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ODU in the News

Week of 5/19/14

DAMAGE CONTROL Feds to do pilot study in Hampton Roads on sea level rise
(Inside Business, May 16, 2014)

We have the attention of the White House.
Thanks to the president's executive order on climate change last November and grassroots efforts locally to address sea level rise, the federal government has decided to do a pilot study in Hampton Roads to monitor the changing water levels, determine how it will impact our Navy bases and waterfront communities, and find ways to adapt. Old Dominion University and the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission are leading the charge.
"The challenges of the bases and the way the community has come together down here the last couple of years is resonating in D.C.," said Ray Toll, ODU Navy National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration liaison. "The feds said let's do a pilot in Hampton Roads, there's interest and coordination there."
The study kicks off June 3 and 4 with "Tech Surge: Technical Support for Coastal Resiliency," a free two-day conference put on in partnership by ODU and the Marine Technology Society Hampton Roads Section. The event, which will be held in the ODU Ted Constant Center Blue Room, will focus on integrating federal and non-federal technologies and data systems.
"The Pentagon said the Navy doesn't want to do this [study] independently," Toll said. "The White House is asking for a whole-of-government approach," which calls for integrated government agency participation to ensure national security. Obama coined the term in 2010.
ODU was chosen, Toll said, because it has the intellectual capital and ability to easily work across the different echelons of government. HRPDC was asked to be included because it's a state organization that covers 16 localities in the region and in March formed a committee on recurrent flooding and sea level rise at the request of Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms. The group hopes to hold its first meeting next month. (More)

How much weight will a Newport News rapper's lyrics carry in his double murder case?
(The Daily Press, May 16, 2014)

Some say song lyrics are merely a form of expression based on imagination instead of experience. Some argue lyrics are about a life lived put to music.
The lyrics of a local rapper have been taken literally by police and landed him behind bars - charged with killing two men.
Antwain Steward, 22, is charged with killing Brian Dean, 20, and Christopher Horton, 16, on May 10, 2007. The men were shot while standing near 23rd Street and Orcutt Avenue. Steward's jury trial is expected to begin Tuesday before Newport News Circuit Judge Timothy S. Fisher.
Police across the country have used rap lyrics as evidence against defendants. But how much weight those words hold on the road to a conviction varies. Some experts in the criminal justice world say they shouldn't be dismissed, and can be a reflection of the character of the defendant. Others see them as simply art and not a strong enough piece of evidence to prove guilt.
"I think it's important to understand that these things are subjective and open to interpretation," said Travis Linnemann, a criminology professor at Old Dominion University. "We don't know what they mean and we should proceed with caution. I would think the standard forensic evidence would be better evidence during a trial of this importance than song lyrics."
Steward is charged with two counts of murder, malicious wounding and firearms charges. The two victims were standing outside Horton's home when they were gunned down at 1:15 p.m. Steward was 16 at the time of the homicides. Steward, a father of three, was charged with the homicides last summer after police say they learned that one of his rap songs, "Ride Out," referenced the double homicide. Steward goes by the rap name Twain Gotti. (More)

Arena infrastructure costs could exceed $100M, but actual figure won't be determined for sure until July
(Inside Business, May 16, 2014)

Now that Virginia Beach city officials have decided to pursue talks for a privately financed and owned arena, attention turns to infrastructure costs.
In closed session May 13, council gave city staff an unofficial green light to negotiate a term sheet for an 18,000-seat arena with United States Management, a conglomerate of firms led by Virginia Beach-based The ESG Cos. USM beat out a group led by Newport News-based W.M. Jordan Co. Inc. An official vote is expected at the next council meeting on May 27.
While USM would pick up the tab for the $200 million arena up front, its proposal calls for the city to pay for surrounding infrastructure improvements, which include a parking garage, alterations to Birdneck Road near Interstate 264, lighting, security cameras and more. ...
Michael Shapiro, an assistant professor of sports management at Old Dominion University, said arenas are rarely developed without public financing. He said if Virginia Beach proceeds with USM's plan, it stands to reap the economic benefits without the heavy investment common in deals across the country.
"You might have a little more strength in the negotiation if you're a partner from a financial perspective," he said about the city. "So I think that will be a little different. But I think most of the economic development benefits will be seen either way. So from the city's perspective, I think there's a significant benefit to having private investment and still reap the rewards of having an arena." (More)

