Saturday, January 25, 2014

Columbia Mall Shooting at Skate Shop, Zumiez

Columbia Mall Shooting
Inside the Mall in Columbia

Columbia Mall Shooting: On Saturday January 25, 2014, a gunman walked into the Columbia, Maryland mall and opened fire, killing two employees at a skate shop, called Zumiez. Five people were injured and taken to Howard County General Hospital. One person was shot in the foot, another had a seizure, one with a sprained ankle, and the other two with injuries related to the shooting. They were all treated and released.

Brianna Benlolo and Tyler Johnson were shot dead with a shotgun in the Columbia Mall shooting. The gunman then turned the 12-gauge shotgun on himself in this murder suicide in Zumiez skate shop. The shooting took place around 11:15 a.m. at the Mall in Columbia. The mall was immediately placed on "lockdown" after the shooting began.

Police Chief Says Columbia Mall Shooting 'Should not Happen Anywhere'

Howard County Police Chief, Bill McMahon said to reporters, "This should not happen at the Columbia Mall...this shouldn't happen anywhere." McMahon says, "We do not know yet what caused the incident."

Witnesses said that the gunfire started near the second-level food court before heading to the skate shop, and people started to panic and run for cover. A mall employee said, "It's a mall shooting...No one knows what's going on. In today's world, you hear gunshots and you run." He went on to say: "A lot of kids were crying, and mothers were holding on to them. I wasn't worried about me. I was making sure everybody was okay." This witness even took a picture of a wall at the mall, filled with bullet holes.

Zumiez issued a statement following the Columbia Mall shooting: "We are deeply saddened by the violence that has occurred this morning within our store in Maryland at the Mall in Columbia. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families."

On Sunday, January 26, 2014, Police Chief Bill McMahon publicly issued the identity of the gunman in the Columbia Mall shooting. His name is Darion Marcus Aguilar. It is still unknown the reason for Darion to kill Brianna Benlolo and Tyler Johnson.

Image credit: Flickr Creative Commons; by mcmorgan08

Monday, January 20, 2014

Richard Sherman, Seattle Seahawks Beat San Francisco 49ers in NFC Championship

On Sunday, January 19, 2014, the Seattle Seahawks beat the San Francisco 49ers 23-17 for the NFC Championship in the NFL. This will be the 2nd time the Seattle Seahawks go to the NFL Superbowl.

Richard Sherman tips ball before Crabtree catches it
Richard Sherman makes the biggest play of the game, tipping the ball before Michael Crabtree of the San Francisco 49ers can catch the ball, and his Seattle Seahawks teammate (Malcolm Smith) catches the ball and downs it with :22 seconds left in the game. Game over.

Was Michael Crabtree Butt Smack Bad Sportsmanship on Richard Sherman?

Richard Sherman gives Michael Crabtree a butt smack
Richard Sherman smacks Michael Crabtree on butt

post game butt smack
Richard Sherman to Michael Crabtree butt smack

After celebrating with several teammates in the endzone, Richard Sherman decides that he is going to run up behind Michael Crabtree and smack him on the left butt cheek and get in his face. Yes, he gave him a butt smack. Some would argue that it wasn't just any butt smack, but it was also a display poor sportsmanship after a big win.

Richard Sherman's explanation of the butt smack was this: "I ran over to Crabtree to shake his hand but he ignored me...I patted him, stuck out my hand and said, 'Good game, good game.' That's when he shoved my face, and that's when I went off" (see post-game interview below)

Richard Sherman also did the choke sign at the 49ers quarterback Colin Caepernick. His explanation: "I threw a choking sign at 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Why? Because he decided he was going to try the guy he was avoiding all game, because, I don't know, he's probably not paying attention for the game-winning play. C'mon, you're better than that."

Richard Sherman Says Michael Crabtree is a 'Sorry Receiver' in Post-Game Interview

In the post-game interview with Erin Andrews, Richard Sherman says: "I'm the best corner in the game...when you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that's what you're going to get. Don't you ever talk about me!"

Erin Andrews asks him: "Who was talking about you?"

A few seconds later, Richard Sherman follows with: "Crabtree, don't you open your mouth about the best, or I'm gonna shut it for you real quick!"

Erin Andrews said this about the post-game interview: "He lost his mind and it was awesome - for once...I do think they might have been worried about language." (Erin Andrews was referring to Fox Sports Producers in her comment)

Sports analysts think that Richard Sherman should have been a little less aggressive after winning such a big game. Richard Sherman has said in interviews with reporters that it is okay to get aggressive while you are in football mode, because if you do that in real life, you go to jail.

