Three Dog Night Singer Dies

Cory WellsCory Wells, one of the founding members of the 70’s rock band Three Dog Night, died suddenly on October 20 at his home in Dunkirk, New York, at the age of 74.  There is currently no reported cause of death.

Wells’ death was reported Wednesday on the band’s website,  Several concerts had to be cancelled recently, because Wells had developed severe back pain, according to band members.  It had been over a month since Wells had performed with the band.

Three Dog Night was one of the top bands in the 70’s, scoring 13 top ten hits and 12 gold albums.  The band also had three number one hits, “Joy to the World,” “Black and White,” and “Mama Told Me (Not to Come)”.  “Joy to the World” was voted the top song for 1971.

The band was unique because it had three lead singers – Wells, Danny Hutton, and Chuck Negron.  The current lineup of the band included Wells and Hutton.  There was a falling out with Negron in 1977 and he toured on his own.

Hutton spoke about Wells’ death on the band’s website, saying he was shocked at the sudden death of Wells.  He said Wells was like a brother to him.

Wells had served in the Air Force in the early 60’s and had formed several bands before forming Three Dog Night after he moved to Los Angeles and met Hutton.

Many rock critics panned the music of Three Dog Night, citing it as just fluffy pop music, but as Wells had said in previous interviews, their music was popular with a large number of people and led to large record sales.  Wells had said the band was not a singles band, but instead, an albums band.

Wells, whose real name was Emil Lewandowski, is survived by his wife, two daughters, and five grandchildren.

Trump Still Leads other Republican Candidates

Donald TrumpDonald Trump still has a commanding lead over the other Republicans in the hotly contested bid for the Republican Party’s presidential nod.  Trump has garnered support of 24% of Republican voters, followed by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush with 13%, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker with 10%.

The ten Republican candidates with the highest percent points of support will be allowed to participate in Thursday’s first debate in Cleveland, Ohio.  The other candidates making the debate include Ben Carson, Texas Sen. Ted Cruse, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Florida Sen. Mark Rubio, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Just missing the cut was former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.  Also excluded from the debate are businesswomen Carly Fiorina, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore, and former New York Governor George Pataki.

While all the candidates are taking shots at Trump, he continues to ride high in the polls without any real election staff or organization.  Trump’s maverick style has resonated with disgruntled Republican voters, who are tired of the same old politics as usual candidates.

While Trump has taken heat for his controversial comments on Mexican immigrants and his criticism of Arizona Sen. John McCain, that has not hurt his poll rankings.  In fact, he is surging in the polls.

Trump concedes he is not a debater and does not have a staff grilling him on how to answer tough questions, but he says he will just say what he feels and so far this attitude has brought him to the top of the Republican party nominees list of presidential candidates.

New Research Shows Amazing Benefits of Vitamin D

vitamin DMore and more research is showing the benefits and importance of vitamin D in maintaining optimal health.  For years little attention was paid to this nutrient, but studies have shown that vitamin D is vital for so many functions in your body.  The main function of vitamin is to help your bones absorb calcium and phosphorus, but this turned out to be the tip of the iceberg.

Vitamin D, which is actually a hormone, is unique because it is produced by the body via sunshine, which is why it is called the sunshine vitamin.  Some of the other benefits of this vitamin include improving the functioning of the immune system, helping in cognitive functioning, and helping with the cardiovascular system.

There is also promising news with relation to preventing or helping fight some diseases like cancer, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, and protecting from radiation poisoning.  Who knew this little vitamin could have so many health benefits without the high cost of most supplements.

A surprising fact is that a majority of people are deficient in vitamin D and are unaware of it.  The daily amount of vitamin D needed is about 600 IU, which is up from 400 IU in the past.  There is mounting research that shows there might be a need for higher doses than 600 IU daily.  The only real way to find out if you are deficient is to have a blood test.  Many health practitioners recommend over 1,000 IU daily.

