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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 74,128

Journal Archives

Pine Knob welcomes new marquee, full concert season as it turns 50 and reclaims old name

(Detroit Free Press) A quiet spring Friday in Clarkston was the prelude to a loud summer ahead.

Officials with 313 Presents staged a media event to herald the return of Pine Knob Music Theatre, a milestone anniversary and the arrival of the first full concert season since 2019.

A new marquee bearing the old Pine Knob name greeted guests heading onto Bob Seger Drive off Sashabaw Road, as the historic amphitheater returned to its original moniker after two decades as DTE Energy Music Theatre.

When the season kicks off next Friday with New York AJR — the first of nearly 50 shows — fans will find a venue teeming with signage sporting the Pine Knob logo and commemorations of the amphitheater’s 50th anniversary.

“How fun it is to say ‘Welcome back to Pine Knob Music Theatre,’ ” said 313 Presents President Howard Handler. ................(more)


Scammers and price gougers are taking advantage of desperate parents seeking baby formula

(Salon) Just as Terri Bair's second son was born, baby formula maker Abbott Laboratories issued a huge recall of its baby formula products. The recall, which occurred in February of 2022, included several lots of Abbott's Similac, Alimentum and EleCare formulas, and occurred after two infants died and some reported bacterial infections.

When Bair heard about this, she was disappointed, but didn't fret too much: she preferred Similac, but didn't mind a more generic brand, which was in stock.

Until two weeks ago.


Bair turned to a Facebook group called Moms Helping Moms: Formula Shortage Donations, specifically designed to help parents find formula during this shortage, where she came across a post from a man selling extra formula cans he had in his possession. She paid him the shipping fee, and within an hour she had the tracking number. The transaction worked: a couple days later, she had the formula in her hands.

Then she saw another post from a woman who claimed to lived in a small town whose stores were well-stocked with formula. Bair asked her if she'd seen any Enfamil Gentlease.


Bair sent her money on PayPal for formula, and later another PayPal payment for shipping costs, which totaled $22.32. The woman sent Bair a tracking number. Later when Bair checked the status on her delivery, the update only said that a label had been created. The status didn't change the next day, nor the next, nor the next. Other members of the group connected with Bair, put the pieces together, and realized that they were being scammed. When Bair repeatedly asked for her money back, the seller blocked her on Facebook Messenger. .................(more)


Man in ape mask used sledgehammer to rob laundromat, deputies say

ENGLEWOOD, Fla. (WFLA) — A Florida man was arrested Tuesday for using a sledgehammer to steal over $800 from a laundromat.

The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office said around 10:45 on May 8 Michael Justin Rowe, 32, and Taylor Marie Farrell, 34, went into a laundromat. Pictures show Rowe was wearing an ape mask and holding a sledgehammer.

Rowe used the sledgehammer to smash a coin change machine, taking about $800 from it, deputies said. ...........(more)


'All your friends were dying': revisiting the horrors of the Aids crisis

‘All your friends were dying’: revisiting the horrors of the Aids crisis
In a damning new season of podcast docuseries Fiasco, journalist Leon Neyfakh revisits a period of devastating loss and horrifying apathy

Benjamin Lee
Thu 19 May 2022 02.08 EDT

(Guardian UK) Over two years into a global pandemic that’s killed more than 6 million people, infected over 500 million others and irrevocably changed the way we all live, work and interact, while some mourn and some continue to constantly readapt, for others, an investigation continues.

How did we get here? What mistakes were made? And what can we learn? For those who survived another global health crisis decades prior, one with a far higher mortality rate but drastically lower visibility, many of these questions still remain. In the summer of 1981, a quietly alarming new illness started to afflict gay men, initially reported in localised gay media but soon covered in the New York Times with the still rather unforgettably chilling headline “Rare Cancer Seen in 41 Homosexuals”. In that year 234 people in the US died. In 1982, the CDC used the term Aids for the first time. By the end of the decade, over 100,000 Americans had died.

“I think fear was the overwhelming feeling,” journalist Leon Neyfakkh said to the Guardian, having interviewed many who survived the era for the most recent season of his Fiasco podcast. “Just knowing that you might have it but you don’t know for sure and you might not know for months or years because for a long time there was no way to check while at the same time, all your friends were dying.”

While there are many, still-to-be-unpacked problems with how the US and many other countries mishandled and continue to mishandle Covid-19, there has been at least some sense that it was being handled. But under Ronald Reagan’s administration, at a time when the majority of US states still upheld sodomy laws, dealing with a condition that mostly affected gay men, and then eventually needle-sharing drug users, was not seen as a priority. “Any time you’re talking about sex or drugs, it’s a moral issue, not a public health issue,” says Bill Clinton’s former surgeon general Joycelyn Elders on the podcast. ..............(more)


TikTok's viral "bark at your dog" challenge may not be a good idea, experts say

TikTok's viral "bark at your dog" challenge may not be a good idea, experts say
Dog behaviorists say barking at one's dog may stress them out, and could even be a breach of trust

PUBLISHED MAY 18, 2022 5:06PM

(Salon) Since late last year, dog owners on TikTok have been participating in what might seem like an innocent, even cute TikTok trend that involves barking at your dog.

The hashtag #barkatyourdog has over 156 million views on TikTok, and its participants run the gamut in age and popularity (many TikTok stars have dabbled in it). The video trend involves getting close to your canine's face, barking loudly and recording the dog's reaction. Perhaps unsurprisingly, most dogs look confused.

While it might seem like just another harmless social media challenge, canine behaviorists are warning against participating in it.

