Archive | January, 2013

Why A Good Night's Sleep Can Save Your Relationship | YourTango

22 Jan
Sleep deprived couple
Cuddle up and catch up on those z’s!

A new study suggests that sleep-deprived couples don’t take the time to thank each other.

We have more than enough reasons to get a good night’s sleep: improved memory, weight loss, less stress, the list goes on and on. But did you know that without catching enough z?s, your love life could also suffer?

That’s according to a new study conducted by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, which suggests that sleep deprivation can make it harder for tired couples to value each other. So if you’re feeling less than appreciated by your significant other, it may be because they aren’t getting enough sleep.

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“Poor sleep may make us more selfish as we prioritize our own needs over our partner’s,” said Amie Gordon, a UC Berkeley psychologist and lead investigator of the study. “You may have slept like a baby, but if your partner didn’t, you’ll probably both end up grouchy.”

Over 60 couples, ranging in ages, participated in the study. In one experiment, participants kept a diary of their sleep patterns and whether they saw effects of their sleep in how they appreciated their significant other. In another experiment, couples were asked to complete problem-solving tasks together. The results from both of these experiments proved that poor sleepers had a harder time valuing their partners.

We all know that sharing a bed with a significant other sometimes means sleepless nights whether it’s his obnoxious snoring or her late night cookie-munching (and you waking up in crumbs). But it’s been proven that how the two of you go to bed at night can dictate your relationship during the day.

So what’s the big takeaway here for couples? Get some shut-eye and your relationship will get up on the right side of the bed in the morning! And right before you climb into bed, take the time to let your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, whoever, “thank you.”

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Gordon says it pretty simply, “Make sure to say to say ‘thanks’ when your partner does something nice. Let them know you appreciate them.”

How do you and your partner deal with sleep deprivation?

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Subway given sandwich course in measuring feet and inches down under

22 Jan

SYDNEY (Reuters) – The U.S. fast-food chain Subway got caught up in an online furore after an Australian teenager measured his “footlong” Subway sandwich and found that it was an inch (2.54 cm) short.

Matt Corby’s photo of the sandwich next to a tape measure attracted hundreds of thousands of likes and hundreds more comments when he posted it on Subway’s Facebook fanpage.

In response, Subway Australia said the “Subway Footlong” was a registered trademark “as a descriptive name for the sub sold in Subway restaurants and not intended to be a measurement of length.”

“Looking at the photo doing the rounds, showing a slightly undersized sub, this bread clearly is not baked to our standards,” the company said in a statement posted on the Facebook fanpage.

Angry sandwich fans quickly took to the internet to knock the company’s response.

“I refuse to eat at restaurants where I need to bring a measuring tape to choose my bread,” said Phil Tripp.

And John Ralph made the case for the necessity of that extra inch: “An inch or two can mean a big difference … if the Titanic had missed the iceberg by an inch or two it wouldn’t have sunk.”

(Reporting By Thuy Ong, Editing by Jane Wardell and Elaine Lies)


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Report: N.M. shooting suspect had homicidal, suicidal thoughts

22 Jan

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) ? The New Mexico teenager accused of fatally shooting his parents and three younger siblings told authorities he was annoyed with his mother and had been having homicidal and suicidal thoughts, according to a probable cause statement.

Nehemiah Griego, 15, remained in custody Monday on charges of murder and child abuse resulting in death. He was arrested following the shootings Saturday at a home in a rural area southwest of Albuquerque where he lived with his family.

A Bernalillo County sheriff’s detective questioned the teen Saturday night and the details of their conversation were spelled out in the statement.

The teen allegedly told the detective that he took a .22 caliber rifle from his parents’ closet around midnight Saturday and shot his mother in the head while his younger brother slept next to her.

Griego told the detective that his brother did not believe him that their mother was dead so he showed his mother’s bloody face to his brother and then shot him, according to the statement.

