Monthly Archives:October 2016

  • The Ultimate San Diego Quiz

    There is probably nowhere better to enjoy the southern California lifestyle than San Diego. With its perfect weather, miles of beaches, and world-class restaurants, San Diego is an ideal vacation spot. If you enjoy golf, there are nearly 100 courses to choose from, and the kids will be thrilled to spend the day at LEGOLAND. Take our quiz to learn more about California’s southern-most city — San Diego.

  • How Has Soccer Affected the World?

    With 265 million active players, soccer is bound to have effects in societies at large. The game arouses passionate devotion in its fans and great riches for its players and team owners, with impacts that can uplift or disrupt lives and nations.
    Modern soccer was born in England in 1863 when a group of players agreed on rules for a kicking game. The simplicity of soccer, with its 17 rules and need for only a ball and a patch of ground, allowed players of humble origin to play and excel at the game. Soccer became linked to Britain¡¯s class system, as the working class gravitated to ¡°football¡± while the upper classes preferred cricket and rugby. From the 1960s onward, hooligans fueled by heavy drinking and sometimes nationalism rampaged at and near soccer stadiums. Fans organized themselves into command-and-control structures called ¡°firms¡± attached to specific clubs to engage in ritual combat.
    Soccer made its way across the English Channel to become wildly popular in Continental Europe. During the 1914 Christmas truce of World War I, German and British troops put down their weapons and played a soccer game. German and Dutch fans in the 1980s and 1990s also engaged in hooliganism, and in 1985 English clubs and fans began a five-year ban from continental play after a wall collapse during violent riots at a Brussels stadium killed 39 fans.
    Mahatma Gandhi realized soccer¡¯s appeal to the disenfranchised. Before moving to India to lead its independence drive, in 1904 he established soccer clubs, each named the Passive Resisters Soccer Club, in Durban, Pretoria and Johannesburg. He is credited with involving non-whites in sporting activities, laying a foundation more than a century later for the 2010 World Cup, held in South Africa. As of 2010, an estimated 1,000 African soccer players make their living in European pro leagues. Along with Brazil¡¯s 5,000 pros in Europe, they provide a talent upgrade to clubs at all levels.
    Soccer passions burn brightly in Latin America. Stadiums such as Mexico City¡¯s 105,000-capacity Azteca create a hostile environment for visiting teams trying to qualify for the World Cup. In 1969, Salvador and Honduras went to war for four days in the wake of a violent World Cup qualifying match. Colombia¡¯s national squad performed exceptionally well in the 1980s and early 1990s, with improvements funded by drug lords who created training camps and improved national soccer standards. Tragedy ensued with the slaying of Colombia phenomenon Andres Escobar after he accidentally committed an own goal in a 1994 World Cup match against the United States. The region also features success stories, such as Brazil¡¯s Ronaldinho, who earns $35 million a year and inspires millions of aspiring players in his home country.
    Though soccer swiftly arrived in the United States right after its invention in England, the game remained in the shadows of baseball and basketball. In 1996, American women vastly increased appreciation for the sport with a gripping gold-medal performance at the Olympic games in Atlanta. Ranked No. 1 in the world as of 2010, the United States dominates women¡¯s soccer at the Olympic and international levels. Stars such as Mia Hamm, Michelle Akers, Julie Foudy and Abby Wambach strive to inspire young female athletes.

  • Modern Stress: An Ongoing Attack

    The problem with modern stress is, it never seems to stop. “What happens within the body and in the brain where there’s repeated exposure to uncontrollable stress is that the systems themselves begin to change. They have to adapt, so they don’t return to the normal state,” according to Dr. Steve Schleifer, chairman of psychiatry at the New Jersey School of Medicine. “This is when the brain certainly begins to get into trouble. This is when it’s believed we’re more likely to develop abnormalities in emotional and brain function that are associated with problems like chronic depression.”
    Stress and depression have much in common, so it’s no surprise that one could lead to the other. In 1988, early stress researchers at Duke University attempted to trace the connection by injecting rats with corticotrophin releasing factor (CRF), a chemical that triggers the release of adrenaline and other brain chemicals in times of stress. They observed that CRF “produces a number of behavioral and physiological effects that are reminiscent of both an organism’s response to stress and to the symptoms of patients with major depression. These include diminished food consumption, decreased sexual behavior, disturbed sleep, alterations in locomotor activity and sympathetic nervous system activation.”
    Being at red alert all day, every day, disrupts more than just the nervous system. Immunity is one of those expensive processes from which the body borrows in order to divert resources to more immediate needs. “We don’t need the immune system to be working over-actively in a fight-or-flight condition,” Dr. Schleifer explains. As a result, he warns, in cases of ongoing stress, “The failure of the immune system could make one susceptible either to minor infections, major infections, and possibly the development of cancer.”
    Even the heart gets short-changed by stress over the long term. According to Dr. Schleifer, “The blood will be more likely to clot in a condition of stress, and we know that’s not good for you. It’s something that can lead to heart disease.” Epidemiologist Dr. Sylvia Smoller adds, “Certainly stress can have an effect on high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for stroke and heart disease. And many studies have shown that, for example, depression and changes in depression are predictors of future heart disease.”

