Monthly Archives: January 2016

New Study Sheds Insight On Brachial Plexus Birth Injury

Mother with baby at home. Happy family with newborn indoorsA brachial plexus birth injury, which 75% of the time is considered what’s known commonly as Erb’s palsy, is a condition that effects the nerves near the neck and causes reduced or lack of motion and weakness in the arms, shoulders, hand, and fingers as those are the nerves that help to control them.

One of the biggest issues with this unfortunate birth injury has been the inability for parents to have any sort of warning prior because there are very few risk factors associated with it. A new study published in the Jan. 14 edition of the Journal of Perinatology could be a big step in providing valuable information.

According to, the research team worked out of an unnamed academic institution’s medical facility and studied 78 total cases between October 2003 and March 2013.

One of the shared qualities they found was in the type of birth that was much more prone to this condition. Of the 78 cases, 91% (71 total) occurred during vaginal deliveries. Only seven (9%) took place after a Cesarean section.

When it came to looking at first-time mothers and those who had previously given birth, the results were statistically close enough for researchers to determine it is just as likely for a new mother’s baby to suffer this condition as is is one who already had.

Seven out of every 1,000 babies born will suffer a birth injury, on average. While it’s true cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability found in kids, a brachial plexus injury will occur at a rate between 0.3 and 2%. Overall, approximately 28,000 birth injuries occur every year.

Because many parents ultimately believe the cause of these kinds of conditions is the direct result of improper care or accidents in the handling and delivery of the baby, they are some of the most common reasons for birth injury lawsuits.

State Parks Finding Ways to Close Winter Revenue Gaps

State parks around the country are finding new ways to bring people in over the winter. There are state parks all over the 50 states. In Anne Arundel County, Maryland, for example, there are more than 70 county parks, numerous nature preserves, and greenways, with trails within two state parks and hiking across the Chesapeake Bridge when the weather permits.

Winter weather in many states, however, doesn’t exactly bring “family trip to a state park” to mind, and the parks are feeling the absence of those visitors throughout the season. This leaves many of these parks and nature preserves to find new ways to bring people in.

Kentucky State Parks, for example, took advantage of the winter storm and offered special rates to any stranded travelers or anyone else needing shelter from the storm. As announced by Parks Commissioner Donnie Holland, lodge rooms will now be available for $49.95 per night at 16 different parks, and the rate will be available during any severe weather. Guests are asked to call in advance and should note that existing reservations and other packages are excluded from the offer, which is based on availability.

Washington State Parks are rolling out a comprehensive plan to drive their sales throughout the year as well. They are in need of decreasing high vacancy rates in order to get them out of a budgetary bind.

The state legislature has directed them to bring in more revenue in addition to relying less on the state general fund. The state parks are planning to eventually change their current reservation system in order to reflect the commercial lodging industry. This means consumers will be able to find last minute discounts, and measures to attract repeat consumers will be put in place.

Already, they have added dozens of new cabins to popular parks, and there are plans to bring even more.

“We’re trying to push the envelope on yurts and cabins for additional revenues,” said Mark O. Brown, secretary of the seven-member, governor-appointed Washington Parks and Recreation Commission. “We have a mandate from the governor to be more self-sufficient.”

These efforts are in response to a steep decrease in general funds to the parks from the state. Discover Pass sales have started to bridge the gap, but there is more work to be done.

The changes are outlined in a 23-page marketing report. Park officials say, “The ability to be competitive in the cabin market is critical. There are several competitors to choose from when planning a cabin rental, so the ability to capture the customer, create direct and useful information and communication, and stay competitive through promotions will be the focus.”

The report outlines other promotions, such as a loyalty program and other retention campaigns, in addition to off-season perks.

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley Weighs in on Clinton’s Manufacturing Plan

As the primaries draw nearer, the debates are heating up, and the public wants to know how the presidential candidates are going to help create jobs for the many Americans who are in need of a living wage. In Ohio, this is especially a pressing issue. Although the Dayton region is slowly making its way out of the Recession — even outpacing Ohio’s overall job growth — it is not yet time to rest.
Rather, many citizens of Dayton are still struggling to find careers that offer living wages and will allow them to support their families.
In the debates, the Republicans have all but steered clear of the subject of creating high-quality jobs for American citizens. However, Democratic candidate Hilary Clinton made a point to address the issue, outlining a new manufacturing plan, and Ohio citizens are weighing in.
Nan Whaley is the mayor of Dayton, Ohio. In a recent op-ed piece written for, she reflected on the importance of Hliary’s new manufacturing plan and what it means for Ohio.
“It funnels long-term investment to hard-hit industries like automotive and steel, especially in cities facing mass layoffs. In short, Clinton’s plan creates jobs – good-paying, middle-class jobs,” writes Whaley.
Manufacturing jobs are lucrative to support most American families. According to statistics, manufacturing jobs pay 8 to 20% higher than jobs in other industries. In Dayton itself, manufacturing accounts for almost 2,400 companies, employing 114,000 people, and with a payroll amount to $6.1 billion annually.


