Chihuahua Brought Back to Life


Julietta, a three-year-old chihuahua from Chula Vista, California, died on January 6. Minutes later, her vets brought her back to life. By January 9, she was getting ready for adoption.

The little dog, whom staff feared had been abused, was dropped off at the Chula Vista Animal Care Facility to have her broken leg treated. Juli Maher, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, operated on Julietta’s leg with the help of Registered Veterinarian Technician Mark Manzon.

Suddenly, Julietta stopped breathing after the surgery was done. For some strange reason, her little heart stopped beating.

“She had no heartbeat, no respiratory rate,” said Dr. Maher. “She was turning blue.”

Little Julietta had clinically died there on the table.

But not if Dr. Maher and Manzon had anything to say about it. The two had only just recently completed a CPR course teaching updated rescue techniques.

“So she’s laying on her side, so I start doing chest compressions,” Dr. Maher told KGTV. “And we do it to the beat of ‘Stayin’ Alive,’ because it’s about 120 beats per minute.”

After two minutes of trying to resuscitate the little dog, the pair noticed that Julietta had again started breathing.

“Although every precaution is taken to ensure that an animal is healthy enough for anesthesia/surgery (I.e. Preoperative bloodwork, radiographs in cases of trauma cases), unexpected complications can occur in any case,” says Dr. Karen Kennedy, DVM at Guilford-Jamestown Veterinary Hospital.  “Julietta was very fortunate to have her doctor and technician recognize her status immediately and take quick action. Even with immediate CPR, the majority of these cases do not have the happy ending that Julietta’s did.”

In almost three decades of veterinary medicine, Maher said that she’s never seen a dog in the condition that Julietta was in come back to life with complete brain function.

“That rarely happens,” Maher said. “I was just amazed.”

Julietta is recovering from the surgery on her leg, and will be put up for adoption some time within the next three months.

The Humane Society of the United States estimates that between six to eight million dogs and cats enter animal shelters each year, but only three to four million are ever actually adopted. Due to overpopulation, some 2.7 million healthy animals are euthanized every year, which means that there’s a perfectly healthy animal put down every 11 minutes.

Anyone interested in adopting an animal and saving its life can check local animal shelters.

Coffee Consumption Cuts Risk of Skin Cancer, Study From National Cancer Institute Suggests


A new study conducted by the National Cancer Institute suggests that coffee can give drinkers more than just a caffeine buzz; it can also lower the risk of developing malignant melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, by a fifth.

Researchers at the NCI, part of the National Institutes of Health, say that earlier studies had shown that coffee could protect against non-melanoma skin cancers, but it had been unclear if the salutary effects extended to melanoma.

The study analyzed data from 447,357 subjects, all non-Hispanic whites, and found that the more coffee they reported drinking, the lower their likelihood of the cancer. Those who consumed four cups or more per day were 20% less likely to develop malignant melanoma than those who consumed none.

According to Medical News Today, more than half the U.S. population drinks 3.1 cups of coffee on average per day.

The latest study’s findings did not hold for people who drink decaffeinated coffee, and do not apply to melanoma in situ, the earliest phases of melanoma that affect only a top layer of skin. The data was taken from the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. The participants filled out questionnaires in 1995 and 1996, with a follow-up time of about 10 years. The researchers adjusted for UV radiation exposure, age, sex, body mass index, physical activity levels, alcohol intake and smoking history before drawing any conclusions.

The researchers cautioned, however, that this study shouldn’t be used to support dramatically altering coffee intake in an attempt to prevent cancer. “In the end, the most important thing that individuals can do to reduce their risk of melanoma is to reduce sun and UV radiation exposure,” Erikka Loftfield, the study’s author, told Jan. 20. Loftfield works in the division of cancer epidemiology and genetics at the NCI.

“A lot of people use black coffee for exercise training purposes in order to get an energy burst pre-workout,” says Anick with Coffee Crafters. “There are also no additives and no negative ingredients, you still get that caffeine without the negative ingredients.”