While the most natural way of getting doses of vitamin D is from sunshine, there is the risk of too much sun exposure and skin cancer.  People living near the Equator have higher exposures to sunlight and therefore should be getting plenty of vitamin D, while people in the northern hemisphere receive very little sunshine in the winter months and need to take a vitamin D supplement.

There are several types of vitamin D but the type you need to be taking is vitamin D3, because this type has shown the most promising results from testing.  What is really great about getting vitamin D supplements is they are very cheap and there is not excuse for anyone being deficient in this powerful nutrient.  Get a blood test and see if you are deficient in this vital vitamin.

Uruguay Jumps in Marijuana Business

A marijuana plantNotezoo Daily News. In an effort to combat illegal drug trafficking, the country of Uruguay will be selling marijuana to the public at a reduced price of $1 a gram. The program is scheduled to start later in 2014.

Uruguay is the first country to try and implement a legal drug program for marijuana and if successful, other countries could follow suit. The government would run the marijuana sales industry and Uruguan officials are hopeful this will reduce the illegal drug trafficking in the country.

Jose Mujica, Uruguay’s president, is a strong supporter of the program. The lower house of Congress has already passed the measure and passing through the Senate is the next step in the marijuana sales plan.

President Mujica said the marijuana program is just one of the ways the government is trying to win the war on drugs in his country.

The plan to legally sell marijuana will make Uruguay the first country to market and sell the drug to the public. Julio Calzada, the head of the drug program for Uruguay, said that the price of the marijuana will make it a lot cheaper that what citizens in the U.S. can legally purchase marijuana for at legal medical dispensaries.

Calzada said the main purpose of the government sale of the drug is not for profit as much as it is the keep the small drug dealers off the streets and insure the marijuana users are getting a safe and high quality product. He also noted that one gram of marijuana is enough for a large cigarette.

It has been legal for citizens of Uruguay to smoke pot, but it is illegal for them to grow and sell marijuana.

Serena Prevails at U.S. Open

Notezoo Daily News.  Top seed Serena Williams fought off nerves and a collapse in the second set to win her fifth U.S. Open title, 7-5, 6-7 (6), 6-1 over No. 2 seed Victoria Azarenka, on a very blustery day at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York.

Williams, who had not been tested in the entire tournament, appeared to be ready to easily defend her U.S. Open title, leading 4-1 in the second set after taking the first set.  Then she uncharacteristically lost her serve two times in a row and the second set went to a tiebreak, which Serena lost, 8-6.

Azarenka, who had beaten Williams twice this summer on hardcourts, showed why she is the 2nd ranked player in the world, overcoming her mistakes and breaking Williams’ serve in two must win games in the second set.

While Azarenka appeared to have the momentum after winning the second set, she could not match Serena’s powerful groundstrokes and faded in the third set. 

The U.S. Open title was the 17th Grand Slam title for Serena, who first won a U.S. Open title back in 1999 at the age of 17.  Even at the age of 31, she is still the most dominate player in women’s tennis, and the top-ranked U.S. player, including men.

The  biggest problem for Williams was trying to deal with the swirling winds, which played havoc with serving and groundstrokes.  Many of Serena’s errors were due to the wind and she said after the match that she couldn’t adjust to the wind.

The match lasted two hours and forty-five minutes, making it the longest women’s final since the times of the matches were first recorded in 1980.

Williams, who became the oldest No. 1 ranked women’s player in February,  has a record of 67 wins and 4 losses for the year.  The U.S. Open victory is her second Grand Slam title for the year, winning the French Open earlier in the summer.

Kerry Says There is Proof Syria Used Chemical Weapons

Secretary of State John KerryNotezoo Daily News.  U. S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke on the need for missile strikes against the Syrian government and stated there is overwhelming evidence that Syria did use chemical weapons on its people.  Kerry said the U.S. can’t sit by and let Syrian people die from chemical weapons attacks from the Assad regime.

American sentiment for President Obama getting Congressional approval before initiating a strike against Syria is above 80%, but there is uncertainty on what kind of action should be taken against the Syrian government, according to a recent survey.

