San Diego Graffiti Artists Honor the Late Tony Gwynn with a Mural

A group of San Diego graffiti artists are using their talents to honor a local legend.

Tony Gwynn played his entire 20-year career with the San Diego Padres, and he is affectionately known as "Mr. Padre." He passed away last month at the age of 54 after a battle with cancer.

Now the Wildstyle Technicians are putting together a mural of the late Gwynn on the wall of a boxing gym, with permission from the owner, on 16th and J streets.

Gwynn may have been a baseball player, but he influenced everyone, regardless of profession.

"The way he mastered his craft is what we try to do as graffiti artists, so when he passed, immediately in our minds we wanted to do a tribute mural," said Justice Romero, via ABC 10 News' Kandiss Crone.

Mr. Padre may be gone, but he will not be forgotten. The Wildstyle Technicians want to make sure that generations to come know about the Hall of Fame outfielder, even if they never saw him play. 

Saratoga Sake, who is also battling the disease, wanted to paint the mural to keep Gwynn's legacy going strong for years. Sake, via Crone, spoke about the project:

He's larger than life. Hopefully it will bring smiles to people's faces 'cause Tony Gwynn had a huge great smile.

For the younger generation that doesn't really know much about Tony Gwynn, hopefully they'll ask, 'Who is that?'

A mural is the perfect way for these artists to honor Gwynn.

[Big League Stew]

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Jake Peavy Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz, Speculation Surrounding Red Sox Pitcher

Updates from Wednesday, July 9

Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com reports on where the Boston Red Sox stand with Jake Peavy as the trade deadline approaches:

'There's no way that I would have ever -- in any way, shape or form -- thought this would be the situation we'd be faced with,' he said. 'That being said, this is a humbling game. There are a lot of intangibles and variables that go into putting together a championship ball club. And this shows, on a year-to-year basis, just how tough it is.'

Peavy had spoken earlier in the day with Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington, who told him the Sox were talking to teams interested in trading for him.

'He was honest with me,' Peavy said. 'I don't know the ins and outs of really all that's been talked about, but I do know there have been conversations.'

This past Sunday, the St. Louis Cardinals sent a scout on a one-day mission to see Peavy pitch. The Cardinals had made a strong bid for Peavy before July 2013's trading deadline. 'I was told that it was really close,' Peavy said.

 

Original Text

Although the Boston Red Sox aren't quite out of it in the American League East race with nearly half the MLB season left to play, they could be on the verge of trading away starting pitcher Jake Peavy.

According to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com, the St. Louis Cardinals are interested in the veteran right-hander and watched his strong performance against the Baltimore Orioles Sunday:

WEEI's Rob Bradford has Peavy's thoughts on a potential move:

In fact, the Cards are so smitten with Peavy that a deal could happen in short order, per ESPN's Jayson Stark:

Despite allowing just one earned run, the Red Sox lost Peavy's most recent start and find themselves 10 games behind the O's for the division lead. Peavy has been a victim of poor run support recently, but he put the onus on himself in the wake of that defeat, according to Tim Britton of the Providence Journal.   

"I take responsibility for it," Peavy said. "I've got to be better. We've got to win on this day. That's all there is to it. I'm as sick of it as you guys are."

The defending World Series champions may be forced to go into sell mode at 39-50 with the trade deadline quickly approaching. If that is the case, then Peavy is an obvious candidate to move since he has a $15 million player option next season, per Rotoworld.

St. Louis already has one of the best starting rotations in the league when health, but Michael Wacha, Jaime Garcia and Joe Kelly are all currently on the disabled list. That leaves a strong core of Adam Wainwright, Shelby Miller, Lance Lynn and Carlos Martinez, but Peavy could be the missing puzzle piece.

He isn't the same pitcher who won the 2007 NL Cy Young Award with the San Diego Padres, but the savvy 33-year-old knows how to pitch. His 1-7 record and 4.64 ERA this season are certainly disappointing, but a change of scenery may be just what he needs to turn things around.

The Cardinals have had a consistent winning culture over the past several years and are just four games behind the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central despite dealing with several injuries. They are still in decent position to nab a wild-card spot as well, but they need another arm.

Peavy is an ideal fourth or fifth starter for a contending team due to his experience. He probably wouldn't cost the Cardinals a ton either, so it is definitely worth it for St. Louis to take a chance on him.

Trading him may suggest that the Red Sox are throwing in the towel on the season, but they aren't winning with him and have to make moves with an eye toward the future.

 

Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter

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Brandon Maurer Finds Ideal Role in Seattle Mariners Bullpen

Earlier in the 2014 season, pitcher Brandon Maurer’s future with the Seattle Mariners was in serious doubt.

Much like the year before, Maurer was forced into the starting rotation due to injuries and struggled, posting a 7.52 ERA (5.37 FIP) in seven starts while walking nearly as many as he struck out.

Although he just turned 24 years old, Maurer didn’t look to have a place in a healthy Seattle rotation, either in the present or in the future. He was sent down to Triple-A Tacoma on May 29.

The Mariners surprised by calling up Maurer on June 25, a few days before Taijuan Walker returned from a shoulder injury and took over the No. 5 rotation spot.

Even more surprising, Maurer came out of the bullpen that night in the late innings of a close game rather than the long-relief role he was placed in near the end of 2013.

Maurer didn’t just look better on June 25, he looked dominant.

In seven scoreless innings out of the bullpen so far, Maurer has given up only three hits and two walks while striking out nine. Seven innings isn’t enough to judge anything statistically, but it’s becoming increasingly apparent that Maurer’s ideal fit was in the bullpen all along.

