Showing 1 - 10 of 297 posts found matching keyword: news
Saturday 24 February 2024
I read in the local newspaper that my county currently averages 1 suicide every 14 days. That's on pace for 26 a year. If that seems high, it's because it is.
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Americans kill themselves nationally at a rate of about 14 per 100,000, which implies that Coweta County, Georgia, population 155,000, should expect something near 22 suicides per year. For Coweta, that figure is an aspirational number.
What's so bad about living in Coweta? I can only guess.
Of course, thanks in part to our poor healthcare system and our easy access to guns, Georgians kill themselves more often than average Americans. (That's just the price you pay for freedom!) By Georgia standards, Coweta should see 24 suicides per year. So maybe our higher rate is our friendly way of helping prop up those counties that aren't pulling their weight.
Back when I was in a Coweta County high school, the statewide suicide rate was only 13 per 100k (national average 12/100k), yet I knew several people whose parents had killed themselves, and I knew students who attempted it. If people are finding things more bleak and hopeless now than they were then... as a community, maybe as a whole society, we just must be doing something wrong.
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Friday 12 January 2024
In news shocking to all Baby Boomers and younger, it has been widely reported that current manufacturer Ferrara Candy has decided to discontinue Fruit Stripe Gum, thereby once-and-for-all answering the question: no, we will not still feed you when we are 64.
Sixty-four years is a long time, but Ferrara Candy has only been selling Fruit Stripe for a small fraction of that time. Prior to 2012, Ferrara Candy was known as Farley & Sathers Candy, which itself was only founded in 2002 and bought the pre-existing Fruit Stripe brand from Hershey Foods in 2003. Hershey only had Fruit Stripe for about a year; they bought it in 2001 from Nabisco, which had acquired it in a 1981 merger with E.R. Squibb Company, which got their hands on it in a 1968 merger with Beech-Nut Life Savers who had introduced it in 1960.
(For more fun information on American corporation brand hi-jinks through history, I encourage you to visit the online archive of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, which retired their old TESS [Trademark Electronic Search System] last year for a more modern and easier to use but less acronymically friendly "cloud-based trademark search system" [CBTSS? Blech.] )
As has been the trend in recent beloved-but-unprofitable food brands being killed off by one corporate parent only to spring back to life under another (see: Hostess Twinkies and Necco Wafters), I expect that this media brouhaha will lead to continued life for Fruit Stripe. In fact, as of January 10, there is already a pending request at the US Patent Office for a new trademark just registered by Iconic Candies, a company dedicated to continuing discontinued "classic brands" like Bar None (discontinued by Hershey in 1997) and Creme Savers (discontinued by M&M/Mars in 2011).
Anyway, while we await zombie Fruit Stripe's inevitable return, in tribute to its nostalgic greatness, I offer a page from my personal comic book collection in which I demonstrated my 4-year-old's love of brightly artificial-colored, briefly artificially-flavored chewing gum by helping brand mascot Yipes the zebra navigate a maze of marketing Q&As.
from The Friendly Ghost, Casper, July 1980, No. 211
(Disclaimer: I might have cheated.)
Tuesday 26 December 2023
Dr Cory Anderson recently earned his doctorate studying with Osterholm, focusing on pathways of CWD transmission. â€œWeâ€™re dealing with a disease that is invariably fatal, incurable and highly contagious. Baked into the worry is that we donâ€™t have an effective easy way to eradicate it, neither from the animals it infects nor the environment it contaminates.â€
Once an environment is infected, the pathogen is extremely hard to eradicate. It can persist for years in dirt or on surfaces, and scientists report it is resistant to disinfectants, formaldehyde, radiation and incineration at 600C (1,100F).
Great. The deer have turned to biological weapons and suicide missions. Is there no atrocity they won't commit? I saw we nuke them all now before it's too late for all of us.
Sunday 26 November 2023
"Since October, 100 emergency calls have come in, Conroy said, with 81 of those involving vehicles crashing into an animal or a dead deer in the roadway. There were seven incidents of deer caught on a fence, eight responses to calls on injured deer and one incident of two deer fighting, the chief said."
