"A 50 kg student has a momentum of 500 kg m/s as the teacher launches him toward the wall, what is the velocity of the student heading toward the wall?"
"A northbound car with a velocity of 100 m/s ran over a baby with a momentum of 800 kg m/s, what is the mass of the car?"
Parents tell WTSP that the test questions are "violent" and "inappropriate." School officials have not disclosed the teacher's status at the school.
Liptak has been teaching in Pasco County Schools for several years and recently moved to Fivay from Ridgewood High School. His students at Ridgewood had positive reviews of his teaching on RateMyTeachers.com. One student calls him the "best teacher in the world."
A similar incident in Washington, D.C. last march led to a teacher's termination. Parents were outraged after the educator sent third graders home with morbid math problems that referenced cannibals, baking people in ovens and a child whose brain had become infested with fire ants.
And just two months prior, Norcross, Ga. elementary school parents were upset when math problems that used examples of slave beatings were used in class. The teacher who assigned the problems eventually resigned.
The science test in Florida comes at a volatile time for the school, as the Fivay community continues to remember their late classmate Jessica Laney, who committed suicide last month.

The benefits of raw honey

When we look at the word "raw", we associated it with the preservation of important vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Just as raw vegetables are preferable because of their nutritional content, the same is true of honey. Raw honey is honey that has not been heated, pasteurized or processed in any way. The differences between raw and pasteurized honey are substantial. Raw honey is an alkaline-forming food that contains natural vitamins, enzymes, powerful antioxidants and other important natural nutrients. These are the very nutrients that are destroyed during the heating and pasteurization process. In fact, pasteurized honey is equivalent to and just as unhealthy as eating refined sugar.

Raw honey has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties. It promotes body and digestive health, is a powerful antioxidant, strengthens the immune system, eliminates allergies, and is an excellent remedy for skin wounds and all types of infections. Raw honey's benefits don't stop there. Raw honey can also stabilize blood pressure, balance sugar levels, relieve pain, calm nerves, and it has been used to treat ulcers. Raw honey is also an expectorant and anti-inflammatory and has been known to effectively treat respiratory conditions such as bronchitis and asthma.

Raw honey purchased from a local source is an excellent way of treating seasonal allergies. Local honey is preferred for treating allergies because the likelihood is great that it will contain small amounts of the specific pollens an individual may be allergic to.


Raw Honey is an effective natural remedy for a variety of conditions

For centuries, honey has been used to treat all sorts of ailments. It can be applied topically to heal wounds and rashes, or it can be taken internally to treat infections and address other health concerns. Although there are numerous remedies, the following are popular remedies for common everyday conditions.

For skin burns, rashes, and abrasions, place a honey poultice over the affected area.

Raw honey is also an effective treatment for acne. A small amount placed on blemishes and acne nightly will often clear the skin in a short period of time. Washing your face with honey will also leave you with sparkling, clean, soft skin.

Raw honey's antibiotic properties are effective in treating colds and sore throats. Raw honey coats the throat and reduces irritation. For blocked sinuses, mix a teaspoon of honey in a pot of hot water, put a towel over your head, and just inhale the steam.

To treat allergies, take a teaspoon of raw honey a couple of times a day starting a few months prior to allergy season.

The many varieties of honey

There are many varieties of honey, some of which are used to treat specific health conditions. Manuka honey has strong anti-bacterial properties and is used to treat a variety of conditions which include colds, sore throats, indigestion, stomach ulcers, and acne.

Acacia honey cleanses the liver, promotes intestinal health, and reduces inflammation in the respiratory tract.

Buckwheat honey, a strong tasting and dark honey, has strong antioxidant properties. Unfortunately, Buckwheat Honey is very scarce, especially in the United States. An alternative would be Red Gum Honey that also has strong antioxidant properties.

Eucalyptus honey can be used to prevent colds and headaches.

Heather honey has been used since ancient times for its medicinal properties. This honey contains a high level of protein.

Linden honey is known for its sedative and antiseptic properties. It is used to treat anxiety, insomnia, colds, coughs, and bronchitis.

Neem honey is highly esteemed in Ayurveda for its medicinal properties. Neem Honey is used to treat high blood pressure, diabetes, skin conditions, periodontal infections, throat infections and allergies.

The 9 Foods Never to Eat

Whether they're chock-full of trans fat, or processed beyond recognition, these staples may be sabotaging your health. Ditch them from your diet now, says Clean Plates founder Jared Koch.

Canned tomatoes
The red veggie is known as the best source of lycopene, an essential nutrient, but beware of the canned variety. All canned food contains the harmful chemical BPA, but it's especially concerning in tomatoes, whose acidity causes the BPA to cling on. "It's not the tomatoes that are bad," says Koch. "It's the way they're stored." If fresh isn't an option, look for tomatoes in glass jars or BPA-free cardboard containers.

Deli meats

Rethink tomorrow's low-calorie turkey and cheese sandwich. Salami, ham, roast beef and other deli meats are poor quality, packed with sodium, made from animals raised on hormones and antibiotics, and filled with nitrates. They may also contain chemical flavoring and dyes, so opt for fresh meat - like roast turkey or chicken - or wild-caught tuna-fish salad in your lunchbox.

Margarine
Unlike butter, which is made from animal products, margarine is created from vegetable oil. Its manufacturing process fills the spreadable stuff with trans fat, which increases inflammation by damaging the cells lining your blood vessels, upping your risk for cardiovascular disease, cancer, degenerative diseases, weight gain, and too-high bad cholesterol. "In my mind, it's one of the worst foods in the food supply," says Koch. "There's a common myth that healthy eating is equated with being vegetarian, and that's not necessarily true."

Vegetable oils
"You want your ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids to be about one-to-one," says Koch. "It's closer to 15-to-one in the American population." Today's highly refined vegetable oils, most often found in baked goods, are very high in omega-6 fatty acids, and are largely responsible for that unhealthy proportion. A lack of balance can lead to inflammation, so choose oils high in omega-3 fatty acids instead, like coconut, grapeseed and olive.

Microwave popcorn
Before you sit down for family movie night, pop a bowl of kernels on the stove, not in the microwave. The bag's liner contains PFOA, a proven toxicant and carcinogen in animals. When microwaved, PFOA clings on to popcorn, and preliminary human studies have linked the chemical to infertility, liver and testicular cancer.


Non-organic potatoes

It's unrealistic to purchase everything organic, but if you can swing buying a few foods that way, make spuds one of them. Although you're not told to eat organic potatoes after often as you are say, apples, it's just as important. "They're heavily sprayed and they're root vegetables, so they take up a lot of the pesticides and fungicides," says Koch. "They've been shown to have a high concentration of everything."