Maurer has always had the raw stuff to be successful. He used a lively mid-90s fastball and assortment of various off-speed pitches to dominate the low minors, racking up strikeout rates north of 30 percent along the way.

The strikeouts came back to earth a bit in Double-A as Maurer began to struggle with his command, but he still posted a 3.20 ERA and gave up just four home runs in 24 starts. Seattle needed a starter at the beginning of the 2013 season and decided to have Maurer skip Triple-A to join the rotation.

It didn’t work, as Maurer looked completely overmatched as a major league starter. We can’t know how much those initial struggles impacted his confidence or mentality, but he continued to be ineffective for the rest of the year and early on in 2014.

Then the breakthrough came on June 25 against the Boston Red Sox, as he struck out the side in his first relief inning.

We’ve seen Maurer’s fastball sit around 95 or 96 mph before, but it has hit 99 several times since his move to the bullpen. With as lively as his fastball is, the increased velocity is going to be a challenge for opposing hitters. 

Maurer said pitching short outings out of the bullpen has improved his mentality, per Greg Johns of MLB.com.

"It's fun. Just attack, get back in the dugout and let our hitters put up some runs…I think that has to do with adrenaline, just knowing I can get out there and let it rip for an inning or two and let it go that way.”

Maurer has also been using his slider effectively as an out pitch since moving to the bullpen. Data from PITCHf/x on FanGraphs.com indicates Maurer has done a good job of getting hitters to chase his slider out of the strike zone, generating a swinging strike percentage of 17.4.

It’s when Maurer tries to mix and match his other three pitches that he runs into trouble. Only having two plus pitches won’t work for a starter, but it can make for an effective short-inning reliever.

It’s still too early to think about prepping Maurer for a closer role one day, but he has the makeup and stuff for it.

Maurer’s command issues as a starter made him prone to big innings, even on the few occasions he started well. He also tends to throw far too many pitches, lasting past the fifth just once this year.

Both are things Maurer won’t have to worry as much about coming out of the bullpen, which could further help his mentality on the mound.

The other scenario Maurer’s conversion opens up is using him as a potential trade chip. If he continues to look dominant as the deadline approaches, the Mariners could use the opportunity to sell high on him in an attempt to get the right-handed bat they desperately need.

Seattle’s bullpen has been outstanding all year, leading the majors in ERA while striking out over a batter per inning. It would be nice to have yet another power arm in the bullpen, but the Mariners can survive without Maurer should a trade open up.

Just months after he looked lost, Maurer’s future is brighter than ever.

 

All stats via FanGraphs.com unless otherwise noted.  

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

David Ortiz Comments on Biogenesis Investigation, PED Accusations

For years, Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz has defended himself from rumors about performance-enhancing drug usage. This week, he went slightly further to prove he was clean, responding strongly to suggestions that he isn't held to the same standards as others involved in PED scandals.

It all started when Red Sox pitcher John Lackey and Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter got in a war of words Saturday regarding the Orioles' Nelson Cruz, who was suspended 50 games last year after MLB ruled he took a banned substance.

When discussing the dust-up Monday, MLB Network analyst Joe Magrane apparently said Ortiz received a "free pass" after a 2009 New York Times report identified him as testing positive for PEDs in 2003, per Steve Silva of The Boston Globe.

Ortiz shared his thoughts on Magrane's comments with Rob Bradford of WEEI.com:

In this country, nobody gets a free pass. He wants to make it sound like I got a free pass because nobody can point fingers at me directly. But the reason why I got that fake [expletive] free pass that he's saying is because they pointed fingers at me with no proof.

It's easier to do it that way than having something that they can say, "Yes, you did this, you did that." My [expletive], I call straight-up bull. Let me tell you. You don't get no free pass here, especially a guy like me. I don't get no free pass. That free-pass B.S. that they want to talk about over there, they can shove it up their [expletive].

Ortiz has repeatedly denied the Times' 2009 report, but his name has still been tossed around by analysts since it surfaced.

Meanwhile, Cruz is now the American League's starting designated hitter in the 2014 All-Star Game. Though he might not have received a free pass, he is making the most of his return.

Ortiz wasn't done there, though:

What pisses me off is the whole thing about, why does my name got to be mentioned in that? What did I have to do with that? ... It was the Lackey and Showalter thing, going back and forth. Showalter didn't say anything about me.

Dan Dakich of ESPN provides his thoughts on Ortiz's comments:

Though he's up in arms about the comments made, Ortiz has been putting together another strong year. While his batting average sits at .259, he has hit 19 home runs, has 55 RBI and holds a .360 on-base percentage.

As for his team, the Sox haven't had the same success as last season and currently sit in the cellar of the AL East. Looking up at the division-leading Orioles from 10 games back, it remains to be seen if Ortiz's comments have any effect on the team or bring any added attention.

Trying to claw their way back into the race, maybe an upset Ortiz will do just the trick to help get the franchise re-focused.

 

Follow @RCorySmith on Twitter.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Deal Of The Day: 50% Off On Fitness HR Heart Rate Monitor

redesign_imaze_mf

There are very few things more accurate at tracking your workout progress than a heart rate monitor. They allow you to stay within the optimal heart rate range for your various fitness goals, while providing an essential feedback that makes the process more motivating for many people. The Fitness HR device tracks your bpm, while feeding that info to your smartphone through Bluetooth. It’s normally $80, but today’s deal sees the price drop to $40. Paired with the iMaze fitness app, you’ll be on the road to a rock solid physique in no time.

[ 50% Off On Fitness HR Heart Rate Monitor ]

The post Deal Of The Day: 50% Off On Fitness HR Heart Rate Monitor appeared first on OhGizmo!.