Do you think Richard Sherman should have been more humble about the Seattle Seahawks win over the San Francisco 49ers?

Or do you think it was appropriate for him to give Michael Crabtree a butt smack?

Tom Brady Comments on Richard Sherman's Bad Sportmanship

Tom Brady says this when asked about Richard Sherman's behavior and post-game interview: "I don't know him at all...I've watched him play. He's that kind of guy. So, you know, I approach the game - and I have respect for my opponents. That's the way our team always plays. We win with graciousness, and when we lose, we could do better. Some teams don't always do that, or that's not their program."

Friday, January 17, 2014

Google Contact Lens and Google X Project Adds New Biotech to Glasses

contact lens with glucose meter
Google Contact Lens; photo by Google

Google Contact Lens is for Diabetics

Would you put a Google Contact Lens in your eye?

Probably so, if you are diabetic.

It seems like a bit of a stretch, because Google just recently rolled out with the Google Glass project. But the search engine behemoth is already years ahead in their next technology, and this technology is still years away from the consumer. This project is courtesy of the Google X lab, which also produced a car that needs no human driver, and the Google Glass project.

Google Contact Lens not an Advancement of Google Glass...yet

But the Google Contact Lens is a little less interested in taking video and photos at this point, and more interested in monitoring the glucose level found in human tears. But don’t worry, if this latest tech proves to be profitable, you can be assured that taking video and pictures is only down the road.

Google shared on Thursday January 16, 2014 that their Google Contact Lens is realistically five years down the road from being available to consumers.

Ultimately, the Google Contact Lens is competing with other technologies being developed to monitor the health of diabetics, so we can finally do away with the pricking of fingers (and other areas on the body) to get a drop of blood onto a lancet test strip.

There are an estimated 382 million people in the world that are diabetic, and this technology would no doubt have a market.

Google Glass to Implement Next Generation Biotech Soon

Despite the fact that the Google Contact Lens is at least five years down the road, the Google Glass project is in existence, and they are about to add next generation biotech to their glasses.

This Business Insider article shares that the Google X team has been in talks with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to add biosensors to Google Glass glasses to monitor your vital signs, which will be interpreted and gathered by Google Glass glasses.

This would prove a valuable feature for those with known medical conditions, and would be very helpful for people with heart conditions.

With Google Contact Lens in the works and Google Glass biotech upgrades, products starting out as a Google X project seem to be very lucrative and help people monitor their health. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Toxic Chemical Spilled into Elk River Contaminating West Virginia Drinking Water

West Virginia Freedom Industries chemical spill
Freedom Industries toxic chemical spill into Elk River

On Thursday, January 09, 2014, a toxic chemical was spilled in the Elk River of West Virginia, and contaminated the drinking water supply for nine counties, affecting roughly 300,000 people -- which is 1 out of every 6 West Virginians. Local business owners are the hardest hit by this chemical spill. Business owners have made it very clear that they are losing money from all the lost business, as all local residents have been urged to stay indoors while the chemical spill is dealt with.

Toxic Chemical Spill Affected Nine Counties and Charleston, WV

The nine West Virginia counties affected by the toxic chemical spill are: Jackson, Putnam, Cabell, Lincoln, Logan, Roane, Clay, Kanawha, and Boone. The city of Charleston is located in the epicenter of the counties affected.

Schools, restaurants and local governments all closed in response to the toxic chemical spill drinking water crisis. The White House declared the contaminated Elk River incident a natural disaster. State officials are depending on the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for guidance on when the water will be safe again. NPR news reports that the CDC actually did not have a standard of how much of this toxic chemical could be in the water prior to the incident.

The CDC also must consider that some people may have a higher sensitivity to the toxic chemical, when coming up with a safe standard. This takes into account elderly people and infants.

West Virginia Water Contaminated with Toxic Chemical used to Prepare Coal

The toxic chemical that contaminated the Elk River drinking water supply is called “4-methyl-cyclohexane-methanol” (MCHM), and is a foaming agent used in the coal preparation process leaked from a tank at Freedom Industries in Charleston, West Virginia. Thousands of gallons of this toxic chemical spilled into the Elk River after overrunning a containment area that was supposed to prevent this very accident from occurring. The tank from which the chemical leaked is a 40,000 gallon tank, and Freedom Industries is confident that the maximum amount of chemical spill was capped at 5,000 gallons.