Table salt

No, a little salt sprinkled on your dinner won't do much harm, but when you choose table salt, you're missing out on healthy minerals found in sea, Himalayan and crystal salt. "Table salt is a refined product, so there aren't any nutrients in it," says Koch. "Our bodies need a lot of those trace minerals." Swapping in high-quality salt is an easy change to make, and from a cooking standpoint, significantly increases foods' flavor.


Soy protein isolate
There are two types of soy: whole soy - found in protein-packed edamame and soy nuts - and soy protein isolate, which is which is the highly refined, nutrient-stripped product found in foods like tofu, soy "meats" such as tofurkey, and soy milk. With soy consumption already unhealthily high in America, it's best to choose alternatives like coconut or almond milk and tempeh.

Artificial sweeteners
If you can't find it in nature, it's probably better to avoid it, which is why a half-teaspoon of sugar in your coffee, a dash of honey, or stevia are better options than a packet of Splenda. "Artificial sweeteners are so much sweeter - sometimes 200 times more so than table sugar - so the brain starts to crave sweeter foods," says Koch. Research is still out on whether artificial sweeteners, many of which contain aspartame, cause cancer and neurological programs, but science has confirmed that they spur weight gain and increase appetite.

Health Benefits of Ginger Root Oil

The health benefits of ginger root oil can be attributed to its digestive, carminative, expectorant, antiseptic, analgesic, anti inflammatory, stimulating and aphrodisiac properties. These benefits of ginger oil include its ability to treat stomach problems, nausea, heart strokes, indigestion, inflammations, respiratory problems, menstrual disorders, etc.

Ginger is a commonly used spice, which has originated in India. It forms an integral part of many Asian cuisines due to its digestive properties. It is especially helpful in digesting food items such as meat, and poultry and is added while cooking meat as it softens the meat. Ginger root and ginger oil are also used as preservative and flavoring agent.

Ginger oil is obtained from the root of the herb Zingiber Officinale. The peculiar hot taste and pungent taste of ginger can be attributed to the presence of an acrid compound called Gingerol. Most of the health benefits of ginger are due to Gingerol.

The health benefits of ginger root oil include the following:

Stomach: Ginger root and ginger oil is often used for stomach upsets. It is one of the best remedies for indigestion, stomach ache, dyspepsia, colic, spasms, diarrhea, flatulence and other stomach and bowel related problems. Ginger or ginger oil is often added in numerous food preparations, especially in India, as it helps in improving digestion. Ginger tea is also used for relieving stomach problems. Further, it increases the appetite of a person.


Food poisoning: Ginger is antiseptic and carminative. As a result, it can be used for treating food poisoning. It is also used for treating intestinal infections and bacterial dysentery.

Nausea and Vomiting: Research has proved that ginger root and its oil is also effective against nausea, motion sickness and vomiting. Usage of ginger may result in reduction in pregnancy related vomiting as well in women. 

Heart Problems: It is strongly believed in China that ginger boosts and strengthens your heart. Many people use ginger oil as a measure to prevent as well as cure heart diseases. Preliminary research has indicated that ginger may be helpful in reduction of cholesterol levels and prevention of blood clotting. With reduced cholesterol levels and blood clotting the chances of blockage of blood vessels decrease thereby reducing incidences of heart strokes.

Respiratory Disorders: Since ginger root and ginger oil is a good expectorant, it is effective in various respiratory problems such as cold, cough, flu, asthma, bronchitis and breathlessness. Ginger is very effective in removing mucus from the throats and lungs and hence it is often added with tea in India. The health benefit of honey and ginger in treating respiratory problems is well known.

Inflammation and Pain: Extract of ginger is often used in traditional medicine to reduce inflammation. Research has now proved that its anti-inflammatory properties can be attributed to the presence of the substance named Zingibain. It is analgesic in nature and reduces pain caused by muscle aches, arthritis, rheumatisms, headache, migraine, etc. Ginger oil or paste of ginger is often massaged on aching muscles to remove muscle strain. It is further believed that regular use of ginger leads to reduction of prostaglandins which are the compounds associated with pain. Hence ginger helps in pain relief. Recently a few Chinese researchers have reported that ginger is effective for treating inflammation of the testicles.

Menstrual Problems: Irregular and painful menstrual discharges can be treated with ginger.

Malaria: Ginger root and ginger oil is also effective against yellow fever and malaria.

Stress: Ginger oil, being an essential oil is stimulating and therefore relives depression, mental stress, exhaustion, dizziness, restlessness and anxiety.

Impotency: Ginger is helpful for men’s health as well. Since ginger root and its oil are aphrodisiac in nature, it is effective in removing impotency and treating premature ejaculation.

Kidney: It is also believed that ginger root juice is able to dissolve kidney stones.

Hair Care: Ginger is useful for hair care as well. Usage of the juice of ginger is useful in controlling dandruff.

Cancer: According to the American Cancer Society, preliminary research on animals has shown that ginger may be useful in treating cancer through chemotherapy.

It should be noted that ginger oil is very strong and therefore it should be used carefully.
Ginger oil blends well with many other essential oils including lemon, cedarwood, lime, eucalyptus, frankincense, geranium, rosemary, sandalwood, patchouli, myrtle, bergamot, rosewood, neroli, orange and ylang-ylang.
Further Reading:

January 30, 2013

US economy shrinks a surprise 0.1% in fourth quarter

The US economy unexpectedly shrank at an annualised rate of 0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2012, initial official estimates indicate.

If confirmed, it would be the first contraction logged by the US economy since the 2009 global recession.

The world's largest economy grew 3.1% in July to September.

The fourth quarter period was dominated by the "fiscal cliff" - the spending cuts and tax rises that had been due to come into force from 1 January.

These were avoided by a last-minute deal between the Republican-dominated Congress and the White House. However, economists warned at the time that fears of an abrupt cut in government spending were undermining business and consumer confidence.

However, part of that deal includes tax rises for the highest-earning Americans and - more significantly for the economy - the expiry of a payroll tax holiday for all US employees, something which is widely expected by economists to further weigh on growth during the current quarter.
Spending cuts

The fourth-quarter shrinkage in economic output comes as a shock to analysts on Wall Street, who had been expecting 1.1% growth according to a poll by news agency Reuters. Not one economist surveyed had predicted an economic contraction.

It will add to pressure on the US Federal Reserve to do more to stimulate the economy. Members of its Federal Open Markets Committee are due to announce the conclusions of their latest policy-setting meeting later on Wednesday, and will have had an advance look at the economic data.

Growth was dragged down by a 22% cut in the federal government's defence spending - the biggest since 1972, when the US was winding down from the end of the Vietnam War - and by the decision of many businesses to halt the rapid rebuilding of their inventories that began over the summer.
These two relatively volatile components of the data subtracted a combined 2.6 percentage points from the overall growth figure.