He’s accused of then shooting his two young sisters in their room. He retrieved an AR-15 rifle from his parents’ closet and waited in a downstairs bathroom for his father to come home. The statement said he shot his father multiple times after he passed the bathroom doorway.

The teen said he reloaded the guns so “he could drive to a populated area to murder more people,” according to the statement.

His plan, the statement said, was to “shoot people at random and eventually be killed while exchanging gunfire with law enforcement.”

Sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Aaron Williamson said Monday he couldn’t immediately comment on the document.

Detectives have spent two days collecting evidence and trying to piece together what led to the violence.

“There’s no other way to say it, except that we have a horrific crime scene down there that we are working on,” Bernalillo County Sheriff Dan Houston said Sunday.

The detectives had finished their work at the home by Monday afternoon. The metal gate at the home’s entrance was shut, a small bouquet of purple flowers was on the top of the gate and at each side there were religious signs, including one that read “Jesus is the reason for the season.”

The sheriff’s office identified the victims as Greg Griego, 51, his wife Sarah Griego, 40, and three of their children: a 9-year-old boy, Zephania Griego, and daughters Jael Griego, 5, and Angelina Griego, 2. All appeared to have gunshot wounds to the head.

Greg Griego was a pastor who had once served at Calvary, one of Albuquerque’s largest Christian churches. He was also well-known throughout the law enforcement community for his work as a voluntary chaplain.

Neighbor Terry Wootan described Griego as a man with a big heart. The two sometimes chatted at the mailbox and would wave to each other when passing by. Wootan said Griego told him about his time in California when he was involved in gangs and how he turned his life around and found God.

“What he wanted to do was help people, and he would never quit,” Wootan said.

The pastor’s death has shocked the community, including the Albuquerque Fire Department and the Metropolitan Detention Center, where he volunteered his spiritual guidance.

A records check by the Children, Youth and Families Department indicated no trouble with the Griego family and that Nehemiah Griego had never been in trouble with the law.

“This youth had no history with the juvenile justice system,” agency spokesman Bob Tafoya said Monday.

Williamson confirmed there was no history of any emergency calls to the home in the recent past.

Neighbors said they saw the first police cars and ambulances arrive at the home Saturday night. The road was blocked and word of the shootings began to make its way through the neighborhood.

According to the probable cause statement, Nehemiah Griego first told a staff member at Calvary that his family was dead and that he placed the two rifles in the family van as protection before driving to the church. He later changed his story, according to the detective’s statement.

Asked if he had told anyone else about murdering his family, Griego allegedly told the detective that he had taken a picture of his dead mother and sent it to his girlfriend.

Sheriff Dan Houston plans to hold a news conference Tuesday morning, and the teen could make his first court appearance in the next day or two.


Associated Press writer Paul Davenport in Phoenix contributed to this report.


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Legalize Domestic Ferrets in California

16 Jan
Legalize Domestic Ferrets Demands a Hearing with President Obama

Domestic ferrets are just that – domestic pets. It’s been that way for thousands of years. Domestic ferrets are legal in 48 states, without issue. You never hear about feral ferrets running?amuck?or ferrets attacking people in the streets.

Interestingly, the state with likely the most pet ferrets is likely California. Yet, California is the only contiguous state which bans ferrets. The reason? I don’t know? Sadly, they don’t know either? Not really.

The contention is that ferrets may get out and reproduce, creating feral populations and impacting the environment in the process. There are several problems with this argument. For staters, nearly all (and I mean at least 99 percent) of pet ferrets are spay/neutered. Reproducing would be quite a trick. When ferrets get out, unlike domestic cats, they sadly are ill-equipped?to hunt on their own. The California Fish & Game Commission?is worried about ferrets hunting chickens. Thing is, that’s not happened in any other state. Outdoors on their own, ferrets are far more likely to become prey than to act as predators.

Ferrets?are also particularly prone to?environmental?extremes, which may occur in some parts of California. Moreover, as mentioned, there isn’t a known population of feral domestic ferrets anywhere in America.

Hawaii has such an incredibly fragile and threatened wild population of mammals and birds, I can at least understand the fear of introduced species.

