Monday, 31 July 2017

Will The Real Housewives of Orange County's Shannon Beador & Kelly Dodd Ever Make Up? "Stranger Things Have Happened"

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Real Housewives of Orange County, RHOCThe Quiet Woman, it was not. When the ladies of The Real Housewives of Orange County gathered for a dinner at perhaps the most ironically named restaurant they've ever visited, the...
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Sam Shepard Privately Battled ALS: 5 Things to Know About the Disease

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Via Style News - StyleWatch - People.com by Amanda MacMillan

 

Actor and playwright Sam Shepard has died after a private battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis—also known as ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease — PEOPLE reported this morning. He was 73.

In recent years, most news coverage of ALS has focused on the Ice Bucket Challenge—the viral social-media phenomenon that was started in 2014 to raise money and awareness about the disease. The profits from the Ice Bucket Challenge really did go on to fund a new discovery that may help future ALS patients, but scientists still have a long way to go toward understanding the disease, developing treatments, and hopefully one day finding a cure.

An average of 15 people are diagnosed with ALS every day, and as many as 30,000 Americans are currently affected by the disease. But besides the buckets of freezing water and the occasional celebrity diagnosis, many people know very little about this fatal neurological condition. To learn more, Health spoke with Eva Feldman, MD, a neurologist and ALS researcher with the University of Michigan Health System. Dr. Feldman did not treat Shepard, but she's counseled many other patients and their families about the realities of ALS.

It can affect the body and the mind

ALS attacks the nerve cells that control voluntary movement, making moving the arms, legs, and face increasingly difficult over time. And while the disease usually doesn't affect a person's intelligence, some people with ALS may have depression or impairments in decision-making and memory, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

"We used to think that patients with ALS did not have trouble thinking, but we now know that probably 20% of patients will have some problems with cognition," says Dr. Feldman. That's one reason ALS treatment plans should take both physical and mental health into account, she adds. "Our patients see doctors, nurses, nutritionists, physical therapists, speech therapists, and social workers — and we know that patients have better longevity if they're treated in these multidisciplinary settings."

RELATED: 20 Celebrities Who Battled Depression

It's not necessarily an inherited disease

About 5 to 10% of all cases occur within families, but 90% of patients with adult-onset ALS have no family history of the disease. More research is needed on possible risk factors, but research has shown that military veterans — especially those who were deployed during the Gulf War — are twice as likely to develop ALS.

Other environmental elements have been associated with an increased risk for ALS, as well. Dr. Feldman and her colleagues published an article last year, for example, linking pesticide exposure with development of the disease; another recent study found that workplace exposure to electromagnetic fields may raise people's risk, as well.

It's more common in men and white people

About 5,600 new cases of ALS are diagnosed annually. It's about 20% more common in men than in women, and 93% of the patients registered in the ALS CARE database are Causasian. One recent study also suggested that white-collar workers are more likely to die form ALS, compared to people who are less affluent and less educated.

The highest concentration of ALS cases are diagnosed between ages 60 and 69, but younger people can also develop the disease. In fact, Pete Frates, the creator of the Ice Bucket Challenge, was diagnosed with ALS in 2012 at age 27.

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Symptoms aren't sudden

Someone with ALS doesn't just wake up one day with an inability to move their legs or arms. Symptoms may be so subtle at first that they often go unnoticed. Early signs can include cramps, tight and stiff muscles, slight twitches, or difficulty chewing or swallowing.

"From first symptom to diagnosis is usually about a year," says Dr. Feldman. "Frequently, a patient will wait until the symptoms become more worrisome to see a doctor." Even then, doctors may suspect arthritis in the neck or spine, before a patient's true diagnosis becomes clear.

Eventually, patients lose vital functions like breathing and swallowing. Most people live for two to five years after symptoms develop, and most eventually die from respiratory failure.

People with the disease may be living longer

Even though there is no cure yet for ALS, clinical trials have shown that a drug called Riluzole may prolong life by seven months for people with the disease. And just this year, the Food and Drug Administration approved another medication called Radicava — the first new drug approved for ALS in more than 20 years.

These drugs do not reverse the damage already done to motor neurons, or the related symptoms patients are already experiencing. But starting treatment early — both medication and respiratory therapy — can help slow the disease's progression. And while patients today still face an arduous and uphill battle, there's also reason to be optimistic, says Dr. Feldman.

