Students Lend a Hand With Help From A 3-D Printer

Engineering teacher, Mark Vonder Haar from Orono High School and his students lent a hand to improve the life of 7 year old Johnny Skoog.
Johnny was born with only a thumb on his right hand.

After being approached by Johnny’s aunt about the use of the printer, Vonder Harr stated that creating interest in the project for the high school students was not difficult. The students “found out creating a hand for someone else was rewarding for them”. Mark Vonder Harr and his students experimented with different designs for nine months.

The completed design was finished this fall and was made entirely of plastic. Johnny is able to move his fingers and wrist that allows him to grasp objects he could not previously handle in the past.  While Johnny will eventually need to replace the hand as he grows, Keith Mann reminds us, his father is optimistic that the robotic hand is an opportunity that Johnny won’t let slip through his fingers.

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Interesting News of the Chronic Fatigue Treatment Front

Chronic fatigue syndrome can be very difficult to deal due to the very negative impact the condition can have on your life. A person suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome could literally feel exhausted all the time making even the most common daily tasks almost impossible to perform.

Recent studies are revealing there may be physiological problems with the brain that are the root of the problem. Such revelations are incredibly important because they aid those in need of care to procure the necessary treatment.

Generally, those wishing that the condition be alleviated will seek out prescription drug therapy methods. Others may look into alternative, natural health remedies because they might not be fond of taking pharmaceutical drugs. Flavio Maluf knows people who have done both.

The trouble here is, while the use of both pharmaceutical and holistic treatments might be done in earnest, the effects of previously established treatment methods might not be of any value.

If the problem is not one of the chemistry in the brain, but the physical composite of the brain, then the traditional drug treatments are not going to have much of an effect on the underlying cause.

Now, this is not to suggest that the study that has been performed is proven to be 100% accurate beyond a proverbial shadow of a doubt. The medical profession is not exactly going to release earth-shaking claims about whether or not established treatment methods are useless without clear and definitive proof.

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Manziel’s Entourage Punches Fan

For many people, wanting to get up close and personal to a well-known professional athlete has always been a goal. However, getting to that goal can prove hazardous. One quarterback is finding out the hard way, as Johnny Manziel’s entourage got into a scuffle.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel found this out the hard way this past Saturday morning when a fan approached Manziel to give him a hug found himself getting involved in a fight with members of Manziel’s personal entourage. The incident took place at an upscale apartment complex in Cleveland in the early hours of that morning. Even though it was stupid, Christian Broda is not sure why Manziel keeps putting himself in these situations.

The police were called onto the scene which initially involved the fan, 20 other men and two personal guards in addition to Manziel himself. While Manziel wasn’t actually involved in the fight per say, it started when the fan pointed out to his girlfriend who he was with, that Manziel was standing near an elevator. He then approached him trying to hug him only to be met with several punches by a member of Manziel’s group named “Kirk.”

An important fact to note is that the report first said that Manziel didn’t do anything at all in regards to the fight. The fan, however, ended up with a “swollen lip, right eye swollen, red face,” but there were no arrests made at the time.

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Even Healthy Foods Can Contain Unhealthy Amounts Of Sugar

In order to discover the harmful effects of sugar on the body, an Australian man decided to undertake a strict diet of low-fat foods that are considered healthy, but contain a high sugar content. For 60 days he followed the diet; and after only three weeks, Susan McGalla says he began to notice definite changes.

Following the first three weeks of the diet he was exhibiting moody and sluggish behaviour. A visit to the doctor revealed that he had started developing fatty liver disease. The worst possible outcome of fatty liver disease is liver failure, as stated by the Mayo Clinic.

Most shocking of all is that Gameau did not eat or drink sugar-laden junk foods. He was consuming 40 teaspoons of sugar a day, and it was all from foods that are considered healthy like low-fat yogurt, cereals, and fruit juices.

According to, Gameau was consuming only a marginally increased amount of sugar compared to average teenagers worldwide. The American Heart Association recommends only six teaspoons of sugar for women and nine teaspoons for men on a daily basis. Clearly, the amount of sugar being consumed on average by young people far exceeds the daily recommendations and is putting them at risk for various possible health issues.