The truth is that in?California?the ferret ban continues to be travesty, a waste of dollars when ferrets are confiscated. Don’t the?California Fish & Game Commission and animal control officers have better things to do?

Efforts to legalize ferrets have failed. Despite starring in a film with ferrets, Governor Arnold?Schwarzenegger (“Kindergarten Cop”) failed to act. Currently, Governor Jerry Brown says he has bigger fish to fry . Local legislators in the state are too intimidated to stand up to Fish and Game. Or say there aren’t enough facts.

So a group called commissioned a study (Preliminary Environmental Impact Report on the subject from Sacramento State University)?to get those facts. Now, Fish and Game really don’t want to hear the facts.

I offered a solution – which seems to make sense – mandate all ferrets are spay/neutered (which as I said, they nearly are anyway), and mandate rabies vaccines. Maybe, all ferrets should also be microchipped (benefitting ferrets and ferret owners).

California Fish and Game, meanwhile, offers no logic whatsoever as why they continue to block the legalization of pet ferrets.

So, in an effort to continue their quest to legalize ferrets – and save ferret lives – these animals have done nothing wrong and no one has suggested they aren’t appropriate pets – ?the group has created an online petition with the White House, which I absolutely support. ?Please consider signing it. You may save lives.


Filed under: ferrets, pets

Tags: banning ferrets, domestic ferrets, European ferrets, ferrets, ferrets President Obama,, legalizing ferrets California, pet ferrets, petition to legalize ferrets, Steve Dale, Steve Dale archives


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Police dig for more remains in Florida missing-baby case

15 Jan

By Juan Ortega, Gilma Avalos and J.D. Drummings,

The Hallandale Beach parents arrested in the disappearance of their baby boy — and labeled by authorities as suspects in the boy?s possible death — will be required to post higher bond amounts before they are freed from jail, a judge ruled Saturday.

Broward Circuit Judge Geoffrey Cohen raised the bond amounts for Calvin Melvin Jr., 27, and Brittney Sierra, 21, during a weekend court hearing on child neglect charges in the disappearance of Dontrell Melvin, who police say was 5 months old when he was last seen around July 2011.

On Saturday, police and forensic anthropologists kept digging for more remains at the property where Melvin and Sierra once lived. Hallandale Beach police on Friday found remains there that they said were consistent with those of an infant. Police said they haven?t determined whether the remains are Dontrell?s.

As police investigated outside the property, a current resident who moved into the home about six months ago said she was allowed to stay inside her residence. Natalie Garrido, 21, described a hectic day Saturday, saying that many police cars remained parked outside.

Saturday afternoon, she said she saw officials setting up additional tents in the backyard and using buckets as they excavated.

“They?re doing a lot of digging back there, for any leftover bones or something,”?Garrido said. “They added a couple of tents, I guess to protect everything that?s going on.”

In court Saturday, the judge first spoke to Sierra, charged with one count of child neglect.

?The allegations are extremely serious,? the judge told Sierra. ?In light of that, I do find it essential to set a very substantial bond to assure her presence at further proceedings.??

Cohen raised Sierra’s bond amount to $100,000.

Defense objects to higher bond
Assistant Public Defender Terry Conover, who represented Sierra on Saturday, said he opposed the increased bond amount, given it was basically unaffordable for Sierra.

?Judge, we object to the amount of the bond being tantamount to no bond,? Conover said. ?She has ties to the community. She doesn?t have the funds, and she has really virtually no record, so we object.?

Cohen replied, ?Your objection is noted,? but he didn?t change his mind on Sierra?s bond being $100,000.

Dontrell?s two siblings recently were placed in the custody of the state Department of Children and Families. Sierra told the judge she visited the courthouse Thursday and was told she could “have supervision with my kids.”?

“I was wondering can I also see them while I?m here, or when I get out while I?m on house arrest?”?she asked.?

The judge told her he would not authorize her request.