And despite the potential that this industry offers, producing almost half of U.S. exports, it is currently suffering, largely due to the 20% higher structural costs faced by these companies.
“It’s both central to and centered in our city,” Whaley says. “Draw a circle reaching 500 miles from Dayton and you’ll encompass roughly 60 percent of U.S. manufacturing.”
Clinton’s political career reflects how greatly she puts manufacturing as a priority in her campaigns. In the past, she fought the Bush Administration in order to preserve money for manufacturing.
It looks like Hilary Clinton might have Ohio’s vote.

Burgalry Attempt Turns Into an Attempted Hit and Run in Quiet San Mateo Neighborhood

A quiet San Mateo neighborhood experienced quite the disturbance last week when a woman was arrested for the attempted murder of a police officer, after trying to escape the scene of an attempted burglary. On Wednesday morning, Maria King’s boyfriend, Saliq “Leeky” Calloway, had attempted to break into an occupied home.

The incident began around 2:45 am, when a San Mateo resident awoke to the sounds of Calloway attempting to force entry into his family’s home. He immediately called police onto the scene, as Calloway, who had failed to get into the house, managed to flee.


“It is pretty rare to have [a burglary] at night and especially to have the home be occupied. So it’s a pretty brazen crime and for us, it requires an urgent response because we have no idea what their intention is, especially when there’s a family inside,” said Rick Decker, San Mateo Police Sergeant.

The first officer to respond was a K9 handler who found King rummaging through an unlocked car close to the attempted burglary. As the officer approached, King tried to flee in a nearby vehicle, aiming the car at the unnamed officer and his canine in the process.

The officer fired at the vehicle, and other arriving officers managed to apprehend King a few blocks away.

At approximately 3 a.m., the neighborhood was put under a shelter-in-place order, barring residents from leaving their homes while police searched for the second suspect.

Calloway, the second suspect, was apprehended around 7:30 a.m., just after the shelter-in-place was lifted.

The event serves as a somber reminder for residents to be diligent about home safety precautions. Using measures like surveillance cameras, homeowners can avoid up to 67% of burglaries.

“Property crimes have become a priority [for police] in the last couple years. More and more we see offenders with violent criminal histories committing property crimes,” Decker said. “In this case, we were very thankful the victim was calm, despite the fact that someone was trying to break into his home … and he gave us the information we needed to plan a response and get there quickly.”
Neither the responding officer nor his police dog were hurt during the incident. However, the officer has taken administrative leave in order to cooperate with the ongoing investigation.

King was arrested for attempted murder of a police officer; burglary; and conspiracy to commit a crime. She is also being charged with misdemeanors including driving on a suspended license, burglary, resisting arrest, petty theft and being under the influence of methamphetamine.

Calloway was also taken into custody, charged with felony burglary and conspiracy to commit a crime.

Neighbors to the North Use Trenchless Technology to Tackle Sewer Problem

Rusty burst pipe squirting water at high pressure
Nothing spurs industries and communities like innovation in a particular field or process. People have been using cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) repair for quite some time, but many everyday people are still probably unaware as it only became available in the residential setting within the last 15 years or so. New projects like the one recently in Canada are what could really bring attention and appreciation to this relatively new industry of trenchless sewer repair.

According to the industry news source, the City of Toronto has been a long-time user of trenchless technologies, so it’s not a huge surprise they turned to CIPP when looking for a solution to their old egg-shaped, brick-and-mortar sewer problem.

Because of the design and layout of the sewer, they had to use a technique known as lateral lining. Despite the new challenges the old sewer presented the company contracted to do the work (D.M. Robichaud Associates), they were able to make the necessary restitution while also meeting the high rehabilitation standards set by the city.

“The system is fairly straight forward; we set the gasket, inverted the liner and screwed to the pipe wall,” said Sean Wade, one of the company’s lining technicians.