Norfolk students among those recognized in Holocaust art, writing competition
(The Virginian-Pilot, May 18, 2014)

Werner Reich is a Holocaust survivor.
At age 17, he and 88 others were selected from a group of 6,000 Birkenau prisoners and turned over to the notorious Nazi doctor Josef Mengele for medical experimentation.
He considers himself one of the lucky ones. He lived.
The remaining 5,011 prisoners were gassed. Of the 89 chosen by Mengele, less than half survived the war.
Reich recently shared his story of survival and triumph during Yom Hashoah, an evening of prayer and remembrance for victims of the Holocaust, hosted by the Holocaust Commission of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. ...
Students placing first received cash prizes of $175; second place earned $125; third place $75. Winning student artwork will be displayed in the atrium of Old Dominion University's Virginia Beach Center beginning Monday through June 6.
The Holocaust Commission has been sponsoring the local writing competition since 1998. Visual arts were added in 2002, and multimedia was incorporated in 2009. The competition is underwritten by the Simon Family Foundation and TowneBank. (More)

Jobless Rates Related to Risk of Obesity During Great Recession
(NBC10-TV (Philadelphia), May 18, 2014)

The Great Recession and unemployment didn't just slim down wallets - they also expanded waistlines, according to a new study.
Along with researchers from Texas A&M and SUNY-Buffalo, Old Dominion University economist Harry Zhang evaluated national obesity data for every county in the U.S. before, during and after the recession. They found that areas with higher unemployment rates also had higher obesity rates, and that the relationship was much more pronounced during the height of the recession in 2008-2009. ...
Workers did not have to be laid off for their weight to be affected, Zhang said.
"In a high unemployment region, employed individuals are also more likely to be obese," he said. Those most affected were the employed workers in areas with high unemployment.
Looking at data from 2007 to 2011, the study noted a drop-off in the significance of the relationship as the economy recovered. "We found that the relationship between employment and the obesity risk was significantly reduced after the recession," said Zhang. (More)

C-USA tournament expected to boost business
(Hattiesburg (Miss.) American, May 15, 2014)

The black and gold faithful won't be the only ones filling the stands this week at Pete Taylor Park. Fans from Rice, UAB and Old Dominion, among other Conference USA foes, will be in Hattiesburg to cheer on their teams in the Conference USA baseball tournament.
And their presence means a big win for the area's economy. ...
With representatives from seven baseball teams needing a place to lay their heads, hotels around Hattiesburg are all hands on deck.
Hilton Garden Inn is preparing for the arrival of Old Dominion University, which has booked about 35 of the hotel's 90 rooms.
"It's definitely going to be a sell-out week for our hotel," sales director Sandra Foster said. "We've got the team staying with us and also some conference staff people, so that's a huge impact on the city. We got requests from other ball teams, but we were unable to house them because we've got such regular clientele that come in every week, so there's going to be an abundance of demand on other hotels, too." (More)

Bertie to Bertie
(Roanoke/Chowan (N.C.) News-Herald, May 18, 2014)

They are senior retirees, mostly former educators, who could be spending most of their time doting on grandchildren, tending their flower or vegetable gardens, knitting and crocheting, working for their church, or traveling around the country.
While they still take the time for all those, the members of Bertie County's Club Starlite decided in 2013 to pool their resources and sponsor the Bertie High School boy's basketball team and send them to a team camp held in Norfolk, VA at Old Dominion University. ...
And the connection expands from there. One of their members - not yet retired - Glynis Bazemore, provided one Bertie player with a free trip to see her son, pro basketball player Kent Bazemore, play against the Bobcats in Charlotte at Time-Warner Arena in an NBA game last winter. Kent Bazemore played both at Bertie High and for ODU.
The club was first organized in 1962, and they have sponsored various charity and fund-raising events over the years. Sending 10 kids to basketball camp was a new venture.
"We just do things for the community," said club member Connie Richardson. "What we're trying to do is positive things to uplift our young people. We also give scholarships to high school graduates." ...
Now that Bazemore - currently living in California and playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, but last fall a member of the Golden State Warriors of Oakland - has left the college environment, his mother, Glynis, wanted to do something for his former high school team. Thus, she sponsored one player, Calen Mitchell, to see Kent and his team in a pro game when the team came east. Mitchell and his mother attended a game last December. (More)