The study has been published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Tis the Season…for Divorce? Why Lawyers are So Busy in January


If December is the season for families to come together, January seems to be the season of families breaking apart.

This Monday, divorce lawyers across the world braced for what’s becoming known as “Divorce Day,” the first Monday of the new year, when all those couples who barely scraped through the holidays initiate separation and divorce procedures.

A recent study by the legal firm Irwin Michael showed that an astounding one in five couples kick off the new year with a divorce or separation. The study also revealed that instructions for lawyers to file for divorce have already risen 27% compared to the average month.

The ongoing surge in divorces after Divorce Day typically makes January the busiest month for divorce attorneys everywhere.

There are several reasons that January is the go-to month for divorce. It’s harder to get into court during the holidays, for instance, and few people would choose to file a divorce and then wait around until the courts open back up.

Many couples are just reluctant to break up during the holiday season, either for sentimental reasons or out of fear for how it will look to friends and family members. The appeal of one last holiday as a family likely affects the decision to break up in January, as well.

Then there are taxes. It’s not a bad idea to get a divorce before the new tax year starts, so each partner can begin filing as a single person in the new year.

“New Year’s Resolution’s don’t just involve going to the gym to lose weight,” says Dorene A. Kuffer of Kuffer Law. “Many people in bad relationships also want to shed the emotional weight of a marriage that’s now a heavy burden. January may be the month that couples decide to actually file for divorce – but unless both sides are in complete agreement on all issues, the process takes time. That weight might not come off until spring, summer or even next New Year’s!”

Interestingly, the same week also contained the busiest day of the year for online dating — Sunday, Jan. 4, according to Between December and February, the online dating giant typically sees a 38% rise in registrations, and Zoosk reports a 26% increase in registrations in the two weeks following Christmas.

Though it’s hard to believe that apps like Tindr, OKCupid and Zoosk are preserving the sanctity of marriage, the numbers show that it might not be such a bad idea for divorcees to get their cyber-dating on. According to a new study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, in fact, marriages that begin online are less likely to end in divorce.

Railway Company Norfolk Southern Relocating 500 White-Collar Jobs out of Roanoke Valley Area

Delivery courier.

Transportation company Norfolk Southern Corp. announced on Tuesday, Jan. 27, that it would close its office in Roanoke, affecting 500 of the area’s 1,700 Norfolk Southern employees.

Workers in the Roanoke office, who perform white-collar jobs in the areas of marketing, accounting and information technology, will have the opportunity to relocate to Norfolk or Atlanta. According to James A. Squires, Norfolk Southern president, the Roanoke workforce would be offered “substantial” relocation packages.

But employees and area locals expressed their anger and worry at the announcement. Norfolk Southern has been a staple of the region’s commerce for more than 100 years. Employment in and around Roanoke has fallen in recent years, though, and at one time the company employed more than 5,000 workers in Roanoke alone.

Local real estate and retail will also be impacted. The company’s 23-year-old office building, located at 110 Franklin Road, will most likely be put up for sale sometime in August.

Although the offices in Atlanta and Norfolk will see an influx of employees, management explained that there is no reason to prepare a detailed office relocation guide. The company has plenty of room in both locations.

“When companies consolidate locations, there are multiple aspects that set off a chain of events,” says John Kiel, Vice President, Precision Office Furniture Installation. “When you remove a large quantity of employees from an existing facility, there will be a potential decommission or repurpose of their existing office furniture. This will result in management reviewing the possible options of relocating current furniture, acquiring new furniture, and/or reconfiguring departments to integrate all personnel in order to create an environment conducive to a higher level of productivity.”

Squires explained to employees that the decision to move workers to Norfolk and Atlanta is a “consolidation,” not a reflection of any business issues with the office, and it does not involve any lay-offs.

“We’re very proud of our Roanoke employees and we’re very appreciative of the services that they provide our company,” Squires said. “That’s why we are working so hard to convince as many as possible to relocate to Norfolk or Atlanta.”