Consumer spending did pick up, as did business investment, suggesting that the economy may have some underlying momentum. Sales of computers and cars both made positive contributions to the economy's performance.

Residential investment also grew 15%, adding to evidence that the housing market has finally turned the corner.

"Frankly, this is the best-looking contraction in US [gross domestic product] you'll ever see," said Paul Ashworth, an economist at Capital Economics, in a note to clients. "The drag from defence spending and inventories is a one-off. The rest of the report is all encouraging."

The October-to-December period was also negatively affected by Storm Sandy, which caused the closure of many factories and businesses in the New York area, and by a sharp drop in exports.

Growth for 2012 as a whole came in at 2.2%, up from 1.8% in 2011, but still unusually slow compared with previous economic recoveries in the US following recessions in the post-War era.
Debt ceiling

Looking ahead, domestic spending in the current quarter is expected to be dogged by further uncertainty over the federal government's tax and spending.

Workers have already experienced a 2% average cut in their take-home pay, due to the expiry of the payroll tax holiday. That means a household earning $50,000 a year will have about $1,000 less to spend.

The income lost is likely to have been behind a sharp fall in consumer confidence recorded by surveys in January.

Meanwhile, the recently re-elected President Barack Obama and Congress are expected to clash once again in the coming months over the debt ceiling.

The US Treasury is approaching the $16.4tn (£10.3tn) legal limit on its total debt, and must gain permission from Congress to borrow the money needed for it to continue meeting its bills.

Last time there was a stand-off over the issue, in the summer of 2011, the political deadlock prompted ratings agency Standard & Poor's to deprive the US of its top AAA rating, a move that sent stock markets sharply lower.

The US House of Representatives has passed a bill to extend the country's debt limit until May, deferring the budget debate for a few months at least.

Standoff: Man shoots Ala. bus driver, takes child


Police, SWAT teams and negotiators clustered at a rural property where a man was believed to be holed up in an underground shelter Wednesday after fatally shooting the driver of a school bus and fleeing with a 6-year-old child passenger, authorities said.
The standoff went through the night after the man, whose name has not been released by police, boarded the stopped school bus in the town of Midland City on Tuesday afternoon. Dale County Sheriff Wally Olsen told WBMA-TV  the man shot the driver when he refused to let the child off the bus and the driver later died. His identity wasn't released.
The shooter took the child, authorities said.
About 50 vehicles from federal, state and local agencies were clustered early Wednesday at the mouth of a dirt road off a U.S. highway. The dead-end road leads to homes including the suspect's property, which was over a low rise behind a church on the highway and couldn't be seen from where reporters were being kept back.
County coroner Woodrow Hilboldt told The Associated Press the suspect was believed to be in an underground shelter on his property.
"That's what has been described to me as an underground bunker. Someplace to get out of the way of a tornado," Hilboldt said.
The coroner said the victim, who was in his mid-60s, died of multiple gunshot wounds. He wouldn't release a name until family had been notified.
Claudia Davis, who lives on the road where the standoff was taking place, said early Wednesday that she and her neighbors can't leave because the one road was blocked by police.
Davis, 54, said she has had run-ins with the man suspected as the shooter.
"Before this happened I would see him at several places and he would just stare a hole through me," Davis said. "On Monday I saw him at a laundry mat and he seen me when I was getting in my truck and he just started and stared and stared at me."
Midland City police would not comment, and a dispatcher at the Dale City Sheriff's office told The Associated Press early Wednesday that the agency was not releasing any immediate details.
"Authorities also confirmed the presence of a child at the scene but are giving no further information at this time," Rachel David, a spokeswoman for the police department in the nearby city of Dothan, said in a news release late Tuesday.
Michael Creel, who lives on the road where the shooting happened, said he went outside after his sister heard gunshots.
"Me and her started running down the road," Creel told the Dothan Eagle 
"That's when I realized the bus had its siren going off. Kids were filing out, running down the hill toward the church."

Texas woman's execution halted; DA won't appeal

The first woman scheduled to be executed in the U.S. since 2010 won a reprieve Tuesday, mere hours before she was scheduled to be taken to the Texas death chamber.
State District Judge Larry Mitchell, in Dallas, rescheduled Kimberly McCarthy's punishment for April 3 so lawyers for the former nursing home therapist could have more time to pursue an appeal focused on whether her predominantly white jury was improperly selected on the basis of race. McCarthy is black.
Dallas County prosecutors, who initially contested the motion to reschedule, chose to not appeal the ruling.
District Attorney Craig Watkins said the 60-day delay was "appropriate." If no irregularities are discovered, he said he'd move forward with the execution.
"We want to make sure everything is done correctly," he said.
The 51-year-old McCarthy was convicted and sent to death row for the 1997 stabbing, beating and robbery of a 71-year-old neighbor. She learned of the reprieve less than five hours before she was scheduled for lethal injection, already in a small holding cell a few feet from the death chamber at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Huntsville Unit.
"I'm happy right now over that," she told prison agency spokesman John Hurt. "There's still work to be done on my case."
Hurt said McCarthy was in good spirits and "didn't seem tense or nervous" even before she learned she would live.
A Dallas County jury convicted her of killing neighbor Dorothy Booth at the retired college psychology professor's home in Lancaster, about 15 miles south of Dallas.
"We are very pleased that we will now have an opportunity to present evidence of discrimination in the selection of the jury that sentenced Kimberly McCarthy to death," said Maurie Levin, a University of Texas law professor and McCarthy's lawyer.
"Of the twelve jurors seated at trial, all were white, except one, and eligible non-white jurors were excluded from serving by the state. ... These facts must be understood in the context of the troubling and long-standing history of racial discrimination in jury selection in Dallas County, including at the time of Ms. McCarthy's trial," Levin said.
Investigators said Booth had agreed to give McCarthy a cup of sugar before she was attacked with a butcher knife and candelabra. Booth's finger also was severed so McCarthy could take her wedding ring. It was among three slayings linked to McCarthy, who'd been addicted to crack cocaine.
McCarthy would have been the 13th woman executed in the U.S. and the fourth in Texas, the nation's busiest death penalty state, since the Supreme Court allowed capital punishment to resume in 1976. In that same time period, more than 1,300 male inmates have been executed nationwide.
Federal Bureau of Justice Statistics compiled from 1980 through 2008 show women make up about 10 percent of homicide offenders nationwide. According to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, 3,146 people were on the nation's death rows as of Oct. 1, and only 63 — 2 percent — were women.