"I wouldn't recommend it," Cathay Madson, a lead dog trainer at Preventive Pet, told Salon. "From what I've seen, the majority of dogs just don't know what to do with that." ........(more)


Meanwhile, in a sane country (Spain).......

Spanish govt proposes wider abortion rights, menstrual leave

MADRID (AP) — The Spanish government approved a draft bill Tuesday that widens abortion rights for teenagers and may make Spain the first country in Europe entitling workers to paid menstrual leave.

The measures are part of a package of proposals that will be sent to the Spanish parliament for debate. The package includes an extension of abortion rights, scrapping the requirement for 16- and 17-year-olds to obtain parental consent before terminating a pregnancy.

The Spanish move comes just as the U.S. Supreme Court appears poised to reverse that country’s constitutional right to abortion, in place for nearly a half-century.

Spanish government spokeswoman Isabel Rodríguez said the proposals represented “a new step forward for women, a new step forward for democracy.” ...........(more)


Michigan saw record small business growth in 2021

MICHIGAN, USA — It was a dismal 2020 for small businesses because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Michigan's main street has rebounded stronger than ever.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Monday that Michigan had the fastest small business job growth in 23 years.

The Michigan Bureau of Labor Market Information said that in the first three quarters of 2021, small businesses with fewer than 50 employees created almost 170,000 jobs.

The surge in small business was in part fueled by 150,000 new small business applications filed to start businesses, a 59% increase from 2019. ............(more)


Cawthorn's loss highlights Trump's waning influence but election deniers win big in GOP primaries

(Salon) Republican candidates backed by former President Donald Trump had a mixed night on Tuesday but election deniers dominated contested primary contests.

Several prominent candidates backed by Trump went down in defeat as five states held primaries.

Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., conceded his race to three-term state Sen. Chuck Edwards before the election was even called on Tuesday. Cawthorn faced a growing number of personal scandals amid attacks from both the left and Republicans in his own party, including Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C. Trump begged voters to give Cawthorn a "second chance" despite "some foolish mistakes" but Cawthorn ultimately narrowly lost the race, trailing Edwards by just over 1,300 votes with 95% of ballots counted.

Trump-backed Idaho Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, who ran a MAGA challenge to Gov. Brad Little after repeatedly trying to usurp his powers, lost her race to the incumbent by more than 20 points.

In perhaps the most-watched contest of the night, Trump-backed celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz is locked in a too-close-to-call race with hedge fund manager David McCormick, who also worked in the George W. Bush administration. Oz led McCormick by just 0.2% with 95% of precincts reporting, but McCormick's camp said they are "confident" that a large number of outstanding absentee ballots — which Trump world has long decried — would ultimately put him back in the lead. Kathy Barnette, a surging Republican who sought to out-MAGA Trump's pick, ultimately fizzled and came in third. ...........(more)


India's "man-eating" tigers entangled in a blame game

India’s "man-eating" tigers entangled in a blame game
India is home to the world’s largest wild tiger population, but human-tiger conflicts are on the rise

PUBLISHED MAY 18, 2022 8:15AM

On a late August afternoon in 2019, a farmer named Shivamadaiah walked with his cattle near Bandipur National Park. The roughly 330-square-mile forested reserve, known for its resident wildlife, lies serenely in the foothills of the Western Ghats in India's southwest state of Karnataka.

That night, Shivamadaiah didn't return home. When a few people went to find him the next day, they initially came upon his ripped slipper. The group walked further, recalls his son, Madhusudhan, who like his father and many Indians, goes by one name. After half a mile, they found Shivamadaiah's half-eaten body lying under a large banyan tree. A tiger had initially aimed for the cows, says Madhusudhan. But then it pounced on their owner instead.

The tiger had taken to roaming outside the forest in order to avoid competing with other tigers for food, says Madhusudhan. "It started getting close to human habitats," he says; it preyed upon cattle. After attacking Shivamadaiah, the big cat went on to kill another local resident.


As the carnivores have rebounded and reclaimed some of their historic range, humans have pursued development in areas not far from tiger habitat. Likely as a result, from 2010 through 2019, tigers killed 383 humans and valuable livestock. People are starting to lose their tolerance for the big cats, some wildlife biologists say. In 2019, villagers in the state of Uttar Pradesh beat a tigress to death after she attacked a local resident.

But the majority of tigers do not attack humans, and according to some experts, it is important to identify and remove those that do present a threat, in order to minimize human suffering and maintain popular support for tiger conservation. To this end, the Indian government developed guidelines for classifying "man-eating" tigers (the official term has since changed). But classification of individual tigers is often fraught, as are decisions about whether to kill or tranquilize and relocate these large carnivores. .............(more)


Michigan judge grants injunction against 1931 abortion ban if Roe is overturned

(Detroit Metro Times) A Court of Claims judge granted a preliminary injunction in a suit brought by Planned Parenthood against Michigan’s 1931 abortion ban law.

Court of Claims Judge Elizabeth Gleicher ordered the injunction Tuesday, writing that “forced pregnancy … contravenes the right to make autonomous medical decisions.”

Planned Parenthood of Michigan filed a lawsuit last month to block enforcement of the state’s 1931 felony abortion ban, naming Attorney General Dana Nessel as the defendant.

“This is a win for individuals, families, and communities. For those of us who provide abortions, it means we can continue to provide essential health care for our patients,” said Dr. Sarah Wallett, the plaintiff and chief medical officer at Planned Parenthood of Michigan. “Today’s ruling means all Michiganders will continue to be able to access the health care they deserve and to be able to decide for themselves their own futures.” ...........(more)


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