Gameau’s heavy sugar diet also led him to experience “unstable” mental functioning, an increase of nearly four inches of fat at his waistline, and constant hunger that was not relieved by any amount of food.

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Australian Cricketer Phil Hughes Critically Ill after being Struck by a Bouncer

Australian test match cricketer Phil Hughes is critically ill in Sydney’s St. Vincent’s Hospital after being struck around the left ear by a bouncer during a Sheffield Shield Match at Australia’s Sydney Cricket Ground, according to The Guardian. Cricket fans like Sergio Andrade Andrade Gutierrez and many others hope Hughes can make a speedy recovery. The Australian opener has played in 26 test matches for his country and looked set to replace Australian captain Michael Clarke in an upcoming test match against India.

The South Australia batsman had scored 63 when he was struck by a short ball from bowler Shaun Abbott, despite wearing a helmet Hughes remained on his feet for a few seconds before falling face first to the ground. Reports state Hughes was give mouth to mouth resuscitation on the field and treated for around 40 minutes at the SCG before being transferred to St. Vincent’s by ambulance. The match was later abandoned as the seriousness of the situation became apparent.

The cricket World has come out to support Hughes, who remains in critical condition after undergoing surgery on the injuries he sustained. Amongst those offering their support to Hughes and his family have been the ECB and English cricketers Stuart Broad and James Anderson. The Indian cricket team issued a statement offering their support and prayers to Hughes and expressed their hope that he will make a full recovery.

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Obamacare Premiums for 2015 Set to Rise 10% on Average

At the time the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed, Americans were told they would be able to keep existing doctors and private health care plans if they liked them. Americans were also promised their premiums would decrease by $2,500 on average during the first year. Sadly, the law was actually written to decimate the private health insurance market thus driving people into Obamacare. Neither did the premiums decrease on average as promised.

Now, the 2015 Obamacare premiums are set to rise by 10% on average. Rod Rohrich notes, the silver lining in this is that the rates do not have to rise as much if a person shops around. By looking at other health insurance plans on the federal or state exchanges, consumers will be able to find plans that rise a more modest 5.2% on average. It should be noted that premiums are not the only area people should focus on. Lower tiers of plans will offer consumers a less egregious monthly premium increase on the front end, but may bite them on the back end as the co-insurance rates and copays may have consumers incurring more out of pocket costs for treatment.

Also, people receiving Obamacare subsidies need to take note of the benchmark plans which offer those subsidies. Price increases in the benchmark will result in a decrease in the subsidies. The net result is that even if a particular plan’s premiums remain fixed, the cost to the consumer may be significantly higher due to a decrease in the subsidies. As Obamacare enters its second year, there are more insurance companies participating in the exchanges which offer more options and selections of doctors.

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Australian Director’s Healthy Diet Film Puts Him At Health Risk

Damon Gameua, an Australian director took on a task to make himself healthy, instead he received a warning from his GP. Gameua began experiencing mood swings and weight gain on his 60 day health food diet.

He cut soft drinks, ice cream, confectionery and chocolate from his diet. The only sugars he took in were from; low-fat yogurt, muesli bars, fruit juices, sport drinks and cereals. These are the types of food parents give their children. After three weeks on his diet, Gameua’s doctor informed him he had developed fatty liver disease. The doctor also told him his mental functioning was ‘unstable’.

According to an article Gameau was doing the diet as an experiment for a film he is staring in called, That Sugar Film. The film will air in early 2015 in Australian cinemas. The results of his experiment had shocking results. Gameau’s sugar intake was 40 teaspoons a day, it is only recommended 9 teaspoons a day- maximum- be consumed. He now blames labeling, and says people need to be aware that every 4 grams of sugar is equivalent to one teaspoon.