Zimbabwe Is Down to Its Last $217


There are cash-strapped governments, and there are broke governments. And then there's Zimbabwe, which, after paying last week's government salaries, has just $217 in the bank. No, we didn't forget any zeroes to the end of that figure. Zimbabwe, the country that's home to some of the world's largest plutonium and diamond reserves, is literally as rich as a 14-year-old girl after a really good birthday party. The country's finance minister admitted as much in a press conference on Tuesday. "Last week when we paid civil servants there was $217 [left] in government coffers," Tendai Biti told reporters. "The government finances are in paralysis state at the present moment. We are failing to meet our targets."
So it seems. However, Zimbabwe is hardly a stranger to financial hyperbole. The economy started to come apart at the seams in 2000, when President Robert Mugabe seized the land of over 4,000 white-owned farmers, effectively dismantling the country's agriculture industry. Over the course of the next decade, the country spiraled into an extended period of hyperinflation, the likes of which the world almost never sees. It peaked in August 2008, when inflation reached 11,200,000 percent and economists around the world started to say that the country's situation was hopeless. Prices were doubling by the day, and the government had to print 100 billion Zimbabwean dollar notes. The following year, they went ahead and printed Z$100 trillion notes, just before deciding to chop 12 zeroes off of the currency. A new coalition government formed that year began the long process of recovery, a process that is clearly going to take a little longer.
It's unclear how the Zimbabwean government is going to get itself out this fiscal mess, but whatever it does, it needs to do it quickly. As Quartz's Tim Fernholz points out, Zimbabwe is looking at $104 million bill for its upcoming election and dealing with brand new allegations that government officials have been running a corruption ring around the country's diamond mines. The country obviously desperately needs a major change. "But action against corruption probably won’t come until the end of Mugabe’s reign, and a new constitution coming up for a referendum this spring—presuming the funds can be found -- might set up the aging autocrat for another term in power," writes Fernholz.
Until then, looking for quarters under the couch isn't going to cut it, so Zimbabwe is doing the only thing it can do. "We will be approaching the international community," Biti said. You'll never guess who's most likely to come to the rescue. Hint: They're big fans of rare minerals.

Georgia man guns down immigrant after GPS sends him to wrong driveway


Phillip Sailors

Rodrigo Abad Diaz

Two strikingly different portraits emerged Tuesday of the Lilburn resident charged with fatally shooting a 22-year-old who mistakenly pulled into his driveway.
According to his lawyer, Phillip Sailors was a frightened retiree who fired his .22 revolver at Rodrigo Diaz because he feared for his life.

But Diaz’s girlfriend painted a more menacing imagine of Sailors as a elderly vigilante who shot without asking questions. According to Angie Rebolledo, after he shot Diaz, the 69-year-old Vietnam vet pointed the gun at her.

Friends who were in the car with Diaz told  that they were trying to pick up a friend on the way to ice skating on Saturday but their GPS directed them to the wrong address. The friends said that they waited in the driveway for a few minutes before Sailors emerged from the house and fired a gun into the air.
Rebolledo, 17, was sitting next to her boyfriend in the front seat when he was struck in the side of the head. As she tended to Diaz, she said Sailors showed no remorse and offered no assistance.

“I want him to spend all his life in prison,” she said. “He is a crazy man.”
Sailors’ friends and family said instead that the retired BellSouth employee is a dedicated volunteer at his church and has been on mission trips to Panama and other Latin American countries.

Chris Anderson, pastor of Killian Hill Baptist Church in Lilburn, called Sailors “a good man who devoted his life to serving others, and his reputation in our community has been unblemished for over 40 years.”

Sailors and his wife, Brenda, were at their home on Hillcrest Road when they heard a “ruckus” in the driveway, said attorney Mike Puglise. A neighbor had recently been robbed and Sailors was wary when he spotted two people in his driveway getting into their car.

According to Puglise, Sailors grabbed his gun as he headed outside, firing a warning shot into the air. He said he fired at Diaz only after Diaz accelerated his car toward him.
“He thought he was going to get run down,” the lawyer said.

But the police report indicates that the vehicle was leaving Sailors’ property when Diaz was shot. Lilburn police said they found his red Mitsubishi at the end of the driveway. Diaz was slumped over the steering wheel, blood covering his face and, the incident report states, struggling to breathe.

The Colombia native who attended Gwinnett Tech and worked at his brother’s cargo shipping business was pronounced dead the following morning from a single bullet that entered the left side of his head and fragmented, causing severe brain damage.
Rebolledo said she was in love with Diaz, her boyfriend of seven months. Her father, Gregory Rebolledo, said Diaz was more responsible than most his age, eschewing gangs and partying and rarely drinking alcohol.

‘It is too sad,” Angie Rebolledo said. “He had only 22 years.”
His accused shooter remains in Gwinnett County jail, charged with malice murder.
Gwinnett District Attorney Danny Porter said he knows little about the facts of this case but said, if deadly forced is used to protect yourself or your home “there has to be some reasonable belief that you’re about to suffer death or great bodily injury to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.”

“A lot of it’s going to depend on what happened out there,” Porter said. “I know 911 was called. But I don’t know who called it, or when.”
Lilburn Police Chief Bruce Hedley said two calls were placed to 911, one from a passenger in Diaz’s car and another from a neighbor who said they heard gunshots and screams.
Hedley said claims of heavy gang activity in the area are false.

“There’s a sampling of crime in their neighborhood, but no more than anywhere else,” he said.
Sailors declined, through his attorney, to speak with police Sunday morning. Puglise dismissed suggestions by some who’ve followed the case that Diaz’s race may have been a factor.
“[This was] not a question of color, not a question of race, this is a question of a tragic event dictated by fear,” he said.

Puglise said the Sailors family is grief-stricken and is lifting the family of Diaz up in prayer.

January 29, 2013

Woman retires after 44 years without a sick day


On Jan. 31, Deborah Ford will retire from the U.S. Postal Service after 44 years without using any of her sick days.
Though her colleagues and the local media, including the Detroit Free Press, applaud her level of commitment, Ford, 64, doesn't see what the big deal is.
Born and raised in Detroit, Ford will be retiring from her job in payroll and timekeeping management for the city's main post office.
"I was trying to do the best I could, and that just evolved into working all my scheduled days," Ford said.
Ford said when she was sick, she would simply "shake it off." For appointments, say, with the doctor, she would use vacation days.
"It's going to be tough to replace her - not only her attendance but her knowledge of the years she has done timekeeping," said Tony Carnagie, a financial programs compliance manager, who has worked with Ford for more than 15 years.
Most of Ford's co-workers knew about her track record, when the USPS awarded her for 30 years of service.
Ford said her father, who is 86 years old and never took a sick days in 30 years, also doesn't see what the fuss is about.
"It's just part of our work ethic," she said.
Ford said she is looking forward to retirement but doesn't have any specific plans, besides spending more time with her father.
"I'll rest up and see where life takes me. Do some volunteer work, take some enrichment classes - the usual stuff," she said.
For now, she is training someone to do her job, which she says, she won't particularly miss.
"You don't miss the brick and mortar," she said. "I'll miss the people, the lives you touched and the lives that touched your life."
Not taking a sick day won't be for naught.
Ford has a sick-leave balance of 4,508 hours, which will allow her a 5 percent increase in her pension.