Obviously, that begs the question: who, exactly, were those two deer fighting?
Tuesday 24 October 2023
I'm an enthusiastic subscriber to The Week magazine, in part because it fills the void left by my newspaper subscription going digital. (Maybe I just need something to do with my hands while I read.)
Each week, The Week showcases an assortment of recently released books, and this past week their top recommendation went to Eve:
As it happens, there's a copy of Eve sitting on the table in my den right now. That's because Cat Bohannon is the daughter of my childhood piano teacher who moved back to New York state but still calls my mom to brag about her kids' accomplishments. (Hi, Rosemary!)
I haven't seen or spoken to Cat in many, many years, probably not since the last time I touched a piano keyboard. But it's still a kind of vicarious thrill to know that someone I once chased around a willow tree is a Big Deal now.
By the way, Rosemary is justified in her bragging. Cat's older brother is science journalist John, who has his own Wikipedia page (but I'll always think of him as the guy who teased me with prank phone calls in elementary school).
Meanwhile, I'm sitting in a basement reading old news and typing blog posts. Maybe I should have spent more time practicing the piano. Sorry, Mom.
Thursday 24 August 2023
It seems that every news outlet today is reporting that Flamingo (a time management app) reported that the most common Sick Day in America (according to their data) is August 24.
First of all, congratulations to Flamingo for getting their product's name in everyone's mouth. I see what you did there. I didn't previously know what a "paid time off" app was, and I do now. Good job, guys. Someone was working hard on August 24th.
Secondly, I believe it. (Judging from the amount of coverage this "news" got, so do most other people.) Late August is too blisteringly hot, humid, and uncomfortable to work outside, and school just got back in, introducing everyone to strains of disease that had been developing in secluded households over the summer. It's a perfect storm!
Personally, I'm still doing work today, even though I don't want to. Frankly, I'm a bit depressed, which may be a result of working too hard and getting too little sleep for the past few days/weeks. I could probably use a day off.
If only there was an app that could help me schedule something....
Thursday 3 August 2023
In its entirety, the text message from my aunt reads
Hey, Have you been ducked?
Of all the things I could have possibly guessed she meant, one thing that definitely did not occur to me was this:
Apparently, placing a rubber duck on someone else's Jeep as a "compliment" has become a thing in 2023. Great. One more thing to dread.
The primary reason I leave my house as rarely as possible is because I don't enjoy interacting with other people. I don't mind that they exist, you understand, because I appreciate that many of those people make the amenities that make my life more comfortable. But I don't want to have to talk them. And I certainly don't want them to put anything on my vehicle.
That feels... invasive.
So if you want to trade petroleum-based products with other likeminded duckers, be my guest. But please leave me and my Jeep out of your water sports, people.
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Thursday 6 July 2023
Take wildlife crossing signs seriously; moderating your speed gives you more time to react. Stay alert and don't get distracted. If it looks like you're about to hit a deer,
Chad Stewart, "Deer Collisions," AARP Bulletin, June 2023, Volume 64, Number 5, Page 11 (emphasis in original)
Monday 22 May 2023
The NCAAP has now issued a formal travel advisory for the state of Florida, claiming that Florida is "openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals."
When Fox News Digital asked for official comment on this declaration, how did Florida Governor Ron DeSantis's deputy press secretary, Jeremy Redfern, respond?
A. "Governor DeSantis disagrees with any assertation that the government of Florida discriminates against anyone on the basis of race or sex."
B. "As Governor DeSantis announced last week, Florida is seeing record-breaking tourism. This is nothing more than a stunt."
C. "Fuck those n*****s."
*Thankfully, SB 1316 didn't pass the Florida Senate during the 2022-2023 session, or this might have been a very expensive joke.
Saturday 22 April 2023
From this week's Newnan Times-Herald:
The Coweta County Sheriff's Office has been hosting the conference since 1993, offering free training for law enforcement and first responders in areas such as long range precision rifle (above photo) K-9 handling, DUI detection, use of force, State Opioid Adapted Response and the legalities of various aspects of policing.
Personally, I had my fill of "long range precision rifle K-9 handling" the one time I watched Old Yeller.