"Since the Ice Bucket Challenge, there's been a substantial resurgence in research by the scientific community, and there are many excellent scientists working to understand the pathogenesis of ALS," she says. "I've been doing this for over 25 years, and we've made more progress in the last five years than we did in the previous 20."

This article originally appeared on Health.com.


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Here are the industries being mangled by Uber and Lyft

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Via Business Insider by feedback@businessinsider.com (Wolf Richter)
Uber's growth in the business travel ground transportation market has continued despite its constant drumbeat of intricate debacles.
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Here are the industries being mangled by Uber and Lyft

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Via Business Insider by feedback@businessinsider.com (Wolf Richter)
Uber's growth in the business travel ground transportation market has continued despite its constant drumbeat of intricate debacles.
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Blake: It changed me

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Via FOXNews.com by foxnewsonline@foxnews.com (Fox News Online)

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Los Angeles reaches deal to host 2028 Olympic Games - VIDEO: Olympics; How much it costs to host the games

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Coulter to Trump: Move Jeff Sessions to DHS, fire Rod Rosenstein

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Via FOXNews.com by foxnewsonline@foxnews.com (Fox News Online)
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Duchess Kate wears dress from Princess Charlotte's christening at Belgium ceremony

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Via Today by Gina Vivinetto
The duke and duchess were in Belgium over the weekend to attend a ceremony marking the 100-year anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele.
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Watch 'Gilmore Girls' star Scott Patterson reveal his favorite Luke moments

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Via Today by Erin Clements
We caught up with "Gilmore Girls" star Scott Patterson, fittingly, over coffee.
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How to clean a drain without using chemicals — and the right way to do it!

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Via Today by Karen B. Gibbs
Slow drains driving you crazy? Let a plumber tell you how to clean them like a pro.
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Sam Shepard, Actor and Pulitzer-Winning Playwright, Is Dead at 73 - New York Times

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New York Times

Sam Shepard, Actor and Pulitzer-Winning Playwright, Is Dead at 73
New York Times
Sam Sh epard, whose hallucinatory plays redefined the landscape of the American West and its inhabitants, died on Thursday at his home in Kentucky. He was 73. A spokesman for his family announced the death on Monday, saying the cause was ...
An Appreciation of Sam Shepard: A Countercultural Playwright Who Became, as an Actor, an Ironic IconVariety
Sam Shep ard and Jessica Lange's Relationship Rewind: Inside Their ''Tumultuous'' 27-Year RomanceE! Online
Peter Travers on Sam Shepard: The Cowboy-Mouth Poet of Stage and ScreenRollingStone.com
Deadline -EW.com -USA TODAY -Los Angeles Times
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Top Republican senator says his party his in 'denial' about Trump

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Via Business Insider by asmith@businessinsider.com (Allan Smith)
Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona wrote that his party is in "denial" about President Donald Trump in an eye-opening commentary in Politico on Monday.
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So there's this ad.

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Selena Quintanilla’s Husband Shares Sweet Memory of the Late Singer

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Chris Perez, the widower of the late Selena Quintanilla, has never been afraid to share their memories as a couple. The musician released a book titled To Selena, With Love in 2012 and this past April, he post their marriage license on Instagram in celebration of what would have been their 25th wedding anniversary. Now, he's sharing a funny moment he had with the Tejano singer in which he woke her from a deep sleep to listen to his favorite band's new single:

"Just heard this song again tonight from one of my favorite bands #Extreme…and I had a memory…late night in our Los Angeles hotel room @the Bel'age on the Sunset Strip…Selena was craaaaaashed out, and I was still up in bed watching some super late night tv show (as usual, LOL!)," he wrote. "My absolute FAVORITE band at the time was #EXTREME…and I hear the host say, "we'll be right back with Extreme!" What do you think I did? Damn right…I started waking her up (which was a super NO NO) and saying, "WAKE UP! Extreme is coming on, and they're playing their new single!" She woke up, stayed up with me, and we JAMMED this song while we watched the LIVE performance for the first time together on tv."

Perez also shared the video of the Extreme performance they watched that night.