China is now burning almost as much coal as the rest of the world combined


As the data shows, China is now burning almost as much coal as the rest of the world—combined. And despite impressive support from Beijing for renewable energy and a dawning understanding about the dangers of air pollution, coal use in China is poised to continue rising, if slower than it has in recent years. That’s deadly for the Chinese people—see the truly horrific air pollution in Beijing this past month—and it’s dangerous for the rest of the world. Coal already accounts for 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions, making it one of the biggest causes of man-made climate change. Combine that with the direct damage that air pollution from coal combustion does to human health, and there’s a reason why some have called coal the enemy of the human race.
Of course, there’s a reason why coal is so popular in China and in much of the rest of the world: it’s very, very cheap. And that’s why, despite the danger it poses to health and the environment, neither China nor many other rapidly growing developing nations are likely to turn away from coal.  That’s likely to remain the case in poor nations until clean energy can compete with coal on price—and that day hasn’t come yet.
The EIA’s chart also shows how limited President Obama’s ability to deal with climate change really is. The reality is that the vast majority of the carbon emissions to come will be emitted by developing nations like China—and much of that will be due to coal.  U.S. has reduced coal use and cut carbon emissions in recent year, even in the absence of comprehensive climate legislation, thanks to tougher air pollution regulations and cheap natural gas from fracking. Yet even as coal has waned in the U.S., it’s still being burned by the gigaton in other countries. 

4 Freedoms in America That Don't Exist Anymore


In a 1941 Message to Congress, Franklin Delano Roosevelt tried to explain what it means to be free. He outlined the "four essential human freedoms":
The first is freedom of speech and expression.
The second is freedom of every person to worship.
The third is freedom from want.
The fourth is freedom from fear.
The 2013 version shows how our freedoms have been diminished, or corrupted into totally different forms.
Freedom from want? Poverty keeps getting worse.
For every three people in poverty in the year  2000, there are now  four. Almost 50 million people were impoverished in 2011. Over 20 percent of our  children live in poverty, including almost half of young  black children. Among industrialized countries only Romania has a higher child poverty rate than the United States.
It goes well beyond economics. Not long after the FDR era, in 1960, the U.S. ranked near the top among 34 OECD countries in life expectancy and infant mortality. By 2008 we were close to the bottom. A 2007 UNICEF report ranked us last among 21 OECD nations in an assessment of child health and safety.
Freedom from want has been least attainable for people of color. For every $100 a white family has, a black family has $2. For every $100 a single white womanhas, a single black or Hispanic woman has 25 cents.
Freedom from fear? The new Jim Crow.
In the decades before FDR, young black men were under constant threat of arrest for "vagrancy," and the resulting slave-like conditions of forced labor. Today vagrancy has been replaced by petty drug offenses. In The New Jim Crow,Michelle Alexander documents the explosion of the prison population for drug offenses, with blacks and Hispanics the main targets even though they use drugs at about the same, or lesser rate as white Americans. In  Colorado and Washington and New York City and Seattle the patterns are disturbingly similar: minority arrests are vastly out of proportion to their percentages of the population.
Freedom of worship? Distorted by visions of the Rapture.
In 2005  Bill Moyers wrote about the far-right evangelical beliefs that dominate much of conservative American thinking and which impact social and environmental policies. He repeats a theology professor's summary of the Rapture credo: "The world cannot be saved." Believers are not responsible for the environment, and should focus only on personal salvation. Droughts and floods, which have been occurring with greater regularity as the earth warms, are simply signs of the apocalypse as foretold in the Bible, and thus should be welcomed.
With this attitude, freedom of worship is twisted into a radical dogma that threatens the health and safety of our entire population. Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), like many on the conservative right, favors the Bible over science. "My point is," notes Inhofe with reference to a verse from Genesis, "God's still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous."
Extremists also welcome war with Islam in the Middle East, for it is an "essential conflagration on the road to redemption." At a Florida conference on "Biblical Prophecy about End Times," diatribes poured forth with a vengeance: "Islam is an intolerant religion...Islam is a Satanic religion." A reporter came away convinced that "A terrible, final war in the [Middle East] is inevitable."
Freedom of speech? No, surveillance and harassment.
In De Jonge v. Oregon, 1937, the Supreme Court decided that the right of peaceable assembly is "cognate to those of free speech and free press and is equally fundamental."
Recently released FBI documents  reveal that the agency repeatedly monitored Occupy Wall Street activities, viewing them as possible terrorism.
Peaceable assembly and free speech might also describe the act of young men gathering on the streets of New York City. But their First Amendment rights, along with the Fourth Amendment prohibition against illegal search, are constantly violated by stop-and-frisk abuses by the police, which at times border on sexual assault.
In addition, our freedom of expression is increasingly compromised by advanced surveillance technologies. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Act gives the government  license to spy on us. New  techniques such as iris scans, license-plate recognition,  GPS devices in pharmaceutical products, andfacial recognition technology may invade our privacy.  Drones are flying over our homes. The National Security Agency is building a  data center big enough to store every email, text, phone call, web search, and video in the United States. With the Electronic Communications Privacy Act  on its side, the government is authorized to take anything it can get.
Franklin Roosevelt once said, "True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security." As inequality destroys our economic security, and the prison population grows, and religion continues to impact public policy, and our privacy is invaded, our precious freedoms become more and more a failed American dream.
Freedom seems to exist more in our minds than in reality.

Basketball dad calls for school shooting after altercation at son’s game

The ability to vent one’s emotions almost immediately is both the great advantage and drawback of modern social media. One Washington father learned that the hard way when he reacted to a run in with students at a high school basketball game by openly wishing that someone “shoot up the school real soon!"

As reported by The Oregonian, Portland TV network KATU and a variety of other Oregon outlets, the father of a boys basketball player for Vancouver (Wash.) Skyview High was involved in an altercation with fans of his son’s opponent while leaving Camas (Wash.) High. Apparently spurred by that incident, the undisclosed parent in question took to Facebook to air his grievances against the Washington high school.
More specifically, this is what he wrote on the social media site:
“Camas fans!!!!! Worst in the league!!!!! I hope someone shoots up their school real soon!!!!!!!!”
Naturally, that post sent shivers up the spine of anyone connected with Camas High, particularly in the aftermath of the horrendous events in Newtown, Conn. in December. Though the man later added a second message intended to dispel concern about his initial post, Camas police quickly launched an investigation into the comment.