Employees have the option to relocate at their current pay level, in addition to receiving the relocation package, or find work elsewhere. The company has yet to determine which departments and positions will move to Atlanta or Norfolk.

Another 1,200 workers for Norfolk Southern will remain in the Roanoke Valley region in other facilities.

New York City Sees Return to Normalcy After Winter Snowstorm


On Monday night, all of New York City lay dormant in anticipation of a “crippling,” “historic” snowstorm.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo had declared a state of emergency, shutting down the city’s subway system for the first time in its history. Private cars and city buses were banned from driving on city roads, and people were urged to stay in their homes. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered the city’s school systems to close, keeping more than one million students at home Tuesday. Thousands of flights to and from JFK, Newark and LaGuardia airports were cancelled.

But despite all these preventive measures, the city appears to have been spared the worst of the snowstorm. While some areas of the downstate region — along with Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island — got slammed with more than two feet of snow overnight, a mere 7.8 inches had fallen in Central Park by 9 a.m. Tuesday, according to the New York Daily News. Parts of Queens got a little more than 10 inches.

The snowstorm also shut down a number of big entertainment events scheduled for Monday night throughout New York City. The New York Knicks’ and Nets’ home games were both canceled, and Broadway’s lights and sounds went out for the evening.

Comedian Louis CK also canceled his Monday evening performance at Madison Square Garden, offering a full refund to those who had bought tickets.

“No show,” CK wrote in an email to ticketholders. “I will be on Letterman tonight, though. So you can yell boo right at my stupid and very handsome face on your TV screen or on your paper towel or your watch or whatever you view Letterman on.”

“We played it safe by getting staff out as players began cancelling courts and activity schedule at the club,” says Michael Cash, Managing Director at CityView Racquet Club, Long Island City, NY. “We then held over a crew of 5 to monitor the snow and wind’s effect on our two tennis bubbles. Beginning at 2am, this dedicated team worked to remove snow from the top of the bubble in order to reduce the sagging and risk of collapse. They were literally tethered by ropes for safety reasons. This morning we went with a short staff inside while we continued to remove drifted snow from the bubbles. Members began to arrive that afternoon for tennis and squash, plus fitness. We simply responded in a safe and timely fashion to the actual conditions.”

New Yorkers may feel disgruntled that their everyday routines were put on hold for the sake of a few inches of snow. But with memories of Hurricane Sandy’s devastation still fresh in the minds of many, Monday night was a lesson in being better off safe than sorry.

“We dodged a bullet,” de Blasio said. “Two feet of snow would have paralyzed this city.”

Historic Winter Storm Hits Most Populous Areas of the Northeast

Motion Blur of Car
This week, the most populous areas of the Northeast U.S. were hit with a historic blizzard that was predicted to drop as much as three feet of snow, as well as torrents of freezing rain, on cities like New York City and Philadelphia by its end.

According to a January 26 Reuters article, the blizzard resulted in thousands of flights being canceled and the crippling of public transit systems. New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts all declared states of emergencies, urging tens of millions of residents to stay in their homes.

In New York City, private cars were banned indefinitely from using city streets as of 11 p.m. Monday. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio even closed the nation’s largest school system for Tuesday, a feat he earned criticism for refusing to do during last year’s “polar vortex,” giving more than one million school children a snow day. Cities like Boston and Philadelphia took similar actions, instilling travel bans and closing schools in advance.

Even the normally level-headed National Weather Service used terms like “life-threatening” and “historic” to describe the blizzard, according to CNN.

A slew of entertainment events were shut down in response to the storm, with sports, comedy shows and Broadway events all cancelled for Monday evening.

The storm didn’t just putting the region’s packed entertainment schedule on hold — homeowners throughout the Northeast could find their homes damaged by the heavy snowfall. The National Weather Service predicted wind speeds exceeding 55 mph will hit New York City and its suburbs. Naturally, such high wings are capable of toppling power lines and causing trees to fall on homes.

