Archives for the month of: January, 2013

Men are from Mars and women are from Venus, but teenage daughters are from somewhere beyond anyplace the Hubble telescope has managed to pick up yet. Communicating with a teenage girl requires an interpreter, a lot of patience, and I would say common sense but sometimes that even fails to penetrate the atmosphere around your teen daughter. Okay, maybe not yours, but definitely mine. I’ve searched high and low for the right things to say to mine, but in the end I’ve only managed to find out what not to say which has proved equally valuable.

Rule number one is to never use the word forbid! This gets their brain firing like a feline needing a catnip fix. This is a challenge, you’re throwing down the gauntlet. I was once said “I forbid you to get a nose ring.” Now in all fairness my little precious did not come home with a nose ring. She came home with a belly button ring, a tongue stud, and some piece of metal that kept staring at me from the eyebrow area on the right side of her face. She put up a good defense citing she did just as I said and avoided the hole nose ring thing. Being right was little consolation when she was sitting in her room for a month after school though.

Never ever under any circumstances use the words “around” or “about” when discussing time. You have to be specific! I once said be in by around ten. That is not specific. What I should have said was “be in by ten p.m. on the night of 12/09/2007” because that is concrete. What I originally said using the word around ten somehow makes it’s way through the auditory system of a teenage girl as maybe eleven or twelve, or even the tenth day of the month. Ten p.m. is generally “around” that time in the grand scheme of things. Who knows? You have to remember putting information in their mind is like programming a computer, if it is not literal it is open to a huge world of interpretation and fills in the blanks with the most personally pleasing data.

Never ever tell them about the things you did when you were their age, unless of course it’s something like getting a job and saving money for college, or perhaps volunteering with the sick and elderly. Somehow a teenage girl is wired to store every single thing you have ever said and throw it right back at you the exact second you try to punish them for doing the same thing. They will use it against you in the snippiest most snide way possible so you walk away from the exchange looking like the evil unjust hypocrite and they look like poor persecuted Snow White. Even worse than that it’s possible they will attempt the things you did and try to pawn off their shenanigans as some sort of alternate universe form of bonding. It’s not uncommon to hear things in this scenario like “but mom, I was just trying to be like you were when you were my age.” Don’t fall for it!

Never tell them what kind of boy, or girl depending on their preference, to date. No matter what you say they will go directly against it. That is unless of course you tell them to go for the bad boy. Never say “date the kid with a charge for grand theft auto and a snake tattooed on his forehead” because they will do it! Even if they don’t want to they will do it to spite you and prove their point. What that point is I’m not even clear on and I did that to my parents as a teen! In fact don’t even talk to them about dating, just let them figure it out on their own and when the are hopelessly lost they will come to you and maybe consider listening to your advice. Of course whatever you say will be wrong and they will blame you for their dateless dilemma so it doesn’t really matter anyway.

Don’t tell your teenage daughter anything you wouldn’t want used against you in a court of law or blabbed about to the public in general. Teenage girls gossip and yours is no different. It used to take a whole night and hours on the phone to spread a juicy morsel, now it reaches the world in audio, text, and sometimes video in a matter of seconds thanks to cell phones and computers. Remember what you said to your spouse about your neighbor Marjorie and what she did with the UPS man when her husband was at work? Your daughter sure will and that is why before you yourself gossip in the home you need to go down to the Bat Cave and enter the cone of silence. Anything you say in the house, no matter how quietly you whisper, your teen daughters bionic hearing will pick up and instantly disseminate.

It is easy to go on and on for days about all the things to never say to your teenage daughter but if you stick to the above major no-no’s you should be okay for the most part. Most important is if the conversation ever turns to sex…fake a heart attack. Yes it’s cruel and extreme but sometimes it’s worth it.


More and more people are not only looking for great new vacation ideas, they are looking for those ideas to be economical as well. While the major vacation destinations spend their money trying to attract more visitors so they can keep their prices up, there are plenty of out of the way destinations that are more than reasonable to visit, one of them being Tybee Island Georgia. Tybee Island may not be for everyone, but by the end of this article you may decide it is the right place for you.

Tybee Island is one of those areas that always seemed to be forgotten due to accessibility issues in the old days.Originally you could only get there by train, but eventually they road arrived and things seemed like they would change. That wound up not being the case necessarily as as Tybee Island still remained a quiet little corner of the world for the most part.There failure to become a bustling town now becomes a great success as they are quietly one of the most relaxing vacation getaways that few people have ever heard of. Best of all they have several great rentals that provide a great bang for your buck.

The Luscious Little Cottage as it is known is advertised as 99 1/2 steps to the beach and stands out because it is painted a vibrant pink. It is available for weekly rentals year round at a rate of $1,500. While that may not sound cheap to you, compare how much a house on the beach goes for in most places and you won’t get a much better deal. Wile it was built in the 1920’s, it comes with a fully equipped kitchen, outdoor however to rinse the beach sand and salt off, central air conditioning and heat, an outdoor grill, high speed internet, WiFi, satellite TV, and a VCR. There is a maximum of 5 guests (One bedroom, one bath, a daybed, and a detached outdoor bedroom with two single beds), and smoking in the house and pets are not allowed.To check on current rates or book a week they may be contacted at 877-524-9819. The property is located on 9 Lovell Avenue.

About three blocks from the ocean is The Little Beach Cottage located on the south end of Tybee. The cottage sleeps six with two master bedrooms and two baths. It isn’t quite the Luscious Little Cottage, but it has its own charm. The problem with this rental is the price fluctuations which run from about $1,100/week to over $2,100 per week depending on the season and proximity to a holiday. Information and rental reservations can be made by calling 800-786-5889 or

a popular place to stay in large part based on its price of $1,050 per week. The Shrimp Cottage is located across from Memorial Park and was built in the 1960’s. It has two bedrooms with 1 1/2 baths, and comfortably sleeps six. For a small family this is the perfect place to be near everything, but still trim a few extra dollars off the bill.