No charges have been filed against the parent as of yet, but he has already been handed a no-trespass warning by the Camas School District, effectively banning him from stepping foot on any school property in the area again.
Whether or not that is sufficient to bring the entire episode to a halt remains to be seen. Clearly the father was about as far out of line as possible, and his apparent acceptance that he was might eventually help the entire incident blow over.
"Our top priority lies with the safety of our students and we've been in contact with local police," Camas athletic director Josh Gibson told the Oregonian. "But obviously this is a clear case of very poor judgment."

Sugar Palm fruit and its health benefit

Sugar palm or Toddy palm fruit is also called by the name Palmyra palm. It is called Ice-apple in British English. Palmyra palm tree is the national tree of Cambodia and Borassus flabellifer is the Latin name. It grows in the suitable climate of Southeast Asian countries.

The sweet sap of the Palmyra tree is called Toddy and is used in preparation of Palm jaggery. The sap is fermented to make Arrack which is an alcoholic beverage. Almost every part of the tree is useful to mankind. The fan shaped tall tree bears fruits like that of a coconut tree. The pulp is tender and the husk is fibrous similar to that in Coconut. The fruit has a black husk and is 4 to 7 inches in diameter. It is borne in clusters. The top portion of the fruit is cut off to reveal the three sweet jelly seed sockets.

In many places of India where the Toddy palm trees are grown, the ripened fruit is covered with clay as it falls to the ground and a plant thus gets reproduced. Later the tender shoot popping out of the fruit is boiled, roasted and eaten. The fleshy stems are found to be very nutritious and fibrous.
The ripened pulp of the sugar palm is jelly like tender, flat and round with a light brown skin. The inner portion is a juicy socket structure. It has a mild sweet taste. The pulp or the seeds become harder as they grow older.

Sugar Palm fruit health benefits and Uses:

1. Palm seeds are considered as a delicacy in India and other asian countries where the Palmyra trees are grown. During early summer, they are sold in markets and for a limited period of time. Summer holidays are enjoyed by preparing different types of drinks, pancakes and dishes prepared from the nutritious pulp.
2. The tender fruit pulp is eaten raw during summer because it gives a cooling effect to the body. The ripened fibrous outer layer of the fruit can be eaten raw, boiled, or roasted.
3. The fruit contains vitamin A, B and also Vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid.
4. It is rich in minerals too. Minerals such as Potassium, Iron, Calcium, Phosphorous and Zinc are found in the fruit.
5. The studies conducted recently to know more about this fruit have given satisfactory results. If the Palmyra trees are grown in large scale commercial farms, it could help solve the world’s malnutrition problem.
6. In some Asian stores they are found in cans but usually they are canned in sugar syrup. Due to the sugar syrup it becomes too sweet.
7. The fresh ones are little crunchy and moderate sweet to taste. They are chopped to small pieces and used in desserts with other variety of fruits like Pineapple, Mangoes, Papaya and offered along with some good flavored ice cream.
8. Matured palm fruit juice is used in making pancakes.
9. The seed sockets of Ice-apple have been the inspiration for some sweets prepared in West Bengal. One such sweet is Jalbhara Sandesh.
10. Its medicinal uses are still unknown to people. The pulp from the mature fruit is used over the skin to cure Dermatitis.
11. Bengalis have perfected the art of preparation of many sweet dishes with the yellowish viscous fluidic substance obtained from a ripe palm fruit. They include the mustard oil fried Taler Bora or the Taalkheer made by mixing it with thickened cow’s milk.

Health Benefits of Eating Tomatoes Emerge

Eating more tomatoes and tomato products can make people healthier and decrease the risk of conditions such as cancer, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease, according to a review article the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine.

Of all the non-starchy 'vegetables,'* Americans eat more tomatoes and tomato products than any others. Researchers Britt Burton-Freeman, PhD, MS, and Kristin Reimers, PhD, RD of the National Center for Food Safety & Technology, Illinois Institute of Technology and ConAgra Foods, Inc., looked at the current research to discover the role tomato products play in health and disease risk reduction.

The researchers found that tomatoes are the biggest source of dietary lycopene; a powerful antioxidant that, unlike nutrients in most fresh fruits and vegetables, has even greater bioavailability after cooking and processing. Tomatoes also contain other protective mechanisms, such as antithrombotic and anti-inflammatory functions. Research has additionally found a relationship between eating tomatoes and a lower risk of certain cancers as well as other conditions, including cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, ultraviolet light-induced skin damage, and cognitive dysfunction.

Tomatoes are widely available, people of all ages and cultures like them, they are cost-effective, and are available in many forms. "Leveraging emerging science about tomatoes and tomato products may be one simple and effective strategy to help individuals increase vegetable intake, leading to improved overall eating patterns, and ultimately, better health." write the authors.

"Tomatoes are the most important non-starchy vegetable in the American diet. Research underscores the relationship between consuming tomatoes and reduced risk of cancer, heart disease, and other conditions," the authors conclude. "The evidence also suggests that consumption of tomatoes should be recommended because of the nutritional benefits and because it may be a simple and effective strategy for increasing overall vegetable intake."

The article is particularly timely since the recently released Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 moved tomatoes to a newly established category of "orange/red" fruits and vegetables to encourage higher consumption of these healthy foods.
*Although commonly referred to as a vegetable, a tomato is the fruit of the plant Solanum lycopersicum.

Health Benefits of Black Pepper

1. Upset stomach- The use of this pepper enhances the secretion of hydrochloric acid in the abdomen. So, it facilitates a healthy digestion process. This action is important to prevent the problems of diarrhea, constipation and colic. It also fixes the issues of excessive production of intestinal gas. And it clears body toxins by increasing the rate of sweating and
urination.

2. Weight loss- The outer layer of this spice helps to break and dissolve the fat cells in your body. So, it forms a very fine remedy for losing weight, the natural way.

3. Skin health- It helps to treat the condition of vitiligo. In this problem, the skin loses its natural pigments and becomes white. The use of black pepper helps to stimulate the production of skin pigments and improve this illness. It also prevents the onset of a skin cancer issue.

4. Cough and cold- In Indian Ayurveda, black pepper is added to the tonics of cold and cough, due to its anti-infection values. It also gives relief from the problems of sinusitis and nasal congestion.

5. Antioxidant power- Due to the antioxidant rich content of this pepper, it helps to control the movement of free radicals. So, it prevents the troubles of cancer, various heart diseases and an ill-liver condition.