Deal Of The Day: 50% Off On Fitness HR Heart Rate Monitor

redesign_imaze_mf

There are very few things more accurate at tracking your workout progress than a heart rate monitor. They allow you to stay within the optimal heart rate range for your various fitness goals, while providing an essential feedback that makes the process more motivating for many people. The Fitness HR device tracks your bpm, while feeding that info to your smartphone through Bluetooth. It’s normally $80, but today’s deal sees the price drop to $40. Paired with the iMaze fitness app, you’ll be on the road to a rock solid physique in no time.

[ 50% Off On Fitness HR Heart Rate Monitor ]

The post Deal Of The Day: 50% Off On Fitness HR Heart Rate Monitor appeared first on OhGizmo!.

Deal Of The Day: 50% Off On Fitness HR Heart Rate Monitor

redesign_imaze_mf

There are very few things more accurate at tracking your workout progress than a heart rate monitor. They allow you to stay within the optimal heart rate range for your various fitness goals, while providing an essential feedback that makes the process more motivating for many people. The Fitness HR device tracks your bpm, while feeding that info to your smartphone through Bluetooth. It’s normally $80, but today’s deal sees the price drop to $40. Paired with the iMaze fitness app, you’ll be on the road to a rock solid physique in no time.

[ 50% Off On Fitness HR Heart Rate Monitor ]

The post Deal Of The Day: 50% Off On Fitness HR Heart Rate Monitor appeared first on OhGizmo!.

Derek Jeter Sets Up Easy Double Play by Faking Out Jason Kipnis at Second Base

Derek Jeter is making sure he uses up all of his tricks before he hangs up his glove.

On Monday night, the New York Yankees shortstop was able to set up an easy double play in the eighth inning of a two-run game with a smooth fake.

With the Cleveland Indians' Jason Kipnis running on the pitch, he had no idea where Asdrubal Cabrera hit the ball. Jeter realized that and pretended to catch the ball at second base to fake the runner out. Cabrera had hit a pop-up in foul territory, though, so with Kipnis fooled, Yankees third baseman Zelous Wheeler could easily throw to first for the double play.

Cleveland had already scored one run in the inning, so it was a big play to get out of the frame with the tying run at the plate and the heart of the Indians order due up. The Yankees went on to win, 5-3.

[MLB.com]

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This Happens Way Too Much

movies

I suppose it’s a sign that I’m getting older, but this comic hits home. I still remember a time when this didn’t happen. See, I tend to hang out with a lot of friends considerably younger than me (one of the perks of not having a “real” job mean that you don’t feel pressure to go through the normal stages of life at the same rate as your contemporaries), and I’ve noticed that they see nothing wrong with this. Sharing their attention between twenty different things is normal. That’s all they’ve ever known! A new generation of kids is growing up without the notion of one-on-one time, without the ability to focus on one thing for an extended period of time, and without the ability to just… sit there and do nothing. That’s inconceivable. And while I’m guilty of obsessing over my phone as much as the next guy, I’m old enough to remember the days without them and I sort of miss them.

Sigh.

Nothing can be done, and my quota of bitching has been filled for the day. Thank you and carry on.

VIA [ GeeksAreSexy ]

The post This Happens Way Too Much appeared first on OhGizmo!.

EcoDrain Recycles The Heat From Your Used Up Hot Water

ecodrain-product-shot.jpg.662x0_q100_crop-scale

One of the things that uses up the most energy in a home is hot water. And all of that heat is wasted as it drains away into the sewage system. The EcoDrain device pictured above allows you to partially warm up incoming cold water with the heat from the outgoing hot. It’s a heat-exchange system, and isn’t exactly a new invention, although unlike most other solutions can be installed horizontally. This allows it to be placed “under the bathroom floor immediately adjacent to the drain, thus catching the waste water at its hottest.” It won’t be enough to get the incoming cold up to a good steamy temp, but it’ll help you use less hot water mixed in, thus saving you money. It requires no electricity, and has no moving parts; once installed you can just forget its there. “It’s priced at US$439.95, and is claimed to offer a return on investment ranging from 17 to 43 percent per year – based on the energy costs in various American cities.” Or in other words, you’ll be able to shower for about 33% longer while using the same amount of power you would have without the EcoDrain.

ecodrain-how.jpg.650x0_q85_crop-smart

[ Product Page ] VIA [ TreeHugger ]

The post EcoDrain Recycles The Heat From Your Used Up Hot Water appeared first on OhGizmo!.

What next, when the drugs won’t work?

The government has made progress on the urgent crisis of antimicrobial resistance, but sustained public pressure is still needed, says Zac Goldsmith.

 Bottles of antibiotics line a shelf at a Publix Supermarket pharmacy August 7, 2007 in Miami, Florida. Photo: Getty Images
Bottles of antibiotics line a shelf at a Publix Supermarket pharmacy August 7, 2007 in Miami, Florida. Photo: Getty Images

On accepting his part of the Nobel Prize for the discovery and isolation of penicillin, Alexander Fleming warned: “There is the danger that the ignorant man may easily underdose himself and by exposing his microbes to nonlethal quantities of the drug make them resistant.” From the moment these miracle drugs became available, there has never been any doubt about the link between misuse of antibiotics and resistance to them. But despite that, we have spectacularly failed to heed Fleming’s warning, and as a consequence we now face the prospect of losing modern medicine as we know it.

Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer for England, has described an “apocalyptic scenario”. She has warned of a return within 20 years to a “19th-century environment”, in which routine operations carry a deadly risk. The World Health Organisation has said that we are hurtling towards a “post-antibiotic era”. 