CIPP had previously been used on many parts of the main pipelines, which did make the cleaning an easier transition for the workers. At the end of the day, the project consisted of over 500 service connections and not a single homeowner was affected by the work that was done at any point.

Most homeowners in one survey (73%) said they’d pay more for sewer pipe replacement if it would preserve their existing landscaping, patio, deck, or other outdoor features and it seems people in the industry feel the same way.

“You sure don’t want to ever dig by any of these old beautiful hand crafted brick-and-mortar sewers and now that the main and the service connections have been rebuilt and sealed with CIPP gaskets, the city can expect another 50-plus years of service,” said Wade.

Industry Trends: Ultrasonic Homogenizers

.A new report shows that the Ultrasonic Homogenizers industry is increasing in its role in the greater market. Published in the Ultrasonic Homogenizers Market, the report analyzed the industry’s growth and strategies moving forward.

The main purpose of the analysis is to aid stakeholders in their decisions and strategies for this year. The report is released in a chaptered format, with analysis of the dynamics of the current industry. This allows stakeholders to make crucial decisions on their part within the industry. With a combination of infographics and graphs, the report makes it easy and efficient for them to read through.

This industry has made great strides in recent years, with new, high intensity technology for homogenization. For example, a high intensity model can now achieve a smaller particle size in fewer pass-throughs. This is why the best investment in terms of homogenizers is one that is 45,000 PSI or higher, which is where most investors will go because the industry demands such upgrades.

The report was compiled using several “trusted industrial sources” who were plausibly collated. From there, information went through numerous research stages with analytics in order to authenticate all of the data compiled. The report also included financial reporting from top industry specific companies.

The report starts with a basic rundown of the overall market, including the products and services being directly and indirectly offered and involved. From there, the report goes into an in-depth analysis of those products and services, as well as a growth prediction for each. There are also growth estimates of the market as a whole based on the trends over the last few years. In addition, it analyzes the competition for this niche market, to give an idea of what stakeholders will be up against.

This comprehensive report uses SWOT analysis as well as financial records and insight from industry leaders. It is one of the only reports of its kind in this industry. Key players in the industry will reap huge benefits from going through the report, and its organizers hope the benefits will ultimately help the industry even more.

Swedish Start-Up Creates Phone Charger That Runs on Water

The digital age has brought with it a high dependence on cell phones and connectivity, creating a whole new dichotomy for technology start-ups and corporations. Enterprises around the world are clamoring to find the Next Big Thing, and one Swedish startup may have done just that with their newest invention.

According to, a Swedish startup named MyFC has created a cell phone charging cable that is powered by water. The technology behind the invention is complex but involves a combination of water, salt and fuel cells.

Dubbed the JAQ, the fuel cell charger is being called the “world’s smallest pocket-sized fuel cell charger” by the company, according to The Daily Mail. This technology has great implications as far as decreasing our dependence on fossil fuels to keep our digital technology running. reports that the charger “consists of a credit card-shaped ‘power card’ and a hollowed out port that’s roughly the size of a smartphone. The card contains saltwater, which fuels electricity-producing chemical reactions when you slip the card into the port. To get that electricity to your phone’s battery, you simply plug your phone into the port with a standard cable.”

By eliminating the need to plug your phone into an electrical outlet, we can significantly decrease the amount of electricity used and therefore decrease the burning a finite resource: coal.

The technology is also promising on the frontier of personal computers and tablets. While they can be used to charge a tablet, users will need to use more than one fuel cell to charge them completely.

Technology is getting faster and more efficient these days, which is gauged through the data communications prefix mega, or one million (e.g. megabits). This term describes the speed of data transfer or the bandwidth of a given system and is fairly standard for most technology these days.

While JAQ isn’t available for purchase just yet, MyFC hopes to be ready to ship the product later this year. Individual cords will be available for purchase and will cost around $1.50 each, according to a company spokesperson. The business is also planning to implement a subscription service that will allow consumers to sign up to receive a certain number of cables each month.

Research Dispels Myth That Infertility Treatments Cause Developmental Problems in Babies

The myth that infertility treatments cause developmental problems in babies has finally been put to rest, thanks to a new study from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), an offshoot of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The research, called the Upstate KIDS Study, took a close look at how children’s brains develop during their first three years. It involved more than 4,000 mothers and 6,000 children. All of the infants in the study were born in New York State between 2008-2010, and the study also included twins and other multiples.

The findings were recently published in the academic journal JAMA Pediatrics, and the data conclusively shows that babies conceived with the help of infertility treatments are no less healthy than their all-natural peers.