 Spill Put ‘Sweet Smell’ in the Air Near the Elk River

Residents and businesses in the affected area noticed an unusually “sweet” smell in the air on Thursday night, very much like cough syrup or licorice. The smell was particularly strong at the Charleston Marriot hotel, which is located only a few blocks from the Elk River. In response to the incident, the Charleston Marriot initially shut off water to all rooms in the hotel, but eventually turned it back on so that guests could flush their toilets.

All stores in the affected areas quickly sold out of bottled water, ice, and juices. As early as Friday night, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (F.E.M.A.) began its delivery of a million liters of water.

How Long Had the Chemical Been Leaking?

The more disturbing piece of this story is that it is unclear how long the chemical had been leaking into the Elk River. The containment area was essentially a concrete wall, which had a breach in it.

According to a fact sheet, the chemical MCHM is known to be harmful is swallowed or inhaled, causing skin and eye irritation.

After the incident, Freedom Industries President, Jeff McIntyre said: “I do not know if the water is not safe,” but believes the chemical is “not lethal” in its strongest form.

As of Tuesday, January 14, 2014, many downtown Charleston businesses and restaurants opened their doors again after the toxic chemical spill. The five-day ban on using the tap water was lifted, although residents may still smell a faint aroma of licorice from the water.

There were no reports of anyone becoming seriously ill as a result of this toxic chemical spill into the Elk River.

Image credit: Flickr Creative Commons; by Mike Licht

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Dallas Safari Club Holds Permit Auction to Hunt and Kill Wild Black Rhinoceros

two black rhinoceros
Black Rhinoceros grazing in Kenya; image credit: Flickr CC; by siwild

Is it okay to hunt and kill a Black Rhinoceros? 

Some people feel that this is the message being sent by the Dallas Safari Club - which held an auction for permit to hunt down and kill a Black Rhinoceros down in the wild. The permit auction was on Saturday, January 11, 2014, granting the winner exlcusive permission to hunt a specific Black Rhinoceros in Namibia, Africa. The Black Rhinoceros being hunted and killed is past his prime, and threatening other wildlife in the area, according the Executive Director of the Dallas Safari Club.

Both the Humane Society and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) have publicly spoke out against the Dallas Safari Club permit auction, which is essentially endorsing the killing of an endangered animal in the wild.

Is the Dallas Safari Club Sending the Wrong Message to Conservationists?

The North American regional director of the IFAW, Jeffrey Flocken, says: "The auction is telling the world that an American is will pay anything to kill their species...that is, in fact, making a spectacle of killing an endangered species."

The Dallas Safari Club has opened the permit auction up to anyone in the world, and will grant the permit to the highest bidder. The last time this type of auction was held, the winning bid was $223,000.00 USD.

The winning bid on Jan. 11, 2014 was $350,000.00 USD.

Some Dallas Safari Club member have even received death threats in protest of the auction, which have been reported to the F.B.I. for investigation.

Does it Matter That the Black Rhinoceros is on the Endangered Species List?

The Executive Director of the Dallas Safari Club assures everyone that the money collected from the auction is being used to protect the Black Rhinoceros in the wild, despite the fact that his auction is granting a permit to kill one of an endangered species. He said the animal was "likely to be targeted anyway, because it was becoming aggressive and threatening other wildlife."

Despite his reassurance, there are many people that are outraged that the Dallas Safari Club is granting a permit to hunt and kill an animal considered to be an endangered species.

How Many Rhinoceros are Left in the Wild?

It is estimated that about 4,000 Rhinoceros live in the wild today. There are about 1,800 in Namibia, Africa today. The main reason for their dwindling numbers is loss of habitat, and the other reason is illegal poaching for their ivory tusks.

Black Rhinoceros butt
Black Rhinoceros rear; image credt: Flick CC; by siwild

Monday, January 06, 2014

Jersey Mikes Subs Free Printable Coupon for May 2015

May 2015 Jersey Mike's Printable Coupon
Jersey Mike's May 2015 printable coupon

May 2015 Jersey Mike's Printable Coupon

If you are looking for a Jersey Mike's Subs printable coupon for May 2015, look no further. The May 2015 printable coupon (at the very top of the post) is valid only through 05/21/15 - 05/24/15. By simple observation, you can see that the coupon code for the latest Jersey Mike's July 2015 printable coupon is "0705."