“Concerned property owners with typical insurance coverage should not have to worry about the damage that may occur due to this massive storm. With high winds and heavy snow loads, it is important to keep an eye out for any leaks or sags in the ceiling or roof. Weight of snow and ice is covered under most insurance policies,” said David Miller, Licensed Public Adjuster at Miller Public Adjusters, LLC. “Once the storm is over, if possible, remove as much snow from the roof without damaging the roofing material. Furthermore, having your property inspected by a licensed professional may help uncover signs of damage.”

Considering as many as 58 million Americans will be impacted by the storm, with winter weather warnings being sent out from Maryland to Maine and even into Canada, it will be extremely important for homeowners throughout the country’s Northeast region to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

Woman Sues the House of Representatives Over Dog Bite Two Years Later


A West Virginia woman is suing the House of Representatives to the tune of $200,000. Two years ago, she suffered a dog bite in a congressional office while visiting Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA). According to the Washington Post, Elizabeth Crawford filed a federal lawsuit on Friday.

Crawford was visiting the Senator’s office in January of 2013. When Crawford bent to pick up a pen she had dropped, a staffer’s dog named Who Dey bit her right index finger. According to the lawsuit, Crawford claims to have suffered “severe and permanent bodily injuries and mental anguish; she has incurred medical expenses attempting to cure herself of such injuries; and her normal, social and recreational activities have been curtailed.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that there are about 3.7 million instances of dog bites in the United States each year. Twelve to 15 of those victims die as a result of infections. The dog that bit Crawford was apparently not up-to-date on its rabies shots.

The amount Crawford is asking for is quite a bit more than the cost of the medical expenses associated with the bite. A surgery to straighten a tendon and rabies shots amounted to $26,000. The remaining $174,000 is for pain and suffering.

Nearly half of all Americans will suffer a bite wound in their lifetimes, but these cases don’t always escalate to personal injury lawsuits. In any case, determining liability can be difficult, so it’s unclear whether or not Crawford will get the compensation she’s seeking.

Heating and Cooling Scams: A Greater Risk Than You May Think

Burglar hand holding crowbar break opening door

Throughout the winter months, the last thing you want is a furnace that isn’t working.

But during this busy time of the year for HVAC companies across the country comes an influx of scammers posing as heating and cooling specialists trying to target unsuspecting homeowners.

According to a December 18 Racine Journal Times article, heating and cooling scammers will typically call people, claiming to be representatives from a “sister company” of a local heating and cooling company, and asking the homeowners to schedule a routine maintenance visit. They ask for the homeowner’s credit card information, after which they will take money out without actually performing any work.

“The BBB would be a great place to start with some research on potential contractors that may be used, as well as trying to discover past work experience the contractor has done,” says Jeff Vitt, Owner of Vitt Heating & Air Conditioning. “It would also be beneficial to verify required licensing that an HVAC company needs to work in their area. References from other customers is also a great way to make sure you’re choosing a company that does quality work.”

Before hiring any company to repair your home’s heating and cooling system, always check the company’s rating on the Better Business Bureau website. Never agree to pay for a heating and cooling repair or maintenance procedure without speaking in person to a company representative, and never give out your credit card information over the phone.

And if anyone calls your home and asks for your credit card information, take down the number that comes up on the caller ID and contact the authorities.

While there are scammers who try to defraud homeowners by posing as heating and cooling companies, these instances are relatively rare — and your local heating and cooling contractors are most likely very trustworthy. Still, it never hurts to be vigilant against these types of scams.

Researchers Discover That Shark Teeth Are Nature’s Equivalent To Man-Made Power Saws

floor tile installation for house building
Sharks have always been known for their copious amounts of sharp, durable teeth — you probably learned about them in grade school science class, and maybe even collected old shark teeth that had washed up on the beach. But when a group of researchers made an actual power saw out of shark’s teeth, it became clear that we may have been underestimating their strength and sharpness.