Preparing for rising floodwaters was a top goal in $24 million renovation of Chrysler Museum
(Inside Business, May 15, 2014)

At the front of the Chrysler Museum of Art sits a statue called "The Torchbearers" that depicts an exhausted man on the ground passing a torch to a man on horseback who appears able and ready to grasp it.
While he may not be wearied, Executive Director Bill Hennessey is getting ready to pass a figurative torch to his successor after he retires in October. It's a relay that's been going on since the museum opened 81 years ago, but one that may be threatened by a nearby Elizabeth River inlet called The Hague.
Flooding has grown worse at The Hague, according to anecdotes and locally compiled data, and if water ever reaches the statue's flame, the main floor of the museum will be well under water.
"From 1933 until roughly 2008, we had no flooding at all," Hennessey said about the museum's basement, which is now closed off. "Then from 2008 to 2010, it flooded three times. So the problem is clearly getting worse."
Scientists across the region said the combination of sinking lands and rising seas in Hampton Roads increases the severity of flooding in the area, and the Chrysler Museum has taken notice. But officials at the museum didn't need to hear it from scientists. The Hague is about 50 feet away from the statue and less than 200 feet away from the museum's granite doorsteps, and officials know firsthand about sandbagging and having parking lot entrances and exits blocked by flooded streets.
Hennessey, who's been at the helm for 17 years, said he's glad to say floodwaters have never reached the main floor of the building, and that danger doesn't appear imminent. But the museum isn't interested in any unpleasant surprises, and preparing for rising waters has been one of the top objectives in the recently completed $24 million renovation.
The Hague is a crescent-shaped body of water that provides an aesthetic touch to the surrounding neighborhood but it's also been a source of nuisance. From 1928 to 1982, according to data provided by the Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Initiative at Old Dominion University, the total number of flood hours in the neighborhood hadn't topped 100 hours in any year.
But since 2003, that annual figure hasn't been below 100 hours and it surpassed 200 hours in each of the past five years. In 2009, it topped 300 hours.
"It's increasing," said Larry Atkinson, a co-director of ODU's initiative. "The museum and all those things in that area are just going to have to be prepared for more frequent minor and serious flooding events." (More)

'Exercise snacks' may help control blood sugar
(Reuters/GMA, May 15, 2014)

Short bursts of intense exercise before meals may help control blood sugar spikes better than one longer, less intense session, suggests a new small study.
Researchers say these "exercise snacks" may be an effective way to improve blood sugar control among people with insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes.
Sheri Colberg-Ochs told Reuters Health the study's findings are "interesting . . . but not that surprising."
Colberg-Ochs studies diabetes and exercise at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. She wasn't involved with the new research.
"My main issue with high-intensity intervals like that is that many people with diabetes (not just pre-diabetes, or insulin resistance) really aren't in any physical shape to undertake that type of exercise, and many of them have undiagnosed (or diagnosed) cardiovascular problems that may make such exercise unsafe for them to undertake as well," she said.
It's a risky activity for those patients that doctors would most want to help, Colberg-Ochs said. (More)

Capt. Bill McKinley to assume command of CSCS
(DCMilitary, April 16, 2014)