6. Respiratory disorders- Black pepper helps to control many respiratory problems, due to its anti-bacterial nature. It mainly heals the disorders of asthma and whooping cough by bringing out the blocked phlegm and clearing the nasal passages.

7. Dental health- As this spice can kill germs and plaque, so it helps to fix the problems of tooth decay and toothache, too.

Black pepper is one of the most used spices with amazing health benefits. It can treat the problems of upset stomach, obesity, vitiligo, cough, cold and respiratory and dental disorders. You can sprinkle its powder on your salads, smoothies and other food recipes for reaping all these advantages. But use it only in moderate amounts as its hot by nature.

Best Foods for Every Vitamin and Mineral

Vitamin A to zinc

To keep itself running smoothly your body requires an array of essential nutrients, ranging from disease-fighting antioxidants to bone-building heavy metals. Although you can get many of these nutrients in a daily supplement, nearly all of them can also be found in the foods you eat—or should be eating—every day.
Want to get your vitamins and minerals the natural way? Our guide breaks down the best foods for 20 of the most important nutrients (and the accompanying recipes offer healthy and tasty ways to enjoy them).

Vitamin A

Why you need it: The vitamin A family plays a key role in immunity, reproductive behaviors, and especially vision. The A vitamins, which include beta-carotene, help the retina, cornea, and membranes of the eye to function properly.
Where to get it: The highest concentration of vitamin A is found in sweet potatoes; just one medium-sized baked sweet potato contains more than 28,000 international units (IU) of vitamin A, or 561% of your recommended daily value (DV). Beef liver, spinach, fish, milk, eggs, and carrots also are good sources.

Vitamin B6

Why you need it: Vitamin B6 is an umbrella term for six different compounds that have similar effects on the body. These compounds metabolize foods, help form hemoglobin (part of your red blood cells), stabilize blood sugar, and make antibodies that fight disease.
Where to get it: Fish, beef liver, and poultry are all good sources of B6, but the food richest in this vitamin—good news for vegetarians—is the chickpea, or garbanzo bean. One cup of canned chickpeas contains 1.1 milligrams (mg) of vitamin B6, or 55% of your DV.

Vitamin B12

Why you need it: Vitamin B12 is vital for healthy nervous-system function and for the formation of DNA and red blood cells. It helps guard against anemia, a blood condition that causes fatigue and weakness.
Where to get it: Animal products are your best bet for B12. Cooked clams have the highest concentration of any food, with 84 micrograms (mcg)—a whopping 1,402% of your DV—in just 3 ounces. (One milligram equals 1,000 micrograms.) Vitamin B12 also occurs naturally in beef liver, trout, salmon, and tuna, and is added to many breakfast cereals.

Vitamin C

Why you need it: Vitamin C is an important antioxidant, and it's also a necessary ingredient in several key bodily processes, such as protein metabolism and the synthesis of neurotransmitters.
Where to get it: Most people think citrus when they think of vitamin C, but sweet red peppers actually contain more of the vitamin than any other food: 95 mg per serving (well ahead of oranges and just edging out orange juice, at 93 mg per serving). Other good sources include kiwi fruit, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cantaloupe.

Calcium

Why you need it: Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body. More than 99% is stored in—and helps fortify—teeth and bones, while the remainder goes toward blood vessel and muscle function, cell communication, and hormone secretion.
Where to get it: Dairy products contain the highest amounts of naturally occurring calcium; plain low-fat yogurt leads the pack with 415 mg (42% DV) per serving. Dark, leafy greens (such as kale and Chinese cabbage) are another natural source of calcium, which can also be found in fortified fruit juices and cereals.

Vitamin D

Why you need it: Vitamin D, which our body generates on its own when our skin is exposed to sunlight, helps spur calcium absorption and bone growth. It's also important for cell growth, immunity, and the reduction of inflammation.
Where to get it: Fatty fishes—including swordfish, salmon, and mackerel—are among the few naturally occurring dietary sources of vitamin D. (Cod liver oil is tops, with 1,360 IU per tablespoon, while swordfish is second with 566 IU, or 142% DV.) Most people tend to consume vitamin D via fortified foods such as milk, breakfast cereals, yogurt, and orange juice.

Vitamin E

Why you need it: Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that protects cells from the harmful molecules known as free radicals. It's important for immunity, and for healthy blood vessel function and clotting (such as occurs when you cut yourself).
Where to get it: While wheat germ oil packs more vitamin E than any other food source (20.3 mg per serving, or 100% DV), most people will find it easier to get their vitamin E from sunflower seeds (7.4 mg per ounce, 37% DV) or almonds (6.8 mg per ounce, 34% DV).

Folate

Why you need it: For pregnant women, folate—a type of B vitamin—can help prevent birth defects. For everyone else, it helps new tissues and proteins form.
Where to get it: Folate is found in a wide variety of foods, including dark leafy green vegetables, fruit, nuts, and dairy products. Beef liver has the highest concentration, but if liver's not to your taste, spinach also has plenty: 131 mcg per half cup (boiled), or 33% of your DV. Folic acid, a man-made form of folate, is also added to many breads, cereals, and grains.

Iron

Why you need it: Proteins in our body use this metal to transport oxygen and grow cells. Most of the body's iron is found in hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to tissues all over the body.
Where to get it: There are two forms of dietary iron: heme iron (found in animal foods such as red meat, fish, and poultry) and nonheme iron (found in plant sources like lentils and beans). Chicken liver contains the most heme iron of any food, with 11 mg per serving, or 61% of your DV.

Vitamin K

Why you need it: Vitamin K is a crucial ingredient in coagulation, or blood clotting. Without it, your body would not be able to stop bleeding when you bruise or cut yourself.
Where to get it: Green, leafy vegetables are the best source of this vitamin, also known as phylloquinone. Kale leads the pack with 1.1 mg per cup, followed by collard greens and spinach (about 1 mg per cup), and more exotic varieties like turnip, mustard, and beet greens.

Lycopene

Why you need it: This chemical pigment, found in red fruits and vegetables, appears to have antioxidant properties. Some studies suggest that lycopene may help guard against a range of ailments, including heart disease and several different types of cancer.
Where to get it: Tomatoes are the best-known source of lycopene, and sure enough, tomato products—such as sauces, pastes, and purees—contain up to 75 mg per cup. Raw, unprocessed tomatoes aren't as lycopene-rich, however, and watermelon actually contains more per serving: about 12 mg per wedge, versus about 3 mg per tomato.