In 2006 there were just five cases where patients failed to respond to even so-called last-resort antibiotics, but last year that number was 600. Clearly we must hope new antibiotics are developed, but there is no escaping that the principal cause of this crisis is our industrial-scale misuse of the antibiotics we already have. Even in this age of irresponsibility, it is hard to imagine anything more reckless. 

Now that the medical establishment has sounded the alarm, you’d expect this, perhaps the greatest single threat to our health, to top the political agenda and dominate the tabloid news. If only. 

In fairness, the Department of Health has issued stronger guidance to GPs and hospitals. But very little is being done to limit misuse of antibiotics in agriculture. In many nations globally, the use of antibiotics for animals exceeds the amount used for human medicine. A 2012 report produced by the Soil Association suggests that the overall use of antibiotics per animal on UK farms increased by 18 per cent between 2000 and 2010. The problem is even worse in the US, where non-government studies have estimated that upwards of 70 per cent of antibiotics are used on farms.

At the same time, we are fast losing our traditional antibiotics to resistance: penicillin for staphylococcal wound infections, ampicillin for infections of the urinary tract and ciprofloxacin for treating gonorrhoea. We are increasingly having to use reserve antibiotics and, worryingly, seeing the spread of resistance to them as well. 

The link between misuse and resistance is not disputed, and so we have to ask why emergency action isn’t being taken. There is no philosophical or ideological reason why any of the mainstream parties should be reluctant to engage. After all, the solutions involve responsible use of what drugs we have, and the promotion of science. 

So why aren’t the newspapers hounding ministers for action? Why aren’t MPs being bombarded by angry letters? In short, what makes this crisis different, and less important to policymakers than the Aids crisis of the 1980s, which successfully galvanised drug companies and the authorities? 

One answer perhaps is that there is less focus – there is no single infection to fight, no single drug to be found. But more significant, I believe, is the influence of vested interests. If intensive farms have grown dependent on antibiotics, then their removal would require significant changes. Not surprisingly, the resistance put up by agribusiness lobby groups is immense, and I believe that explains a lack of urgency in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

It would be wrong to suggest there has been no progress. Last year I initiated a debate in parliament on the matter and, in response, a UK health minister told me: “Routine prophylactic use of antibiotics in both humans and animals is not acceptable practice. I am writing to Defra to ensure that existing veterinary guidance makes that very clear.”

Then last year, the Cabinet Office confirmed it would look at resistance as a national security issue. The government subsequently announced a “Five-Year Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy”, which was published by the Department of Health and Defra. The Prime Minister has also openly described the issue as “an extremely serious problem”.

However, we still lag far behind many other countries in terms of concrete steps. The Netherlands, for instance, has endorsed a 50 per cent reduction in livestock antibiotic sales from 2009 levels by 2014. The bottom line is that governments here and elsewhere must prioritise human health over short-term vested interests, and that, I believe, will be achieved only with sustained and intense public pressure. That will happen, but we must hope it does so before a crisis sets in.

Zac Goldsmith is the MP for Richmond Park (Conservative)

What next, when the drugs won’t work?

The government has made progress on the urgent crisis of antimicrobial resistance, but sustained public pressure is still needed, says Zac Goldsmith.

 Bottles of antibiotics line a shelf at a Publix Supermarket pharmacy August 7, 2007 in Miami, Florida. Photo: Getty Images
Bottles of antibiotics line a shelf at a Publix Supermarket pharmacy August 7, 2007 in Miami, Florida. Photo: Getty Images

On accepting his part of the Nobel Prize for the discovery and isolation of penicillin, Alexander Fleming warned: “There is the danger that the ignorant man may easily underdose himself and by exposing his microbes to nonlethal quantities of the drug make them resistant.” From the moment these miracle drugs became available, there has never been any doubt about the link between misuse of antibiotics and resistance to them. But despite that, we have spectacularly failed to heed Fleming’s warning, and as a consequence we now face the prospect of losing modern medicine as we know it.

Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer for England, has described an “apocalyptic scenario”. She has warned of a return within 20 years to a “19th-century environment”, in which routine operations carry a deadly risk. The World Health Organisation has said that we are hurtling towards a “post-antibiotic era”. 

In 2006 there were just five cases where patients failed to respond to even so-called last-resort antibiotics, but last year that number was 600. Clearly we must hope new antibiotics are developed, but there is no escaping that the principal cause of this crisis is our industrial-scale misuse of the antibiotics we already have. Even in this age of irresponsibility, it is hard to imagine anything more reckless. 

Now that the medical establishment has sounded the alarm, you’d expect this, perhaps the greatest single threat to our health, to top the political agenda and dominate the tabloid news. If only. 

In fairness, the Department of Health has issued stronger guidance to GPs and hospitals. But very little is being done to limit misuse of antibiotics in agriculture. In many nations globally, the use of antibiotics for animals exceeds the amount used for human medicine. A 2012 report produced by the Soil Association suggests that the overall use of antibiotics per animal on UK farms increased by 18 per cent between 2000 and 2010. The problem is even worse in the US, where non-government studies have estimated that upwards of 70 per cent of antibiotics are used on farms.

At the same time, we are fast losing our traditional antibiotics to resistance: penicillin for staphylococcal wound infections, ampicillin for infections of the urinary tract and ciprofloxacin for treating gonorrhoea. We are increasingly having to use reserve antibiotics and, worryingly, seeing the spread of resistance to them as well. 

The link between misuse and resistance is not disputed, and so we have to ask why emergency action isn’t being taken. There is no philosophical or ideological reason why any of the mainstream parties should be reluctant to engage. After all, the solutions involve responsible use of what drugs we have, and the promotion of science. 