A formal ceremony at Dahlgren's flag pole next Friday, May 23, will mark a change in leadership for the Center for Surface Combat Systems (CSCS) and celebrate the retirement of the organization's current commanding officer, Capt. Don Schmieley.
Schmieley concludes over 30 years of active-duty military service at his retirement and hands over command of CSCS after having led the organization since April 2012.
Relieving Schmieley will be Capt. Bill McKinley, who recently served as Commanding Officer of the USS San Jacinto (CG 56) where he completed a nine month deployment to the Fifth Fleet Area of Responsibility where he served as Air Defense Commander for USS Harry S. Truman and Nimitz Strike Groups.
McKinley graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science in Naval Architecture. Following Nuclear Power School and Surface Warfare Officers School, McKinley began his first sea duty assignment in USS South Carolina (CGN 37) where he served as the Chemistry and Radiological Controls Assistant and later as the Main Propulsion Assistance from May 1989 to October 1992. During his tour, he deployed in support of Operation Desert Shield.
His next sea duty assignment was as the Operations Officer of USS Arthur W. Radford (DD 968) from September 1995 to September 1997 where he completed a Mediterranean and Counter Drug Operations Deployment. Following this tour, he transferred to USS Enterprise (CVN 65) and served as the Reactor Training Assistant from October 1997 to May 1999 and deployed to the Arabian Gulf in support of Operation Desert Fox. McKinley's next assignment was as JTFEX Battle Group Project Officer for Commander, Second Fleet from May 1999 to October 2000. He then served as the Executive Officer of the USS Gonzalez (DDG 66) from June 2001 to September 2002 where he completed a Mediterranean deployment. ...
Ashore, he served as the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) Instructor at Old Dominion University, Officer-in-Charge of the Propulsion Mobile Training in Norfolk, Va., and Assistant Chief of Staff of the Joint Enabling Capabilities Command in Norfolk, Va. (More)

Sailing coach joins maritime science museum
(Trade Only Today, May 15, 2014)

The maritime science museum Nauticus in Norfolk, Va., hired veteran sailing coach KC Fullmer as director of its Sail Nauticus Community Sailing Center.
The program, which opened in 2013, is a non-profit organization designed to inspire and instruct Hampton Roads, Va., children through sailing and maritime science.
Sail Nauticus offers sailing camps and afterschool programs for middle-schoolers, as well as sailing classes and excursions for adults.
Fullmer was inducted into the Intercollegiate Yacht Racing Association Hall of Fame in 1983 and was the Old Dominion University captain in 1982 and '83.
He coached at Northwestern University for two seasons before returning to Old Dominion to serve as head coach. Fullmer's accomplishments include guiding Old Dominion to five national crowns as a coach, three in 1989 alone. He also coached four sailing All-Americans and the 1989 National Sailor of the Year.
Fullmer replaces Bill Bahen, Sail Nauticus' first director. Bahen is leaving later this month to pursue other professional opportunities. (More)

Zombie Wars | Hunting the undead
(The Virginian-Pilot, May 16, 2014)

Like many fine, post-industrial age ideas, the concept for Zombie Wars was cooked up over a pizza dinner.
"It was around the time the movie 'World War Z' came out, and we wanted to do something interactive to capitalize on the whole zombie craze, so we came up with a set of rules, Hunt Club Farm has a really great forest that they offered to us, and everything just kind of came together after that."
So said Casey Kohler, one of the organizers of the Zombie Wars event that attracted a mob of zombiephiles to Hunt Club Farm, in Virginia Beach, last summer. Some played the part of the slowly decaying, flesh-hungry zombies, others tested their survival abilities among the mob of the faux-dead.
Last year's event proved so popular that Virginia Beach resident Alfredo Torres, who had originally arrived on site with the intent of joining the fray, suddenly found himself being drafted to help keep things on track.
"But they'd already brought me in as a consultant a couple of times when they were getting everything ready, to discuss what would work, zombiewise, as well what's been done at events like this before and how to make this one different," Torres said.
What sort of requirements does one need to qualify as a zombie consultant? Well, Torres wrote his master's thesis for Old Dominion University on the subject.
No, seriously.
"It was on the metaphorical representation of zombies in George Romero films and how it's affected by your level of fandom," Torres said, laughing. "I also do a podcast, 'Torres vs. Zombies,' that's been going on for three years, I helped to organize the Survive Norfolk Zombie Run, and I've also spoken at a bunch of horror cons. So I, uh, have a little bit of knowledge." (More)