Lysine

Why you need it: Lysine, also known as l-lysine, is an amino acid that helps the body absorb calcium and form collagen for bones and connective tissue. It also plays a role in the production of carnitine, a nutrient that helps regulate cholesterol levels.
Where to get it: Protein-rich animal foods, especially red meat, are good sources of lysine, as are nuts, legumes, and soybeans.

Magnesium

Why you need it: The body uses magnesium in more than 300 biochemical reactions. These include maintaining muscle and nerve function, keeping heart rhythm steady, and keeping bones strong.
Where to get it: Wheat bran has the highest amount of magnesium per serving (89 mg per quarter-cup, or 22% of your DV), but you have to eat unrefined grains to get the benefit; when the germ and bran are removed from wheat (as is the case with white and refined breads), the magnesium is also lost. Other good sources of the mineral include almonds, cashews, and green vegetables such as spinach.

Niacin

Why you need it: Niacin, like its fellow B vitamins, is important for converting food into energy. It also helps the digestive system, skin, and nerves to function properly.
Where to get it: Dried yeast is a top source of niacin, but for something more appetizing, try peanuts or peanut butter; one cup of raw peanuts contains 17.6 mg, more than 100% of your DV. Beef and chicken liver are particularly niacin-rich, as well.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Why you need it: Fats get a bad rap, but certain types of fats—including omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat—are actually very healthy in moderation. Omega-3s contribute to brain health and may help reduce inflammation.
Where to get it: There are two categories of omega-3 fatty acids: Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is found in plant sources such as vegetable oil, green vegetables, nuts, and seeds, while eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)—the second category—are found in fatty fish. One cup of tuna salad contains about 8.5 grams of polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Potassium

Why you need it: Potassium is an essential electrolyte, needed to control the electrical activity of the heart. It is also used to build proteins and muscle, and to break down carbohydrates into energy.
Where to get it: One medium-sized baked sweet potato contains nearly 700 mg of potassium. Tomato paste, beet greens, and regular potatoes are also good sources, as are red meat, chicken, and fish.

Riboflavin

Why you need it: Riboflavin—yet another B vitamin—is an antioxidant that helps the body fight disease, create energy, and produce red blood cells.
Where to get it: At nearly 3 milligrams per 3-ounce serving, beef liver is the richest source of naturally occurring riboflavin. Not in the mood for liver? Luckily, fortified cereals (like Total or Kellogg's All-Bran) provide nearly as much of the vitamin in a far more convenient (and palatable) package.

Selenium

Why you need it: Selenium is a mineral with antioxidant properties. The body only requires small amounts of it, but it plays a large role in preventing chronic diseases. It also helps regulate thyroid function and the immune system.
Where to get it: Just six to eight Brazil nuts provide 544 mcg of selenium—that's 777% of your DV. Too much selenium can actually be harmful, however, so stick with the mineral's number-two food source—canned tuna (68 mg per 3 ounces, or 97% DV)—except on special occasions.

Thiamin

Why you need it: Thiamin, also known as vitamin B1, helps the body turn carbohydrates into energy. It's also an important nutrient for keeping the brain and nervous system running properly.
Where to get it: As with riboflavin, dried yeast is the best food source for thiamin, containing 11 mg per 100-gram serving. However, you may find it easier to get your fill of thiamin with runners-up pine nuts (1.2 mg per serving) and soybeans (1.1 mg).


Zinc

Why you need it: Zinc has been shown to play a role in immune function (you've probably seen it in cold remedies), and it's also important for your senses of taste and smell.
Where to get it: Oysters contain more zinc per serving than any other food (74 mg per serving, or nearly 500% of DV), but people more often consume zinc in red meat and poultry. Three ounces of beef chuck roast, for example, contains 7 mg. Alaska King crab is a good source of the mineral, as well.

Pizza Chain Makes Special Delivery for Soldier in Afghanistan

Army National Guard Maj. Shawn Fulker is thousands of miles away serving in Afghanistan, and when his wife's birthday came around, he decided he wanted to do something very special.
Josephine Fulker loves Mellow Mushroom pizza, so her husband emailed Mellow Mushroom's corporate website on Thursday to ask whether one of the company's Jacksonville stores could deliver a pizza and a $50 gift card to his wife at their Jacksonville, Fla., home. If they could, he said, he would call the store and pay for it with his credit card.

Mellow Mushroom did one better. Unbeknownst to Shawn Fulker, a local Mellow Mushroom franchise was working to make his request even more memorable.

"We had the cook make a heart-shaped pizza, and then we stopped by the nearest Publix (supermarket) to get flowers and then we picked up balloons, just to kind of make it special," Brooke Chafee, a manager at the Jacksonville store on Monday evening.
Chafee and another employee of the store made the special delivery - which included the $50 gift card to Mellow Mushroom - in person to Fulker's home on Thursday. They didn't charge Shawn Fulker a thing.

John Valentino, the Mellow Mushroom franchisee who owns that location and others in Jacksonville, said his store was happy to have made the day special for the couple.
"Of course we weren't going to charge him for anything," Valentino told . "Him being a serviceman and his wife being home. … Hopefully in her husband's absence we were able to help her have a great birthday while he's over in Afghanistan serving our country."
Josephine Fulker had just finished Skyping with her husband when the doorbell rang and she saw the two Mellow Mushroom employees at her door on Thursday.

"I don't know their names exactly, but they had a pizza and a big butterfly balloon and a vase of flowers with a gift card for $50 and they told me that it was from my husband. I said 'Oh my goodness.' I was surprised and excited and overwhelmed and all of that. It was so nice," she said.
It was especially nice because Shawn Fulker had already sent his wife flowers and candy earlier that day. Since he hadn't been able to check his email for a while, he had no idea that Mellow Mushroom had been working on his initial request.

Josephine Fulker told ABC News that the even the slices of pepperoni on the pizza were cut into the heart shapes. The Fulkers have been married for seven years and have a 5-year-old son, Ethan. They were both touched by the company's gesture.

"He was just really overwhelmed with their thoughtful act of kindness," Josephine, 41, said of her 46-year-old husband.

"I miss my wife and son so much, and seeing that photo of them smiling at my front door brought tears to my eyes," he wrote. "When I received the email and photo from Mellow Mushroom I was sitting at my desk, and had to get up and leave the room to compose myself. I am very grateful for that moment."
He posted a summary of his interaction with Mellow Mushroom on the store's Facebook page on Thursday.

"I got an email from my wife saying that Mellow Mushroom just delivered a special heart-shaped pizza along with a $50 gift card and some balloons and flowers! The GM, J.P. Morgan, emailed me and said simply 'We got you bro' … Thank you so much for this J.P., and please pass my thanks along to your team," he wrote.

As of Monday night, Fulker's post has been liked more than 65,000 times. More than 2,000 comments poured in from admiring Facebook users.