Facebook fans were delighted by the story and many thanked him for sharing it. "Thank you for sharing Chris. I just love hearing your stories with Selena. It's weird, but I feel like I know you guys without even meeting you," wrote one user.

Quintanilla and Perez eloped after a few months of dating and had been married for three years when the Texas-born singer was murdered by her fan club president in 1995.


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Sam Shepard, Actor and Pulitzer-Winning Playwright, Is Dead at 73 - New York Times

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SESAC, Radio Music Licensing Committee Both Claim Victory In Price War

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Via Variety by Shirley Halperin
"We now have an independently adjudicated rate that's approximately 50% above the current ASCAP rate," says SESAC CEO John Josephson.
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Broadway Box Office: Michael Moore Draws Crowds; ‘Mormon’ Hits Half a Billion

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Via Variety by Gordon Cox
Michael Moore got off to a promising start at the Broadway box office last week as the left-leaning provocateur's new solo show, "The Terms of My Surrender," played to nearly full houses in its first two performances. Meanwhile, one of the street's longrunners, "The Book of Mormon," had a good week, scoring Australia's Helpmann Award... Read more »
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UFC's Dan Henderson: Jon Jones Should NOT Fight Brock Lesnar, Here's Why

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UFC fans are hurtin' to see Jon Jones fight Brock Lesnar next ... but Dan Henderson is stompin' out the potential super-fight.  Why? Hendo told TMZ Sports he's got ZERO interest in seeing Jones vs. Brock "because…

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The Real History Behind That Gruesome Greyscale Treatment on Game of Thrones

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Via TIME by Lily Rothman

Warning: This post contains spoilers for Season 7 of Game of Thrones

Nobody said it would be easy to cure greyscale, the fictional condition from which Game of Thrones characters shrink in fear. Highly contagious and characterized by a gradual hardening of the skin that eventually turns sufferers into "stone men," the disease is almost always fatal and causes insanity in its later stages. Those who show signs of greyscale are often exiled to live out their days in quarantine, but the careful surgical work performed at the Citadel by Samwell Tarly on Jorah Mormont on this season of Thrones has shown that sufferers can live to tell the tale.

The idea of exiling people who suffer from a skin-related condition to a far-away and terrible place is likely to make viewers think of leprosy, which remains one of the most famous diseases associated with the Middle Ages, the real-world historical period on which Game of Thrones often draws.

While it's easy to see why the fictional condition might be linked to the real (but medically very different) disease, recent scholarship reveals that many of the popular ideas that have endured about leprosy aren't quite accurate. The real history suggests that, if greyscale and leprosy are in fact analogous, Sam's decision to attempt to treat Jorah would have been more fully in keeping with his role as a healer than the Archmaester's reaction would suggest.

The key question is how ostracism fits into the history of leprosy in Europe. Thanks in part to biblical injunctions that command those with leprosy to dwell outside the main camp — even though some scholars now believe that those words don't actually refer to the specific infection — leprosy in Christian societies has long been linked to separation of some sort. But, as Elma Brenner of the University of Cambridge explored in a 2010 paper in the journal History Compass, research has challenged the "predominant view" that sufferers in medieval Western European society were "excluded and stigmatized" the way the show's "stone men" are.

For one thing, Brenner explains that, though leprosy was certainly present in Western Europe before the medieval period, it wasn't until after a 14th century wave of plague swept Europe that people at the time began to really worry about sick people spreading their illnesses. And, though leprosaria — hospitals or group homes for people with leprosy — were usually placed just outside the boundaries of cities and towns, they were not actually all that separate. Especially through charity and religion, leprosaria were part of society. Even after early ideas about contagion became common, people with leprosy were often allowed to come and go from the leprosaria where they lived. As for the infamous "clapper" noisemakers that are often associated with leprosy, and which have been long seen as a way of warning people to stay away, they may actually have have served the opposite purpose: attracting those who might give charity.

As Luke Demaitre put it in the book Leprosy in Premodern Medicine: A Malady of the Whole Body, though "[incurability] was the ultimate characteristic of leprosy, and its most constant attribute from late antiquity into the twentieth century," there is evidence that people with leprosy were not seen as beyond treatment. Rather than abandon patients to their inescapable fates, healers — whether trained physicians, quacks or religious leaders — attempted to treat patients or at least make them comfortable.