  • Gloria and Penny’s Lamb with Couscous and Roasted Figs

    Try this great recipe from the football fans and players on TLC’s Kick Off Cook Off.
    See more recipes from TLC’s KICK OFF COOK OFF, a new cooking competition that slams together America’s two favorite pastimes: football and cooking!
    Check out more recipes for Lamb

  • Is NASCAR really that bad for the environment?

    In the United States, more people watch NASCAR racing than baseball, supposedly “America’s pastime.” It’s second only to football, with 75 million dedicated fans who tune in (or show up) almost every weekend of the year to watch stock cars race around a track at speeds up to ???????190 mph (306 kph) [sources: Fulton, Eaton].
    The cars’ non-EPA-regulated engines and dangerously high speeds make the sport exciting to watch. They also make it one of the least environmentally friendly sports out there. NASCAR drivers make a living doing exactly what the rest of us are supposed to avoid in order to stave off global warming: Drive ridiculously powerful, gas-guzzling sports cars at extremely high speeds for entertainment value.
    The sport burns so much fuel that the U.S. government labeled NASCAR a waste of gas during the fuel shortage of the 1970s. As a result, NASCAR shortened one of its races from 500 miles (804 kilometers) to 450 miles (724 kilometers) as a goodwill gesture. (It was a temporary change.)
    So, just how much fuel does it take to hold a NASCAR race, and what effect does it really have on the state of the atmosphere? Is it a major CO2 contributor, or does it just get a bad rap because of the nature of the sport?
    In this article, we’ll find out whether NASCAR is as big an emitter as it seems. We’ll check out the fuel and CO2 numbers, see how it compares to other activities, and look at the potentially “greener” future of the sport.
    The first thing to understand when looking at NASCAR’s carbon footprint is that race cars are even less like regular cars than some of us think. That speed comes at a price.

  • Family Vacations: Stonington Borough Lighthouse

    The town of Stonington is the oldest borough in Connecticut (Stonington Borough), settled in 1753 and chartered in 1801. Both the lighthouse and the town represent the history and architecture of an archetypal Connecticut town. The Stonington Borough Lighthouse Museum is in the restored 30-foot granite tower, which looks as much like a fort as a lighthouse. The beacon was first built on Stonington Point in 1823 to guide the many vessels approaching Stonington Harbor from Long Island Sound.
    While the original lighthouse eroded and was dismantled, materials from it were saved and used to build the current lighthouse, which was completed in 1840. The lantern was visible up to 12 miles at sea thanks to its 10 oil lamps and parabolic reflectors. The lighthouse museum is a gateway to Connecticut’s past. Six rooms of exhibits testify to the rich and varied history of this coastal region, notable for its Stonington stoneware, which is characteristically splashed with cobalt blue and was made between 1780 and 1834 from clay imported from New York and New Jersey.
    The museum also features furniture and portraits that give visitors a peek at the lives of the early blacksmiths, potters, farmers, fishers, merchants, and shipbuilders who lived in Connecticut. One notable portrait is of David Chesebrough, called “King David” in Newport, Rhode Island, for his dominance of the merchant trade. It was painted by John Smibert in Newport in 1732, and hangs over the main room’s fireplace mantel. Mystic, Connecticut, with its Mystic Seaport, is about ten minutes away.
    Address: 7 Water St., Stonington, CT
    Telephone: 860/535-1440
    Hours of Operation: May 1 – Oct. 31, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., daily

  • Eddie Robinson

    Grambling State University’s Eddie Robinson became college football’s all-time winningest coach on October 5, 1985, at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. During this game, Grambling defeated Prairie View A&M 27-7, and Robinson surpassed Bear Bryant’s 323 wins.
    Two years earlier, unable to make an airplane connection, Robinson (born 1919) had driven 400 miles to attend Bryant’s funeral.
    “I would like to be remembered as a guy who made the same contributions Bryant did, who influenced people’s lives and made an impact on the game.”
    For a coach with such a stellar record — he retired in 1997 with a career record of 408-165-15 — it was undoubtedly Robinson’s ability to exert a positive influence on his players that lasted long after the numbers were taken down from the scoreboard.
    A superb teacher of football, Robinson was an even greater teacher of life.
    “When I left Grambling,” Doug Williams, Washington’s winning quarterback in Super Bowl XXII, said, “I felt like I had a degree in philosophy. It is amazing what that man knows, in addition to all the football he teaches.”
    Hall of Famer Willie Davis remembered: “Whether Eddie was coming through the dormitory checking on your work habits or getting athletes out to class, this thing was extremely important to him. He was always someone you could go to to discuss a personal problem and come away with the feeling you’d been with someone who showed sensitivity and understanding.”
    Robinson first came to Grambling in 1941 as head football (and basketball) coach for a salary of $63.75 a month. Over the years, he sent many players on to the NFL, including four members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
    Those whose football ended with their final college game all agree they were better for having played for Robinson.
    Robinson was a hands-on coach who always cared about his players’ whole college experience, not just the time spent on the football field. By the end of his 56-year tenure, he’d sent more than 200 players into the NFL.
    To learn more about football greats, see:

  • Name That ‘Seinfeld’ Character Quiz

    The four main characters in the classic sitcom “Seinfeld” are memorably bizarre, but the show is also stuffed with absurd side characters. How much do you know about the denizens of the “Seinfeld” universe?