As Medical News Today and Tech Times reported, infertility is a very common problem in the U.S. today which affects millions of women (and men). Even though 85-90% of all cases can be treated with prescription drugs or surgical treatments, only 1-2% of all American babies are conceived and birthed with the assistance of an infertility treatment.

Artificial reproductive treatments (ART) most often focus on in vitro fertilization (IVF), but can also include frozen embryo transfer, assisted embryo hatching, gamete intrafallopian transfer, zygote (fertilized egg) intrafallopian transfer, ovulation induction, and intrauterine insemination.

According to the data, researchers initially found that babies conceived from ART treatments had greater difficulties with problem-solving and social functioning than the babies conceived naturally. However, the researchers also noted that these developmental issues tended to be more common among twins, and twins were more common in the ART group than the non-ART group.

After adjusting for the high rate of twins conceived with infertility treatments, the researchers found that there were no differences between ART babies and non-ART babies.

In other words, yes, developmental disabilities do occur when babies are conceived through artificial means — but this risk is just as high when babies are conceived naturally.

California’s Long Beach Police Officers to Wear Body Cameras

PoliceBody cameras on police officers have become a hot topic in the aftermath of the volatile relationship that was 2015 law enforcement-civilian interactions. After a year-long program was implemented to test the technology, the Long Beach City Council approved the body camera motion in a unanimous decision.

Starting sometime this March, Long Beach police officers will be wearing body cameras whenever they patrol the city’s western and central neighborhoods, according to the Long Beach Press Telegram.

“Historically, that is one of the busiest parts of town where (use-of-force instances, complaints and injuries) are typically higher,” said Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna.

Police officials will randomly distribute the $210,000 worth of equipment the city’s contract with body camera supplier Texas’s Dell Inc. is for to officers patrolling the western division. Only about 25% of police departments surveyed in one 2013 report by the Police Executive Research Forum were found to be using body cameras. That number has certainly increased today.

While the benefits of these devices have been largely disputed between both sides, the devices are becoming more accepted as an advantage for keeping both sides safe and accountable.

One study by researchers from the University of Cambridge in 2014 found that when officers wore cameras and told those whom they contacted that encounters would be recorded, the technology had the power to deter all parties involved from escalating situations. In another study, complaints against officers assigned to wear cameras fell by a staggering 87%.

Luna also said that when it comes to releasing footage taken from officers’ body cams, the California Public Records Act would be adhered to.

Some might argue the burden to buy these devices is too much to place on the taxpayers, but in the end they tend to make for safer, more efficient, and productive environment for everyone involved.

One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure: The 2016 Parisian Canal St-Martin Clean-up Begins

Paris cityscape with Eiffel towerIt’s been 14 years since Paris authorities have cleaned out the Canal Saint-Martin in France’s 10 arrondissement, and it may not seem like an exciting event, but the cleaning of the canal has been long awaited by locals.

The St-Martin is what The Guardian calls “a favorite haunt of hipsters” and a scenic location where “locals and tourists sip drinks while watching barges cruise by.” The popularity of the canal has its downside — primarily the collection of a lot of garbage. For residents and business owners living in the area, this three-mile canal is a bit like having a garbage dump in one’s backyard.

City officials have finally begun cleaning out the canal, which typically happens every 12-14 years, according to FRANCE 24. The entire cleaning project costs a whopping €9.5 million, it involves moving four tons of fish into the River Seine, and it takes about three months to complete.

The St-Martin isn’t exactly optimized for easy clean-up. Commissioned by Napoleon in 1804, the canal was used to provide fresh drinking water to the city. The project was funded entirely through a new wine tax, because even though France’s wine industry wasn’t bringing in the 24 million annual visitors it does today, wine was considered a staple (and even a necessity) in society back then.

Over the years, the stretch of the St-Martin near the Place de la République has become a prominent cultural icon. It provided the setting for the 1938 film “Hôtel du Nord,” and as The Telegraph noted, the canal’s footbridges made significant appearances in the modern film “Amelie.”

Although it gets a bit messy, the cleaning of the St-Martin actually does yield some entertaining results. Previous clean-up efforts have uncovered items such as fridges, motorbikes, and police barricades. The last clean-up effort in 2001 uncovered a total 40 tons of garbage, including gold coins, wheelchairs, a toilet bowl, mountains of beer cans, and even two 75mm shells from World War I.

Just a few hours into the 2016 clean-up project, and workers had already uncovered a pistol. Who knows what they’ll find next!