"Child Whisperer" is Virginia Beach's top teacher
(The Virginian-Pilot, May 15, 2014)

The Three Oaks Elementary first-graders sat quietly as their teacher read to them. In a big gruffly voice, Mrs. Reinen described how the Giant roared at Jack. The students giggled.
"Could magic beans really grow a magic beanstalk all the way into the air?" Bevin Reinen paused to ask her students.
She continued reading and then stopped again to ask her students to point out more fairy-tale elements, encouraging them to stop and think before answering abruptly.
Reinen's voice never grew loud, it remained level, patient and genuinely interested in what her students had to say.
It was the end of the day and they previously had recess, but still Reinen kept her class focused. Even when a student squirmed during a group assignment, Reinen gently reminded him to help his class.
Recently, the first-grade and special education inclusion educator was honored with the 2015 Citywide Teacher of the Year award. It caught her by surprise.
"There are exceptional educators in every single building across the school district," she said. "So the fact that I was selected is an incredible honor, it's something I'll always cherish." ...
Reinen added that she studied under the instruction of Katharine Kersey at Old Dominion University and uses the positive methods highlighted in Kersey's book, "The 101s: A Guide to Positive Discipline." (More)

Thomas Piketty's big flaw? Capitalism isn't the same the world over
(Opinion, The Big Story, April 23, 2014)

By William Q Judge, Old Dominion University; J Lee Brown III, Fayetteville State University, and Stav Fainshmidt, Florida International University
Everyone is talking about inequality and capitalism nowadays. That's great, but before we all jump on the bandwagon to "fix" capitalism, let's talk about which capitalism(s) we wish to fix and how we intend on doing that.
Thomas Piketty has recently written a timely and provocative analysis of capitalism in the 21st century, using primarily historical data to analyse economic trends in France, Britain, the United States and Sweden. He concludes that, with the possible exception of the period from 1914-1945, capitalism has always been inequitable in its distribution of capital and income within societies.
To "fix" this injustice, Piketty recommends investing in education, skills development, and nonpolluting technologies in order to grow the economy faster; while imposing a progressive global tax on capital through international banking regulation and cross-national cooperation between governments.
While the concentration of wealth at the top of society is a big issue and Piketty is to be commended for his creative data collection efforts and novel insights, his book is incomplete and potentially misleading. There is a better way to think about these issues. ...
William Q. "Bill" Judge is E.V. Williams Chair of Strategic Leadership in ODU's College of Business and Public Administration
(More)

ODU's football APR scores show steady improvement
(The Virginian-Pilot, May 14, 2014)

Old Dominion's football program continues to improve its scores under the Academic Progress Rate, an NCAA system designed to track the graduation rate of all Division I athletes.
The NCAA released APR scores for all Division I sports on Wednesday and ODU's football program had a four-year rolling average of 942. That ranks among the top 40 percent of Division I schools, and is 46 points higher than ODU's initial score of 896 in 2009-2010.
ODU's APR scores have increased dramatically in recent seasons. In 2011-2012, the score rose to 960, 11 points above the Division I average. For 2012-2013 season, it rose to 969, 18 points higher than the Division I average.
ODU officials say the 896 score resulted from the turnover that exists with any new football program. ODU began playing football in 2009. Many players who walked-on to the team without scholarships came and went in that first season.
The APR is a complicated system in which the NCAA cranks out numbers using a formula based on player eligibility and player retention. A score of 930 indicates about a 50 percent graduation rate.
The highest score possible is 1,000 and eight ODU teams - men's basketball, men's and women's golf, men's and women's tennis, women's rowing, women's lacrosse and women's soccer - garnered perfect 1000 scores either in 2012-2013 or in the 4-year rolling average. (More)

Longtime symphony musician Carroll Bailey dies at 91
(The Virginian-Pilot, May 15, 2014)