Half of Americans surveyed think the U.S. should not get involved in the Syrian conflict, despite the high probability that the government of President Bashar Assad used chemical weapons on the Syrian people.

There is more support for a modified response by the U.S. that would be only using cruise missiles launched from U.S. ships.

President has not yet decided on any kind of retaliation for the alleged use of chemical weapons on Syrian citizens.  Members of Congress are arguing that they should be able to vote before any action is taken against Syria.

There has been little support from other countries for military action against Syria.  This includes Britain, which had its parliament reject a motion to initiate a response and get support from other countries for some kind of military action against the Syrian government.

Despite lack of international support for some kind of military action against Syria, White House officials have stated that President Obama is ready to act alone if a military response is decided on.

One of the concerns about helping out the rebel forces in Syria is the worry that Islamic extremist groups, who are also involved in the civil war, would seize power and end up controlling the country.

President Obama would like to have the support of Congress, according to White House sources, but since Congress in on vacation there might not be time to wait until they are back in session in 10 days.  Congress is supposed to approve any military action taken by the President.



Smaller Nuclear Reactors are New Hope for Nuclear Energy

small nuclear reactorsNotezoo Daily News.  While the interest in nuclear energy has waned with the boom in oil production in western North Dakota and eastern Montana, supporters of building new nuclear power plants are focusing on building smaller reactors.

The new nuclear reactors envisioned by nuclear energy proponents will be smaller than the current nuclear power plant reactors and will be more cost effective, although they will produce about one-sixth the power of regular-sized nuclear plants.

With the cost of a regular nuclear power plant in the range of about $25 billion, the smaller plants will cost only about $2 billion, which will be less of a financial strain on taxpayers.   This is considered one of the strong selling points for the building of these economical nuclear plants.

Another big reason for the interest in the smaller nuclear power plants is the planned reduction of pollution-producing coal power plants, that have been targeted by the Obama Administration for tighter pollution controls.

If there are closings of many coal plants, then some nuclear plant backers see this as an opportunity for a new wave of nuclear power plants that won’t have the pollution of the coal plants.  This viability of the small nuclear facilities compared to coal plants is what backers of the new nuclear plants are counting on for increased support.

The smaller nuclear power units are being developed with the idea of building two twin nuclear plants together to add to the amount of electricity they will be able to produce.  A single small nuclear plant will produce about 180 megawatts of electricity, so with two identical plants the electrical output will double.  This will still be a lot less that the 1,500 megawatts produced by typical nuclear power plants.

The main company involved in developing the plants is Babcock and Wilcox (B&W), which is based in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Christofer Mowry, who is president of B&W’s mPower division, said that the new smaller nuclear reactors will be safer so there will not be the big concern associated with older and larger nuclear power plants.

Mowry said that the smaller nuclear units are less complicated to build than the older units and there is a greater safety factor.  The nuclear units will be about 13 feet wide and 85 feet tall.





Pesticide Poisoning in India Draws Worldwide Criticism

Children recover from food poisining in Indian hospitalNotezoo Daily News.   A toxic pesticide that killed 23 schoolchildren in India last week has brought worldwide criticism on the government of India for not banning the pesticide because of its danger to human health.  The pesticide called monocrotophos is considered one of the more toxic pesticides, according to the World Health Organization (WHO.

The United Nations had warned India back in 2009 that monocrotophos should be banned from use, but India continued to use the chemical.

A small dose of 120 milligrams of the pesticide can kill a human, according to the WHO.  Symptoms of poisoning include vomiting, nausea, foaming at the mouth, and blurred vision.

Despite being banned by many countries, monocrotophos is still being used in India to control pests that destroy crops like sugarcane, rice, and cotton.

There was concerns from both the WHO and the United Nations that India has not been careful enough about discarding empty pesticide containers with many of the containers being reused for water and food storage.