  • Signs of Intestinal Worms in Humans

    Intestinal worms are parasites, or organisms that depend upon other organisms for existence. Although many consider intestinal worms to be a problem affecting poverty-stricken people in poor countries, they are also a health problem in the United States. Infection from intestinal worms commonly results from poor sanitation, inadequate hygiene or contact with infected pets.
    Upper abdominal pain, loss of appetite and diarrhea may occur with intestinal worms. Tapeworm may develop if a person ingests an infected flea from their pet. Tapeworm can also result from eating undercooked fish, pork or beef contaminated with the parasite. Tapeworm from pork and beef can grow to 15 to 30 feet in length. Hookworm can also produce abdominal pain, weight loss and diarrhea. Roundworm, or ascariasis, can cause severe abdominal pain and vomiting if the small intestine becomes blocked by the parasites — which can grow up to one foot in length and become as thick as a pencil.
    Tapeworm larvae can penetrate the intestinal wall and infect other parts of the body, producing cysts in the brain, muscles, skin and other organs. Cysts in the brain and spinal cord can produce seizures, confusion, headaches, weakness and paralysis. These cysts can be detected with CAT scans or magnetic resonance imaging.
    Hookworm infection can cause serious anemia — low red blood cell count — in infants, children, pregnant women and malnourished people. Hookworms live in the small intestine, where they attach to the intestinal wall and suck blood. Anemia is the most serious complication of hookworm infection. Children suffering from chronic, heavy worm infestations can experience severe anemia, affecting their growth.
    Pinworm infection can cause itching in the anal area, especially at night. Pinworm infection develops when eggs are swallowed. Female pinworms expel thousands of eggs into the environment. Dust containing the eggs can contaminate doorknobs, furniture and food. Egg-laden female pinworms moving from the anus often cause intense anal and vaginal itching. Hookworm is spread by walking barefoot through soil contaminated with infected feces. An allergic reaction can develop at the entry site known as “ground itch.”
    Tapeworm sufferers may see part of the ribbon-like worm in the stool. Presence of a worm in vomit or stool may also be the first sign of an infection with ascariasis, or roundworm. Ascariasis — a type of roundworm infection — can cause symptoms similar to pneumonia, such as coughing, wheezing and fever. This occurs when larvae migrate to the lungs before intestinal infection takes place, making its diagnosis difficult. Infection at this stage can be confirmed by finding larvae in lung or stomach fluids.

  • How Does Adrenaline Affect an Athlete’s Performance?

    The excitement an athlete feels when participating in a sport or activity is the release of adrenalin into their circulatory system. Adrenalin, also known as epinephrine, is the body’s response to stress and at one point, centuries ago, may have made the difference between life and death. Our heightened senses prepared us to either fight or flee. It was a survival instinct that can be applied to athletic activities today.
    The influx of adrenal surge is a welcomed effect when an athlete is about to do battle in the sporting arena. There’s an increase of energy sent to the muscles and the muscles response is to boost their ability to react. There’s an enhanced alertness brought about by an arousal of the central nervous system. The body begins to sweat more, in preparation to cool the muscles and the pupils dilate in an effort to take in more of the surroundings. The athlete is now ready.
    When adrenalin is released into the bloodstream, it invariably finds its way to the heart. The heart, upon feeling the increase in adrenalin, immediately boosts the rate and strength of its beating. The result is an increase in blood pressure, which, in turn, allows for an increase in respiratory exchange, making more oxygen available for the working muscles. The more oxygen available, the better the performance.
    The rush of adrenalin into the working muscles has a positive effect on athletic performance. Unfortunately, if the athlete isn’t able to control this hormonal flow, it could have negative effects on overall health. The production of adrenalin is designed as a survival technique, but far too often the stress hormones are called into action at inappropriate times. If this happens more frequently then it should, the result is a suppressed immune system and a propensity toward a resistance of infections.
    The athlete that is more able to direct their energy properly, is usually the athlete that experiences victory. It’s not enough to feel the adrenalin surging through your body — it’s equally important to control the adrenal response in such a way that produces the best results. The most effective way of focusing is to place yourself in a similar scenario as often as possible. This is called training and it is an essential component of the athletic experience.