The group of researchers came together from the biology departments of the University of Washington and Cornell University and set out to figure out just how deadly a set a shark teeth could be.

As a recent CNet article notes, the “deadliness” of sharks’ teeth hadn’t really been measured yet. Although scientists (and anyone who has seen Jaws) already knows, sharks can be particularly vicious when going after their prey, but they don’t simply bite into an animal and have a simple dinner; they usually shake the prey while biting down, allowing the sharp edges of their teeth to cut through flesh, muscle, and bone.

The recent experiment that attempted to measure the power of sharks’ teeth consisted of super-gluing a variety of teeth from four different shark species onto four saw blades, so as to mimic — in a measurable way — the powerful grip of each species. Using epoxy for glue, the researchers tested out teeth from a tiger shark, a sandbar shark, a silky shark, and a sixgill shark. The “prey” in the experiment was a dead salmon.

The researchers discovered that the teeth of each species differed quite widely, and seemed to be predominantly dependent on the prey that each species tends to eat. The sixgill shark, for example, had the dullest teeth and happens to feed on soft fish; the tiger shark, on the other hand, had the sharpest teeth — which makes sense given that it feeds on hard-shelled animals like turtles and crustaceans.

As researcher Katherine Corn explained to Popular Science following the experiment, the findings are important because “[scientists] may be able to extrapolate factors about feeding ecology from tooth morphology.”

Like it or not, it’s becoming clear that the biology behind sharks’ teeth is actually pretty similar to that of humans’ teeth. The development of different types of teeth in each human mouth is indicative of the diet that early humans had, and although human teeth may not be strong enough to create a power saw, the enamel that naturally grows on each tooth is surprisingly strong.

Luckily, sharks generally don’t prefer humans for their meals. But long story short: never underestimate the power of a healthy set of teeth!

7 States May Put Regulation of Worn-Out Used Tires on Legislative Agenda for 2015

It’s likely that seven states will consider legislation governing the sale of used tires in the coming year, online industry publication Tire Business reported Jan. 23. Such legislation would set safety standards and ban the sale of tires that do not meet those standards.

“Safety is the highest priority of the tire industry,” Dan Zielinski, senior vice president of public affairs for the Rubber Manufacturers Association, stated in a news release addressing the issue. “Laws to stop the sale of worn-out, damaged used tires will help improve highway and motorist safety.”

The RMA successfully advocated for a law passed in Colorado last year that addressed scrap and used tires. It expects Florida, Georgia, Indiana, New Jersey, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas to debate similar policies in 2015, though it has not said at this time whether it will support specific legislation in any of those states.

According to RMA data, up to 35 million used tires are put up for sale across the country each year, and about one in 10 cars is outfitted with used tires.

Drawing Reasonable Distinctions
According to Zielinski, “Any used tire is a risky proposition since it’s impossible to know the service history of a tire used by someone else.” The question at hand, of course, is whether it is the government’s responsibility to limit sales or if consumers should be educating themselves on which used tires are dangerous. Zielinski says that some tires go beyond individual risk-taking to become a public safety hazard.

Legislation might take action affecting used tires with a tread shallower than 2/32 of an inch, tires with exposed steel or internal components, tires that have been improperly repaired or tires with bulges indicative of internal damage.

Others in the tire industry, while echoing Zielinski’s emphasis on safety, have pointed out that not all used tires are unsafe, and this is a message that should be made clear to consumers should such legislation go forward.

“There are significant amounts of good tires that are considered used, but the problem is that it’s a judgement call for the vehicle owner; it all depends on their financial situation. However there is always a market and a demand for used tires,” said Rick Genin, owner of  Genin’s AutoCare. “I believe this legislation is a starting point, but then how does one enforce this?”Some environmental activists also advocate for used-tire sales because of difficulty dealing with scrap tires that are often stockpiled or left in landfills. Each state has its own legislation dealing with recycling programs for used tires.