So why aren’t the newspapers hounding ministers for action? Why aren’t MPs being bombarded by angry letters? In short, what makes this crisis different, and less important to policymakers than the Aids crisis of the 1980s, which successfully galvanised drug companies and the authorities? 

One answer perhaps is that there is less focus – there is no single infection to fight, no single drug to be found. But more significant, I believe, is the influence of vested interests. If intensive farms have grown dependent on antibiotics, then their removal would require significant changes. Not surprisingly, the resistance put up by agribusiness lobby groups is immense, and I believe that explains a lack of urgency in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

It would be wrong to suggest there has been no progress. Last year I initiated a debate in parliament on the matter and, in response, a UK health minister told me: “Routine prophylactic use of antibiotics in both humans and animals is not acceptable practice. I am writing to Defra to ensure that existing veterinary guidance makes that very clear.”

Then last year, the Cabinet Office confirmed it would look at resistance as a national security issue. The government subsequently announced a “Five-Year Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy”, which was published by the Department of Health and Defra. The Prime Minister has also openly described the issue as “an extremely serious problem”.

However, we still lag far behind many other countries in terms of concrete steps. The Netherlands, for instance, has endorsed a 50 per cent reduction in livestock antibiotic sales from 2009 levels by 2014. The bottom line is that governments here and elsewhere must prioritise human health over short-term vested interests, and that, I believe, will be achieved only with sustained and intense public pressure. That will happen, but we must hope it does so before a crisis sets in.

Zac Goldsmith is the MP for Richmond Park (Conservative)

What next, when the drugs won’t work?

The government has made progress on the urgent crisis of antimicrobial resistance, but sustained public pressure is still needed, says Zac Goldsmith.

 Bottles of antibiotics line a shelf at a Publix Supermarket pharmacy August 7, 2007 in Miami, Florida. Photo: Getty Images
Bottles of antibiotics line a shelf at a Publix Supermarket pharmacy August 7, 2007 in Miami, Florida. Photo: Getty Images

On accepting his part of the Nobel Prize for the discovery and isolation of penicillin, Alexander Fleming warned: “There is the danger that the ignorant man may easily underdose himself and by exposing his microbes to nonlethal quantities of the drug make them resistant.” From the moment these miracle drugs became available, there has never been any doubt about the link between misuse of antibiotics and resistance to them. But despite that, we have spectacularly failed to heed Fleming’s warning, and as a consequence we now face the prospect of losing modern medicine as we know it.

Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer for England, has described an “apocalyptic scenario”. She has warned of a return within 20 years to a “19th-century environment”, in which routine operations carry a deadly risk. The World Health Organisation has said that we are hurtling towards a “post-antibiotic era”. 

In 2006 there were just five cases where patients failed to respond to even so-called last-resort antibiotics, but last year that number was 600. Clearly we must hope new antibiotics are developed, but there is no escaping that the principal cause of this crisis is our industrial-scale misuse of the antibiotics we already have. Even in this age of irresponsibility, it is hard to imagine anything more reckless. 

Now that the medical establishment has sounded the alarm, you’d expect this, perhaps the greatest single threat to our health, to top the political agenda and dominate the tabloid news. If only. 

In fairness, the Department of Health has issued stronger guidance to GPs and hospitals. But very little is being done to limit misuse of antibiotics in agriculture. In many nations globally, the use of antibiotics for animals exceeds the amount used for human medicine. A 2012 report produced by the Soil Association suggests that the overall use of antibiotics per animal on UK farms increased by 18 per cent between 2000 and 2010. The problem is even worse in the US, where non-government studies have estimated that upwards of 70 per cent of antibiotics are used on farms.

At the same time, we are fast losing our traditional antibiotics to resistance: penicillin for staphylococcal wound infections, ampicillin for infections of the urinary tract and ciprofloxacin for treating gonorrhoea. We are increasingly having to use reserve antibiotics and, worryingly, seeing the spread of resistance to them as well. 

The link between misuse and resistance is not disputed, and so we have to ask why emergency action isn’t being taken. There is no philosophical or ideological reason why any of the mainstream parties should be reluctant to engage. After all, the solutions involve responsible use of what drugs we have, and the promotion of science. 

So why aren’t the newspapers hounding ministers for action? Why aren’t MPs being bombarded by angry letters? In short, what makes this crisis different, and less important to policymakers than the Aids crisis of the 1980s, which successfully galvanised drug companies and the authorities? 

One answer perhaps is that there is less focus – there is no single infection to fight, no single drug to be found. But more significant, I believe, is the influence of vested interests. If intensive farms have grown dependent on antibiotics, then their removal would require significant changes. Not surprisingly, the resistance put up by agribusiness lobby groups is immense, and I believe that explains a lack of urgency in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

It would be wrong to suggest there has been no progress. Last year I initiated a debate in parliament on the matter and, in response, a UK health minister told me: “Routine prophylactic use of antibiotics in both humans and animals is not acceptable practice. I am writing to Defra to ensure that existing veterinary guidance makes that very clear.”

Then last year, the Cabinet Office confirmed it would look at resistance as a national security issue. The government subsequently announced a “Five-Year Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy”, which was published by the Department of Health and Defra. The Prime Minister has also openly described the issue as “an extremely serious problem”.

However, we still lag far behind many other countries in terms of concrete steps. The Netherlands, for instance, has endorsed a 50 per cent reduction in livestock antibiotic sales from 2009 levels by 2014. The bottom line is that governments here and elsewhere must prioritise human health over short-term vested interests, and that, I believe, will be achieved only with sustained and intense public pressure. That will happen, but we must hope it does so before a crisis sets in.

Zac Goldsmith is the MP for Richmond Park (Conservative)

What next, when the drugs won’t work?