May 2015 is a great month to enjoy a cold sub from Jersey Mike's Subs because it is so hot outside. Take advantage of the free printable May 2015 coupon provided above. The May 2015 coupon is only valid 05/21/14 - 05/24/15.

Jersey Mike's Printable Coupon only Valid for Dates on Coupon

You cannot redeem this coupon after it expires because Jersey Mike's Subs removes the old code for the printable coupon in their online database for the store registers after the cut off date.

Jersey Mike's Subs makes awesome subs. They will always ask you if you want it Mike's way. Mike's way is adding the following ingredients to your sub (generally applicable to cold subs): lettuce, onions, tomatoes, oil, vinegar, and spices.

Jersey Mike's makes one of the best Philly Cheese Steak subs with Chipotle Mayo, but don't worry, the Chipotle Mayo is not hot, it just adds to the flavor. Under hot subs, the Chipotle Cheese Steak is #43 on the menu.

A Tip When Ordering the Chipotle Cheese Steak... 

Now, if they wrap your Chipotle Cheese Steak sub in aluminum foil before handing it to you, be sure to eat it soon. The juices from the sub will make your Chipotle Cheese Steak soggy if you take your wrapped sub anywhere to eat it (i.e. such as taking it back to work).

When Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast, the Jersey Mike's computer system was temporarily down, because Jersey Mike's headquarters is located in the state of New Jersey. Fortunately, Jersey Mike's was able to keep going through the Hurricane Sandy tragedy.

In My Opinion...

I think Jersey Mike's should provide other side options besides just chips, but I can't complain about their delicious sub sandwiches. Some people would like to eat healthier, and I think introducing other sides, like potato salad, would be popular for Jersey Mike's Subs.

I thought it was great when Jersey Mike's took the money from one day's sales and donated all of it to a local charity. That was really a class act for Jersey Mike's to do that.

I have always wanted to try the Grilled Pastrami Reuben, #20 on the hot subs menu, but I can't get myself to order anything other than the Chipotle Cheese Steak sub, because it is that good!

What is your favorite sandwich at Jersey Mike's subs?

Friday, January 03, 2014

Sugar Bowl Recap: The Crimson Tide Died Against Oklahoma Sooners

Bryant-Denny Stadium
Bryant-Denny Stadium: Home of the Alabama Crimson Tide

A.J. McCarron threw three interceptions in his final game in an Alabama Crimson Tide uniform Thursday January 02, 2013, losing to the Oklahoma Sooners 45-31 in the Sugar Bowl.

All Alabama Crimson Tide fans are in a state of mourning, and they should be. The Tide fell, and they didn't go down fighting very well in the Sugar Bowl.

The Oklahoma Sooners Lay a Good Ole Whoopin' on Alabama Crimson Tide

The Oklahoma Sooners scored off of every turnover that A.J. McCarron threw on Thursday night at the Sugar Bowl. Most analysts give the Oklahoma Sooners credit for playing a near perfect game against the Alabama Crimson Tide. Anyone familiar with the Alabama Crimson Tide knows that coach Nick Saban demands perfection, and will ride players for little inconsistencies and minor mistakes. But now, the season is over, and there's only next football season to get better, unless you are an Auburn Tigers fan. Auburn fans have an opportunity to see their season end with another National Championship. The SEC is depending on Auburn to maintain their tradition in National Champions.

A.J. McCarron Ends Alabama Crimson Tide Career With Two Losses

Many Alabama fans around the water-cooler wonder why Alabama focused so much on their passing game, versus their running game. Some Crimson Tide fans think it was because it was because they wanted A.J. McCarron to go out with a bang. Well, "Bang!" the Tide died at the hands of the Oklahoma Sooners.

A.J. McCarron ends his 38 game career at Alabama with two losses. First to Auburn, then to Oklahoma, with a final W-L record of 36-2. Not bad, but not in a way that any Alabama player wants to end their college football career on.

So many Auburn fans point out that the Alabama Crimson Tide was supposed to be the obvious win over Oklahoma - and they were. But something happened. The Tide fell short, and fell harder than at the Iron Bowl in their last loss to Auburn.

Even Nick Saban admitted that Alabama did not play well on defense in the first half. Well, Duh!

Sugar Bowl Record Broken by Oklahoma Sooners

Quarterback Trevor Knight of the Oklahoma Sooners grabbed the spotlight with 32 completions out of 44 attempts - a Sugar Bowl record - with 348 yards across four touchdowns.

Image credit: Flickr Creative Commons; by James Willamor

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