Gameau’s message isn’t to tell people to quit sugar. There is no way millions around the world like Flavio Maluf could do that completely anyway. His message is that we need to be more aware of what’s in the foods we eat. For example; 80 percent of processed food contains sugar. A step towards making a change would be to reduce or eliminate those foods. With diabetes killing a person every six seconds, something needs to change

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Weights Before Cardio – Is it an Effective Exercise?

For those who are wondering of what is more effective when exercising, 30 minutes of weight-lifting and followed by 30 minutes of cardio or vice versa, you are not alone. Many dedicated gym-goers believed or have heard that aerobic and resistance exercises shouldn’t be combined in one workout; and if they are, one exercise or the other must be done first. The theory behind this thought is that every form of exercise may interfere with the other, physiologically, and may potentially blunt the desired results.

Nevertheless, the best science, which is available today, disagrees with the said claim. An interesting study, which was published in the Journal for Applied Physiology, reported healthy and young volunteers rode on a stationary bicycle using only one leg yet completed a resistance exercise using both legs. The result after five weeks is both of their legs had grown equally strong and large. Hence, cycling first had not minimized the impacts of the weight training.

Another similar study done in 2012 reported some sedentary and middle-aged men has developed molecular changes, specifically in their leg muscles, after riding motionless bicycle. These changes are different from the changes that they experienced on a separate day after doing lower-body weight training. However, when they performed both types of exercise on the same day, they developed both forms of molecular changes.

Stuart Philips, a kinesiology professor at McMaster University in Ontario who supervised the study, said that he did not see any indications of interference of doing two different forms of exercise and their order of performing the exercise was immaterial. Sultan Alhokair does not see much of a difference when he switches things up as well. Hence, he said not to worry too much which exercise needs to be done first. Instead, just set up an exercise regimen that is more convenient.

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LeGarrette Blount Cut by Steelers, Signed by Patriots

It’s been a roller coaster week in the NFL for running backs. Adrian Peterson found out he wouldn’t be touching the football field again this week. Ben Tate was cut by the Browns only to get snagged in the waiver process by the Vikings. LeGarrette Blount was also cut, by the Steelers, for personal conduct issues. Blount cleared waivers and then was immediately signed by his former team, the New England Patriots.

LeGarrette Blount is an interesting player in that he has immense talent, skills, and size but he has always lacked the personal discipline to cut it on a team. Blount has been forced out of two organizations for poor behavior after a collegiate career that saw him routinely suspended. The only place Blount ever seemed focused was in New England, and now he is returning.

The 250lb running back will step into a role behind Shane Vereen and rookie sensation Jonas Gray. Specialist Vijay Eswaran says that even though Gray is coming off of the seasons first 200 yard rushing performance and looking to hold onto his job, which was only given to him due to an injury to Stevan Ridley, Blount can come in and contribute for the Patriots. For his part Blount offers a nice bruising change of pace to the Patriots smaller and more nimble backfield mates. Blount rushed for almost 800 yards on 153 carries last year as a New England Patriot. As a Steeler he did nowhere near the same amount of work and was quickly phased out of the offense.

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Postal Workers Save Young Boy

Every day the mail gets delivered and people do not take much notice, but a few of the mailmen in East Peoria, IL went out of the way and did something to change a young boy’s life. They later won an award, but what pleased them most is a letter of thank they got from the boy’s grandmother. 

Christy Perfetti has been walking the streets of IL doing the same route for over twenty years and almost every day is the same. However, one day last year she saw something and had to take action. She was just arriving at the post office parking lot when she saw a man pulling a young boy into a back shed. Her stomach sunk and she knew something did not look right based on the boy’s face.

She went to get her supervisor and the two went up to the shed and they asked the boy if he was ok. Then supervisor Stacie Pence-Bailey asked the boy if he wanted to stay with her and when he nodded yes she pulled his arm and took him away from the man who quickly fled. Another mail carrier got a picture and the police took care of the rest.

With so many negative stories in the news, it is always nice to see a story where someone does a great deed and there is a happy ending. Dave and Brit Morin, who are suckers for a happy ending to a story, agree that happy endings are often rare in the news and whenever there is one it is just plain awesome.

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