The government has made progress on the urgent crisis of antimicrobial resistance, but sustained public pressure is still needed, says Zac Goldsmith.

 Bottles of antibiotics line a shelf at a Publix Supermarket pharmacy August 7, 2007 in Miami, Florida. Photo: Getty Images
Bottles of antibiotics line a shelf at a Publix Supermarket pharmacy August 7, 2007 in Miami, Florida. Photo: Getty Images

On accepting his part of the Nobel Prize for the discovery and isolation of penicillin, Alexander Fleming warned: “There is the danger that the ignorant man may easily underdose himself and by exposing his microbes to nonlethal quantities of the drug make them resistant.” From the moment these miracle drugs became available, there has never been any doubt about the link between misuse of antibiotics and resistance to them. But despite that, we have spectacularly failed to heed Fleming’s warning, and as a consequence we now face the prospect of losing modern medicine as we know it.

Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer for England, has described an “apocalyptic scenario”. She has warned of a return within 20 years to a “19th-century environment”, in which routine operations carry a deadly risk. The World Health Organisation has said that we are hurtling towards a “post-antibiotic era”. 

In 2006 there were just five cases where patients failed to respond to even so-called last-resort antibiotics, but last year that number was 600. Clearly we must hope new antibiotics are developed, but there is no escaping that the principal cause of this crisis is our industrial-scale misuse of the antibiotics we already have. Even in this age of irresponsibility, it is hard to imagine anything more reckless. 

Now that the medical establishment has sounded the alarm, you’d expect this, perhaps the greatest single threat to our health, to top the political agenda and dominate the tabloid news. If only. 

In fairness, the Department of Health has issued stronger guidance to GPs and hospitals. But very little is being done to limit misuse of antibiotics in agriculture. In many nations globally, the use of antibiotics for animals exceeds the amount used for human medicine. A 2012 report produced by the Soil Association suggests that the overall use of antibiotics per animal on UK farms increased by 18 per cent between 2000 and 2010. The problem is even worse in the US, where non-government studies have estimated that upwards of 70 per cent of antibiotics are used on farms.

At the same time, we are fast losing our traditional antibiotics to resistance: penicillin for staphylococcal wound infections, ampicillin for infections of the urinary tract and ciprofloxacin for treating gonorrhoea. We are increasingly having to use reserve antibiotics and, worryingly, seeing the spread of resistance to them as well. 

The link between misuse and resistance is not disputed, and so we have to ask why emergency action isn’t being taken. There is no philosophical or ideological reason why any of the mainstream parties should be reluctant to engage. After all, the solutions involve responsible use of what drugs we have, and the promotion of science. 

So why aren’t the newspapers hounding ministers for action? Why aren’t MPs being bombarded by angry letters? In short, what makes this crisis different, and less important to policymakers than the Aids crisis of the 1980s, which successfully galvanised drug companies and the authorities? 

One answer perhaps is that there is less focus – there is no single infection to fight, no single drug to be found. But more significant, I believe, is the influence of vested interests. If intensive farms have grown dependent on antibiotics, then their removal would require significant changes. Not surprisingly, the resistance put up by agribusiness lobby groups is immense, and I believe that explains a lack of urgency in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

It would be wrong to suggest there has been no progress. Last year I initiated a debate in parliament on the matter and, in response, a UK health minister told me: “Routine prophylactic use of antibiotics in both humans and animals is not acceptable practice. I am writing to Defra to ensure that existing veterinary guidance makes that very clear.”

Then last year, the Cabinet Office confirmed it would look at resistance as a national security issue. The government subsequently announced a “Five-Year Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy”, which was published by the Department of Health and Defra. The Prime Minister has also openly described the issue as “an extremely serious problem”.

However, we still lag far behind many other countries in terms of concrete steps. The Netherlands, for instance, has endorsed a 50 per cent reduction in livestock antibiotic sales from 2009 levels by 2014. The bottom line is that governments here and elsewhere must prioritise human health over short-term vested interests, and that, I believe, will be achieved only with sustained and intense public pressure. That will happen, but we must hope it does so before a crisis sets in.

Zac Goldsmith is the MP for Richmond Park (Conservative)

What next, when the drugs won’t work?

The government has made progress on the urgent crisis of antimicrobial resistance, but sustained public pressure is still needed, says Zac Goldsmith.

 Bottles of antibiotics line a shelf at a Publix Supermarket pharmacy August 7, 2007 in Miami, Florida. Photo: Getty Images
Bottles of antibiotics line a shelf at a Publix Supermarket pharmacy August 7, 2007 in Miami, Florida. Photo: Getty Images

On accepting his part of the Nobel Prize for the discovery and isolation of penicillin, Alexander Fleming warned: “There is the danger that the ignorant man may easily underdose himself and by exposing his microbes to nonlethal quantities of the drug make them resistant.” From the moment these miracle drugs became available, there has never been any doubt about the link between misuse of antibiotics and resistance to them. But despite that, we have spectacularly failed to heed Fleming’s warning, and as a consequence we now face the prospect of losing modern medicine as we know it.

Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer for England, has described an “apocalyptic scenario”. She has warned of a return within 20 years to a “19th-century environment”, in which routine operations carry a deadly risk. The World Health Organisation has said that we are hurtling towards a “post-antibiotic era”. 

In 2006 there were just five cases where patients failed to respond to even so-called last-resort antibiotics, but last year that number was 600. Clearly we must hope new antibiotics are developed, but there is no escaping that the principal cause of this crisis is our industrial-scale misuse of the antibiotics we already have. Even in this age of irresponsibility, it is hard to imagine anything more reckless. 