When Carroll Bailey joined the Norfolk-based orchestra around 1943, while stationed here during World War II, it was a fledgling outfit, and he soon rose to principal trumpeter.
He retired from that same orchestra in 1996 as a double bassist.
Bailey was likely the only musician to span so many eras, and conductors, in the life of what is now known as the Virginia Symphony Orchestra.
The beloved player, teacher and band director died May 8 at 91.
John Lindberg, the symphony's timpanist who retired in 2012 after 46 years, said he could think of no other musician whose association with the symphony reached from the era of conductor Henry Cowles Whitehead, who led the orchestra starting in 1934, to JoAnn Falletta, the current music director.
Lindberg had just started with the symphony, in 1966, when he witnessed Bailey's shift from trumpet to bass, which is rare.
Bailey had occasional trouble playing the trumpet because of an injured lip, and he never knew when his lips would fail him. That happened at a rehearsal led by Russell Stanger, who was the symphony's new conductor.
"All at once, I had absolutely no control whatsoever, and that's a disaster for a principal trumpet," Bailey recalled for an oral history at Old Dominion University recorded in 2007. (More)

Future of Space Medical Devices: Robotics, Cold Plasma and Compact MRI
(Space Safety Magazine, April 23, 2014)

Space Safety Magazine continues the series of articles dedicated to space medicine and astronauts. In the series, we are presenting and exploring topics involving medical emergency management in space, astronaut training, and issues arising from long-duration missions in space. As the first chapter, we presented a profile interview with the physician and retired NASA astronaut Story Musgrave. In the second chapter, we looked at NASA's medical kits through the years. The story continues here with a peek at possible future medical devices for solar system exploration. ...
Cold plasma was revealed to be particularly efficient in killing bacteria. Svetlana Ermolaeva and her research team at the Gamaleya Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow used a cold plasma torch in the lab to combat two common wound infections, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. Although these bacteria are resistant to antibiotics, the cold plasma was able to kill 99% of bacteria in a Petri dish and 90% in rats' wound with the added bonus of an increase in the rate of the wound closure. The results were published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology. ...
In 2005 Mounir Laroussi, professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering at Old Dominion University, invented a 12-centimer-long portable device called a plasma pencil that produces a short plume of non-thermal plasma.
"It's small, portable, and can operate for at least 8 hours at a time," Laroussi described to Nature. "Before this, our devices were large boxes that sat on a table."
Researchers have still to discover the mechanism behind the many applications of cold plasma and the long-term effects; however, it appears to be a fundamental technology for sustainability and safety of space explorations. (More)

Daily Press editor's life as award-winning novelist
(The Daily Press, May 13, 2014)

Felicia Mason of York County lives a dual life. Some people recognize her as one of the faces of the Daily Press Feedback column. She also oversees the Good Life section of the newspaper.
But in her spare time, Mason is a motivational speaker and novelist whose stories explore romance and family relationships across small-town America. For her efforts, she has received national recognition and several writing awards.
According to her profile on publisher site harlequin.com, Mason is "a two-time winner of the Waldenbooks Bestselling Multicultural Title Award, has received awards from Romantic Times, Affaire de Coeur and the Midwest Fiction Writers, and has won the Emma Award in 2001 for her work in the bestselling anthology 'Della's House of Style.' Glamour magazine readers named her first novel, 'For the Love of You,' one of their all-time favorite love stories, and her novel 'Rhapsody' was made into a television film." ...
Writers in Hampton Roads are blessed with a bounty of writers' groups. There are groups for poets, romance writers, mystery writers, general fiction writers, Christian writers and the like, as well as open mic nights all across the region. The multi-day writers' conferences sponsored by Christopher Newport University, Old Dominion University and Hampton Roads Writers are good places to start. In addition to workshops and speakers, you'll meet writers, editors and agents. Local bookstores, the chains and the independents, frequently have or host writers' events. (More)

Arctic Scientist Hits the Field With Wireless Audio
(Government Video, May 12, 2014)