Even after quarantine became a more common idea — something that the scholar Jane Stevens Crawshaw traces to the post-plague period in Italy — it was not synonymous with ostracism. Rather, she argues that people with leprosy, especially those without money to pay for expensive personal doctors, would often bring themselves voluntarily to leprosaria. After all, that was where care was most accessible. And as plague-related quarantine regulations took hold, the epidemic of leprosy in Europe was already on the wane. There are exceptions (in periods of societal crisis, especially later in the Middle Ages, authorities might enforce mandatory quarantine) and life wasn't easy for those with leprosy, especially after ideas about separation spread. In some places, laws barred those with leprosy from inheriting property, for example. But overall, more recent historical work debunks the idea that complete exclusion from society was the dominant response to leprosy.

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So why is still common to believe that people with leprosy were banished?

One argument, from scholar Carole Rawcliffe, is that the idea was promoted in the 19th century by people — scientists, governing authorities and religious leaders alike — who were looking back at the Middle Ages through the lens of their own time. As Rawcliffe posited in a 2012 lecture on the topic, several factors could have converged to lead to this "leprophobia." For one, doctors in the late 1800s mistakenly came to the conclusion that the disease was far more infectious than it really is. Secondly, as colonialism spread, Western leaders who encountered the disease in the colonies came to fear that leprosy, which had tapered off in Europe, would return in force. They misread the medieval evidence to show that the segregation of the sick was a common and effective tack to take, Rawcliffe argues, and that interpretation conveniently meshed with their own 19th-centur y ideas about germs as well as their interest in forcing the segregation of the sick.

Whatever the origins of the misconception, experts see correcting it as crucial. After all, though medical understanding of leprosy has advanced significantly, the bacterium that causes it does still exist. And, though the condition no longer has to be fatal, stigma and ostracism remain major barriers for those who are dealing with what is now known as Hansen's disease.

But the medical side of things isn't the only reason to look to leprosy in relation to Game of Thrones. As the saga is, after all, just a story, the social and symbolic history history of the disease is perhaps where the comparison holds up best.

In medieval literature, says Robert Rouse, who teaches the subject at the University of British Columbia, leprosy is a disease with heavy connotations. Generally, in the context of Christian morality tales, disease was often linked to sin. And, as a hold-over from classical traditions, leprosy in particular was linked to Venus and thus to venereal sins. In stories like the Middle English romance Amis and Amiloun or the 15th century Scottish The Testament of Cresseid, leprosy is visited on characters after they commit acts of betrayal. The disease is, Rouse says, a sort of "shorthand" for medieval poets to quickly communicate something to their readers about a character's morality.

But this idea that someone with leprosy has committed a sin isn't mutually exclusive with the more recent research that suggests people with leprosy were not separated from society as much as we may think. In fact, being tested with something like leprosy, as Job was tested, could actually increase a person's spiritual standing. Even the drastic-sounding 13th century "Mass of Separation," which effectively declared a person with leprosy to no longer be alive in the eyes of the community, doesn't mean people with the disease were sent away from society. Such an int erpretation, Rouse points out, reflects a lack of understanding of a medieval Christian mindset. In the Middle Ages, the idea that a person with leprosy had moved on from temporal life to a kind of purgatory, in which they were "already paying for their sins," would have a very specific and not necessarily negative moral meaning. Moreover, though modern society tends to put death out of sight, in medieval Europe that was not the case.

Rather than send them away, sinners and their possible salvation could be a focal point for society.

And Jorah Mormont? He contracted greyscale after breaking an oath to the woman he loves, and now, thanks to the cure, has renewed hope of redeeming himself rather than facing a lifetime in exile. The idea of that salvation sounds like something he could appreciate.

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This 'Fixer Upper' home was almost 'left for dead' — but now it's for sale!

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Via Today by Amanda Choy
This house in Waco, Texas was featured in the first season of HGTV's 'Fixer Upper' and is now on the market.
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What's Keeping Asian-American Lawyers From Ascending The Legal Ranks?

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While the number of Asian-Americans lawyers and law students increased greatly in recent decades, there are still few Asian-American lawyers in top positions in the legal field.

While the number of Asian-Americans lawyers and law students increased greatly in recent decades, there are few Asian-American lawyers in top positions in the legal field.

(Image credit: Tawatdchai Muelae/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

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