Now that the medical establishment has sounded the alarm, you’d expect this, perhaps the greatest single threat to our health, to top the political agenda and dominate the tabloid news. If only. 

In fairness, the Department of Health has issued stronger guidance to GPs and hospitals. But very little is being done to limit misuse of antibiotics in agriculture. In many nations globally, the use of antibiotics for animals exceeds the amount used for human medicine. A 2012 report produced by the Soil Association suggests that the overall use of antibiotics per animal on UK farms increased by 18 per cent between 2000 and 2010. The problem is even worse in the US, where non-government studies have estimated that upwards of 70 per cent of antibiotics are used on farms.

At the same time, we are fast losing our traditional antibiotics to resistance: penicillin for staphylococcal wound infections, ampicillin for infections of the urinary tract and ciprofloxacin for treating gonorrhoea. We are increasingly having to use reserve antibiotics and, worryingly, seeing the spread of resistance to them as well. 

The link between misuse and resistance is not disputed, and so we have to ask why emergency action isn’t being taken. There is no philosophical or ideological reason why any of the mainstream parties should be reluctant to engage. After all, the solutions involve responsible use of what drugs we have, and the promotion of science. 

So why aren’t the newspapers hounding ministers for action? Why aren’t MPs being bombarded by angry letters? In short, what makes this crisis different, and less important to policymakers than the Aids crisis of the 1980s, which successfully galvanised drug companies and the authorities? 

One answer perhaps is that there is less focus – there is no single infection to fight, no single drug to be found. But more significant, I believe, is the influence of vested interests. If intensive farms have grown dependent on antibiotics, then their removal would require significant changes. Not surprisingly, the resistance put up by agribusiness lobby groups is immense, and I believe that explains a lack of urgency in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

It would be wrong to suggest there has been no progress. Last year I initiated a debate in parliament on the matter and, in response, a UK health minister told me: “Routine prophylactic use of antibiotics in both humans and animals is not acceptable practice. I am writing to Defra to ensure that existing veterinary guidance makes that very clear.”

Then last year, the Cabinet Office confirmed it would look at resistance as a national security issue. The government subsequently announced a “Five-Year Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy”, which was published by the Department of Health and Defra. The Prime Minister has also openly described the issue as “an extremely serious problem”.

However, we still lag far behind many other countries in terms of concrete steps. The Netherlands, for instance, has endorsed a 50 per cent reduction in livestock antibiotic sales from 2009 levels by 2014. The bottom line is that governments here and elsewhere must prioritise human health over short-term vested interests, and that, I believe, will be achieved only with sustained and intense public pressure. That will happen, but we must hope it does so before a crisis sets in.

Zac Goldsmith is the MP for Richmond Park (Conservative)

Thanko’s USB-Powered Shoe Cooler

USB-Exhilarating-Shoes-Cooler_2

If you don’t mind looking a little strange, Thanko Japan has a fun little gadget that could help you keep your feet a couple of degrees cooler than your surroundings. It’s a USB-powered clip-on fan that directs air straight onto your feet, dropping their temperature by a reported 3 degrees Celcius. Yes, that does mean that on top of having to attach a strange looking plastic doodad to your shoes, you have to tether them to a USB port. You’ll be the talk of the office, that much is clear, but at least it won’t be because of how smelly your feet are. If you don’t mind the indignity, it’s 3,480 Japanese Yen (US $34) to own.

Thanko_USB Shoes Cooler_10

[ Product Page (Google Translate) ] VIA [ AkihabaraNews ]

The post Thanko’s USB-Powered Shoe Cooler appeared first on OhGizmo!.

Yankees’ Tanaka and Betances 1st Rookie Pitcher Teammates Selected as All-Stars

The New York Yankees made a bit of history Sunday, becoming the first team in MLB history to have two rookie pitchers named to an All-Star team, per Elias Sports Bureau.

Japanese phenom Masahiro Tanaka is on the short list of candidates to start for the American League, while 26-year-old setup man Dellin Betances figures to pitch out of the bullpen. Both newcomers have quickly emerged as masters of their respective crafts, helping an otherwise shaky Yankees team stay right in the thick of the playoff chase.

The 25-year-old Tanaka leads the majors with 12 wins, a number that no other Yankee rookie has ever reached before the All-Star break, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

If not for the remarkable season Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez is having, Tanaka would be a lock to start the All-Star Game. As is, Tanaka still has a chance to get the nod, with his 2.27 ERA only a bit behind Hernandez's 2.12 mark, and his 130 strikeouts just 15 shy of King Felix's 145.

Betances, who earned his first career save in Monday's game against the Cleveland Indians, hasn't received nearly the same amount of press as Tanaka, though his work out of the bullpen has been nothing short of remarkable. The New York City native ranks second among American League relievers with 52.1 innings pitched, while leading the majors in strikeouts (79) by a relief pitcher.

As if that weren't enough, the young right-hander sports a pristine 1.55 ERA, eighth-best in the AL among relievers who have logged 20 or more innings.

Along with Tanaka, Betances is the first rookie pitcher the Yankees have had in the All-Star Game since 1947, when Spec Shea did the honors, per the team's official Twitter account.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Funnell Backpack Stores Easily Retractable Rain Jacket

Funnell-Backpack_3

When you’re out for an extended period of time, you’re always running the risk of being caught in the rain. You’re not made of sugar, boy, so it ain’t so bad, right? But why get wet if you don’t have to? The Funnell backpack looks like any old regular bag, but it features a built-in waterproof jacket that you can pull out in seconds. The jacket covers both you and the backpack so you’re completely protected from that pesky rain.