Research scientist and oceanographer Victoria Hill has always been driven by her own curiosity and the possibility of discovery. As a researcher for Old Dominion University in Virginia, this has taken led her to some of the more interesting - and remote - parts of the earth including Barrow, Alaska and the Barneo ice base, which is located at 89 degrees north and 30 degrees west - in immediate proximity of the North Pole. Before leaving for Barneo last April, Hill packed necessities including her ice boots, extreme cold mittens, down booties, many pairs of thermal socks and her Sennheiser ew 112-p G3 wireless system.
Barneo, a floating temporary ice camp run by the Russian Geographical Society, is accessible by helicopter during the month of April and is noted for its harsh and inhospitable conditions - namely high winds and temperatures that routinely fall below -25 degrees Celcius. Hill, who was there to study the effect of sunlight on the arctic and the rapid retreat of sea ice, was mandated to share her research findings with the general public. So she took A/V matters into her own hands and started a video blog, Outreach from the Arctic, which captures the broad scope of her experiences on location.
The resulting video blogs encompass a range of topics that are interesting for a broad range of viewers, including non-scientists. One video discusses her packing and preparation routine, another covers her arrival at Barrow, Alaska - the halfway point. Several of the videos are shot from the ice base itself, deploying scientific measuring instruments into the ice, then processing lab results. All her video blogs feature crisp and accurate sound reproduction thanks to the Sennheiser ew 112-p G3 transmitter, receiver and lavalier system Hill relied on to capture the audio. (More)

Daily News security supervisor who played pro basketball in Europe dies at 59
(New York Daily News, May 13, 2014)

Chris Pickett, a security supervisor at the Daily News who once played professional basketball in Europe and later worked as a correction officer on Rikers Island, has died. He was 59.
Pickett died Sunday at Brooklyn Hospital Center not long after he developed pneumonia, his sister, Lushorn Millsaps, said Monday.
"He was a very caring, loving brother," Millsaps said. "He loved his family and his friends, that's for sure."
Born in Brooklyn, Pickett attended Wyoming Seminary Prep School in Kingston, Pa. He graduated from Mackenzie High School in Detroit.
Standing 6-foot-7, Pickett scored an athletic scholarship to Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., where he was co-captain of the men's basketball team. After graduating in 1978 with a degree in criminal justice, he went to Europe to play in the International Basketball Federation. (More)

The jobless contend with weight gain
(Delaware News Journal/Washington Post, May 13, 2014)

With its blue-collar jobs vaporizing by the day, this once proud city of airplane builders, pipe organ laborers and ice cream makers has been wrestling unsuccessfully with stubborn and still-high unemployment.
Now it's confronting one of the side effects: Soaring obesity.
A subject long ignored by policymakers, and one that unemployment counselors are too sheepish to raise with job seekers, the link between bulging waistlines and joblessness is now of intense interest to researchers studying the long-term effects of the country's economic malaise. ...
"A high unemployment rate is a proxy for many economic and socioeconomic determinants of health," said Harry Zhang, an Old Dominion University health economist who recently published a study on obesity and unemployment. "For people living in areas with high unemployment, everything is messed up. You have poverty. High crime. Low education levels. And people rely on food to comfort themselves, to make them feel better."
Some studies even show that employed people in counties with high unemployment are at greater risk of becoming obese. Fearing job loss, they put in longer hours, meaning more sedentary time at work. (More)

Appeals court hears gay marriage case today
(Richmond Times-Dispatch/Associated Press, May 13, 2014)

Supporters and opponents of Virginia's same-sex marriage ban will be looking to Richmond today, where a federal appeals court will hear oral arguments in Bostic v. Rainey, a landmark case aimed at overturning the 2006 amendment to the state Constitution that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.
In February, a federal judge in Norfolk struck down the ban. Today's hearing is the next step in a legal proceeding that is likely headed to the U.S. Supreme Court this year.
Legal experts say that even if a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upholds the ruling, same-sex couples in Virginia will not be able to marry right away. ...
Norfolk couple Timothy B. Bostic, a professor at Old Dominion University, and Tony C. London, a Navy veteran, filed their complaint in July after the Norfolk Circuit Court clerk denied them a marriage license. Chesterfield County couple Carol Schall and Mary Townley also signed on as plaintiffs. Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia were allowed to join the Bostic case on behalf of a class of all of Virginia's same-sex couples. (More)