Then the judge addressed Melvin, charged with child neglect and obstructing a criminal investigation by providing false statements to police. The judge increased Melvin’s bond to $150,000.

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If either Sierra or Melvin were to post their bond amount, each would be freed from jail and placed on house arrest, the judge said.

Each also would be required to wear an electronic monitoring device as they await their court cases to proceed, the judge said.

If Sierra does leave jail, she will stay with her mother in Hallandale Beach, the judge said.

Sierra?s mother, who attended the hearing, told Cohen, ?She has a place to go. She has family that loves her.? The mother declined to comment after the hearing.

Each parent blames the other, police say
Dontrell?s disappearance didn?t become known to authorities until Wednesday, when a child welfare investigator spoke to Sierra regarding a child neglect case, according to Hallandale Beach police.

The investigator determined that Dontrell was missing. She spoke to his grandparents, who said they hadn?t seen the boy in more than a year. The investigator notified police.

After hours of police questioning Thursday, the parents blamed each other in the boy?s disappearance, and each provided police an area to search, police said.

Police said Friday that they dug up the remains in the backyard of a home in the 100 block of Northwest First Avenue in Hallandale Beach. It is reportedly where the couple had lived.

Before the remains were found, Police Chief Dwayne Flournoy said that if evidence warranted further charges, the parents ?will be charged accordingly.?

After the remains were unearthed, the chief said the missing-person case had turned into a homicide investigation. He said, ?Are the parents suspects? Yes.?


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Japan PM says Bank of Japan must set 2 percent medium-term inflation goal

14 Jan

TOKYO (Reuters) – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the Bank of Japan (BOJ) must set a 2 percent inflation target and make it a medium-term, not long-term, goal to show markets it was determined to pursue bold monetary easing to end nearly two decades of deflation.

The government is negotiating with the BOJ to issue a joint statement this month to make the central bank accountable for achieving 2 percent inflation, double its current price goal.

“The BOJ basically says it sees 1 percent inflation as a loose goal. That doesn’t show it’s responsible to achieve it and doesn’t show its strong determination,” Abe said told public broadcaster NHK on Sunday.

“The statement must say clearly that 2 percent is the target. That would lead to fundamental changes” in the way it guides policy, he said.

The BOJ set its current 1 percent inflation target last February and eased monetary policy five times in 2012.

Japan is stuck in its fourth recession since 2000 and its export-reliant economy is suffering from a strong yen.

Abe, who won a landslide election last December, has piled pressure on the BOJ for bolder efforts to beat deflation, threatening to revise a law guaranteeing its independence on monetary policy if his demands are not met.

Under intense pressure, the central bank will consider easing monetary policy at its rate review on January 21-22 and respond to Abe’s calls to double its inflation target, sources have told Reuters.

In the joint statement likely to be released on January 22, the BOJ wants to describe the new target as a long-term goal without setting a specific deadline, to leave itself flexibility in guiding future monetary policy.

Abe, however, warned that making 2 percent inflation a “long-term goal” wasn’t good enough. “That’s too long. It should be a medium-term one. Otherwise markets won’t react,” he said.

The Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy, the government’s top economic panel which the BOJ governor attends regularly, could call a meeting to focus on monetary policy and a timeframe, Abe said.

Abe also said he will meet with monetary policy experts on Tuesday, including his special economic adviser Koichi Hamada, to seek views on who would be suitable as next BOJ governor.

“Basically, I’d like to choose someone who can implement bold monetary policy and who shares our views,” he said.

Abe’s government has the power to nominate a successor to BOJ Governor Masaaki Shirakawa when his term expires in April, although the nomination needs approval by both houses of parliament. Abe controls the lower house but the upper house.

Japan last week approved a $117 billion stimulus package, the biggest spending boost since the financial crisis, to try and boost the economy. Abe is gambling that a shift to a more expansionary fiscal policy and more monetary easing from the central bank can end years of stop-start growth.

(Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Michael Perry)


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Golf-European Tour Volvo Golf Champions scores

14 Jan

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