The tragic accident last week that killed 23 children in the state of Bihar occurred right after the schoolchildren had finished eating a lunch of potato curry and rice.  The children became sick almost immediately after eating their lunch and experienced severe stomach cramps and vomiting, which are typical symptoms of toxic chemical poisoning.

The lunch program for the poisoned schoolchildren is part of a national program called the Mid-Day Meal Scheme that is used to feed millions of poverty-stricken children in India.  There have been previous concerns about the safety of the food used in the program.

An investigation into the poisoning of the children revealed that the toxic pesticide, monocrotophos, was found in the cooking oil used for cooking the school lunches.

David Coggon, a environmental professor at the University of southampton in Britain, said that monocrotophos is a nerve poison that affects nerve transmissions between muscle and nerve cells.


Zimmerman Found Not Guilty in Murder Trial

Zimmerman found not guiltyNotezoo Daily News.  After two days of deliberation, the Florida jury in the Trayvon Martin murder trial found George Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder or manslaughter and he is now a free man.  The verdict was reached Saturday night and there were immediate concerns of violent protests in the Sanford, Florida, area and around the country.

The jury was made up of six women who had deliberated for two days on whether to find Zimmerman guilty of second-degree murder or manslaughter.  After the verdict was read, Zimmerman showed no emotion, but his family hugged each other and were crying.

Outside the courtroom there were many Trayvon Martin supporters who were yelling that the system had failed Martin.  Trayvon’s father, Tracy Martin, said he was very disappointed in the verdict but was proud of the effort put forth to seek justice for Trayvon’s death.

Zimmerman, 29, shot a killed Martin, 17, while Martin was walking home at night in a gated community in Sanford on February 26.  Martin, who was African American, had turned around to face Zimmerman, who was following him, and a fight ensued with Martin taking Zimmerman down on the ground and hitting him.  Zimmerman then pulled out a gun and shot Martin once, with the bullet going through Martin’s heart and killing him.

Zimmerman claimed he was acting in self-defense when he shot Martin and he was not charged with a crime for 44 days.  According to Zimmerman’s statement to the police, he saw Martin walking around looking at houses and acting suspiciously so Zimmerman called the police to report the activity.  Zimmerman was a volunteer leader in a neighborhood watch program.  He then confronted Martin and a fight took place.  The case garnered so much attention that prosecutors in Sanford felt compelled to charge Zimmerman with murder and  the trial was in the headlines since it began.

Now there is concern over violent protests, although so far there have been peaceful demonstrations in Sanford.  There have been reports of some violent protests occurring in Oakland, CA.


Bush Criticizes Immigration Laws

George W. BushNotezoo Daily News.  The immigration system in the U.S. is not working and needs to be changed, according to former President George W. Bush.  Bush commented on immigration reform at the naturalization ceremony at his presidential library Wednesday morning.

Bush said that the current immigration laws are not working and there needs to be an overhaul of the immigration system.  The long history of immigrants in the formation of America was discussed by Bush, noting how important immigrants are to the growth and development of the country.

While criticizing the current immigration situation, Bush did not go into specifics on what he feels should be done to help out the system.  Bush had proposed immigration reform legislation during his presidency that would have offered illegal immigrants a route to citizenship, but no new laws were passed.

While Bush got a decent percentage of Hispanic vote in 2004, the percentage of Hispanics voting for Republicans has dropped drastically since then.

The Republicans in Washington are attempting to iron out new legislation reform on immigration after realizing they needed to gain more of the Hispanic vote.  In the 2012 election, the Democrats garnered most of the Hispanic vote and that propelled Obama to win another term as president.

Bush is still a supporter of allowing a way for illegal immigrants to attain citizenship, but there is a large group of House Republicans who do not want to give illegal immigrants any kind of amnesty and instead have them sent back to their home country.

Bush, along with many House Republicans, are still concerned about securing the border with Mexico and that is a top priority for House Republicans before they agree on the bipartisan immigration legislation that has passed in the Senate.  Many young Republicans, ignoring the voices of the old guard Republicans,  have stated they will not accept the current immigration reform as it stands unless the U.S. borders are secured