Made primarily with motorcycle riders in mind, the Funnell is still perfect for the trekker, the cyclist or any outdoors enthusiast. It features several storage compartments, and is made from high quality materials. There’s a back protection panel, and a dedicated laptop compartment, as well as a a drainage tube that allows you to store your wet jacket back in the bag without worrying that it will get smelly.

It’s a $188 pledge to get yours, assuming the Kickstarter completes its funding goals.

Funnell-Backpack_4

[ Project Page ] VIA [ DamnGeeky ]

The post Funnell Backpack Stores Easily Retractable Rain Jacket appeared first on OhGizmo!.

Best Clubhouse Environments in MLB

Playing for a stuffy, conservative, monolithic franchise like the New York Yankees carries certain advantages. Not only does the team set the goal of a championship each season, but if you're married to a Yankeelike the wife of recently acquired starting pitcher Brandon McCarthyyou may benefit from your husband having to shave off his beard.

However, compulsory beard-shaving seems like an antiquated team policy in 2014. While the Yanks ensure their pinstripes are ironed and pressed, other teams around Major League Baseball know how to let loose and have some fun. 

Cultivating a good clubhouse environment can be integral to fostering a winning atmosphere around a team, especially considering the rigors of a 162-game regular season. These five squads know how to relax once the final out has been recorded, whether that involves locker room pranks, amazing bobbleheads, wrestling chants or donning retro comfort wear en masse. 

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2014 MLB All-Star Roster: Stat Predictions for Top AL and NL Stars

The MLB All-Star game is all about watching baseball's top performers put on a show while competing against their most productive peers.

Very rarely does one player absolutely take over the Midsummer Classic. When put against top competition, the game's best players often post semi-pedestrian stats. That said, there's always a chance for a breakout performance when there are so many stars on one diamond.

Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota will play host to this year's crop of stars on July 15. There will certainly be fireworks, but which players will post the best numbers? Which ones will struggle?

You'll find predictions below.

 

American League: Mike Trout

Mike Trout led off for the American League in last year's installment of the Midsummer Classic, and he went 1-for-3 with a first-inning double off National League starter Matt Harvey.

This is how he should fare against the National League on July 15:

Trout is having another fine season. He's slashing .308/.402/.603 with 20 home runs, 64 RBI and 10 steals. He's arguably the most dynamic player in the game today, and that makes him a lock to lead off.

Hitting against Kershaw isn't a small task, however.

His mix of speeds and ability to set hitters down with his incredible breaking ball will play to his favor against an AL lineup that will look to be aggressive out of the gate.

Trout will grab a base hit in the game, but it won't come off Kershaw. He'll probably get it in his second at-bat against a guy like Madison Bumgarner.

 

American League: Felix Hernandez

Shockingly, Felix Hernandez has never started an All-Star game. That will likely change on July 15. Matt Snyder of CBS Sports also thinks Hernandez should start:

Given King Felix's pedigree, his excellent numbers and that he's possibly having his best season -- this time for a legitimate contender -- he would make a fine choice. Factor in that he's scheduled to start Friday and then the first game following the All-Star break, he would have to have a "throw day" in between. The first two innings of the All-Star Game will work perfectly. The pick seems logical and obvious, especially when you factor in he's one of the generation's best pitchers and hasn't yet started an All-Star Game.

What should we expect from Hernandez in his first-ever start in the event? More dominance, of course:

Hernandez is one of the many reasons why the Seattle Mariners have been successful. In previous years, a shortage of run support has prevented him from winning his fair share of games. While wins don't mean everything, pitchers certainly love seeing a bunch of tallies in the win column.

The NL lineup is very deep, so Hernandez probably won't cruise through his two innings. I predict a baserunner or two, but look for him to keep the Senior Circuit off the scoreboard.

 

National League: Yasiel Puig

Yasiel Puig is one of the many first-time All-Stars this year, and you can bet that he'll be amped up to play on this stage. He might get a little out of hand, though, and that could impact his performance:

He won't have jitters, necessarily, but the excitement could easily get to him. This could cause errant throws from the outfield, over-aggressiveness on the basepaths and maybe even a few swings out of his shoes.

While every fan in the seats will be on the lookout for one of his signature bat flips, they probably won't see one this time around.

He's enjoying a great year thus far, slashing .307/.393/.516 with 12 homers and 50 RBI. Last year's showing wasn't an anomaly, and Puig will likely make several more trips to the All-Star game during his career as a result.

 

National League: Clayton Kershaw

Thirty-six. That's the number of scoreless innings Kershaw has tossed in a row. He is on top of his game right now, and that's a scary thought for the rest of the baseball world. There's some time for him to surrender a run before the All-Star break, but that doesn't mean he won't throw shutout frames on the board at Target Field:

Kershaw's catcher, A.J. Ellis, has noticed something different about Kershaw during this run, via Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times:

The biggest thing for me has been the consistency of the breaking balls. Usually, he'll have his 'A' slider but maybe his 'C' or 'D' curveball or vice versa, where the slider's not working but the curveball is. During this run, he's had an 'A' curveball and an 'A' slider this entire time. They're both just electric strikeout pitches, which is why I think you're seeing him have strikeout totals that have been unmatched in his career. He gets to two strikes, he could go either way.

It's going to be a long two innings for the AL if both his curve and slider are working again on July 15. When he can mix those pitches in with his fastball, he's difficult to even make contact against—evidenced by his 115 strikeouts in 87.1 innings pitched this year.

Kershaw pitched a scoreless frame in last year's game, and he'll probably throw more zeros on the board in this one.

 

Other Stars

There are more than the aforementioned stars in this Midsummer Classic. Below are a few more players and how they'll fare at Target Field:

 

 

Follow Kenny DeJohn on Twitter: @KennyDeJohn_BR

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com