For a large family or group the Inlet Breeze Cottage which sleeps eleven is near downtown Tybee and two blocks from the beach. It does cost about $1,750 per week, but considering how much it would cost to put up a large group in a hotel for a week this is a steal. In the cottage you’ll find three bedrooms plus an additional area for sleeping if necessary, as well as two large baths, a screened in porch, and a fenced in yard which is great if you have little ones with you. They will also allow pets, although you will have to inquire as to their specifics regarding the indoor/outdoor policy for them. For further information or booking arrangements call 912-313-0784

Finally for a large group around a dozen people that require plenty of privacy and want to be very close to the beach, 10 Twelfth Street is the best option. It does run about $2,500 per week, but it is a huge dwelling. It is a two story house with six bedrooms and four bathrooms. The rates per week do vary so you will want to inquire to them as early as possible. This is a rental you will want to lock up as far in advance as possible to get the best rate due to its demand. For rental information and arrangements call 877-524-9819 or visit

Whatever lodging from this group you choose is sure to a good experience. If you are looking for a quiet getaway with tons of down home charm and a beautiful beach Tybee is one of the best kept secrets on the east coast. Book in advance, double check rates, and don’t be afraid to ask for reduced rates. You may not get them, but in tough economic times with fewer people taking vacations you may be able to arrange a better deal. While in Tybee take advantage of some of the local cuisine as well instead of eating in every night, they restaurant prices are reasonable, and you are on vacation after all!

The FDA usually does a pretty good job of keeping medications that can have side effects worse than what they are treating away from the consuming public. In some cases however, it seems that what the FDA deems acceptable is a little off from what most normal people would define as such. Side effects from medications can be as mild as a headache, a bit more urgency to urinate, or dry mouth. On the wild side they can induce side effects it is amazing anyone would ever want to deal with.

 Take for instance the drug Mirapex which is used to treat Parkinson’s Syndrome and restless leg syndrome. This is a drug that is well known to amnesia in some patients. While the amnesia is almost never permanent, although that has happened, losing snippets of your life does not seem like a great trade-off when compared to having a case of the Jimmy legs. Usually the memory loss is isolated to losing the previous day when it does occur, but still that is pretty harsh.

Dealing with aches and pains are often a reason many people use prescribed medication, but what do you do when the medication is cause? Lipitor and Allegra are a pair of drugs known to do just that. You can take Allegra to stymie an allergy and wind up with a backache that is even worse. Lipitor takes it a step beyond pain and has been cited as causing loss of muscle control and possibly permanent nerve and muscle damage as a lawsuit against its maker Pfizer now alleges.

An assault on your senses would definitely qualify as an undesired side effect. Imagine taking Vasotec to treat your high blood pressure and the next thing you know there is a ringing in your ears, you have lost your sense of smell which takes taste along with it, and you have blurry vision. Usually those who experience side effects on Vasotec do not experience them all at once, but it is a distinct possibility for some users.

While some people see hallucinations as a form of recreation, for most people they are deeply disturbing – especially when unwanted. Mirapex and the drug Lariam which is used to treat malaria are both known to cause hallucinations in some users. In the case of Lariam it got so serious the FDA added prescribing guidelines that required they be screened for depression and psychosis before taking the drug. Scarier than that, Lariam was a staple item of the U.S. Army for soldiers being deployed overseas until around the year 2005 according to most estimates. Trained soldiers with weapons and hallucinations is rarely a good mix.

Xenical, also known as Orlistat or Alli in low doses, does a great job of blocking the absorption of fat by the body to help people lose weight. Another way it helps some users lose weight is by causing fecal incontinence, which is just a pleasant way of saying loss of bowel control. Gas that has an oily discharge is another lovely possible side effect. While the guidelines state that if a low fat diet of less than 15 grams of fat peal is followed there should be no problem, should be no problem is the key phrase. Even following the diet, fecal incontinence is possible, if it is not followed, it is like having urgent explosive diarrhea non-stop.

 Suicidal ideations are definitely a side effect of medications you really do not want to have, yet  Lariam and Chantix  and Paxil have all been linked to users having well defined and documented suicidal ideations. In the case of Chantix, some 400 suicide attempts and 40 successful suicides are linked to the drug. What is really scary is that each drug’s manufacturer admits that suicidal ideations are a possible side effect, although it too an investigation to get that admission regarding Paxil in which documents proving said knowledge was covered up before the drug was approved.

Everyone in the dating world has to set the bar somewhere. Some have such high requirements in what they are looking for in a person they are willing to date it is amazing they ever find someone, while others set the cut off point far too low. There is no true marker for what is too low as each individual usually has a grasp on what type of person is within their grasp. While the following rules may not be universal in all cases, they will help you identify what the minimum requirements are for someone you are willing to date.

Do they have a pulse? This is always a good place to start as it is pretty difficult to have a successful date with someone who is incapable of communicating. While that is facetious as it is presented in the literal sense, you have to consider right away that there are living people who exhibit less outward activity than the dead, or so it seems. You try to initiate conversation, make suggestions for activities, or just get the slightest rise out of them and all they do is stare blankly or offer monosyllabic answers. Therefore having someone that is lively enough to hold up their end of a conversation is a definite minimum requirement.

Do you have at least a couple of overlapping interests that you can share in some way? Efficiently exchanging carbon dioxide really doesn’t count here. Think more along the lines of a shared joy for rollerblading, art, the same genre of movies, sports, or anything you can engage in as a couple. If you have nothing in common you most likely won’t make it to the third date, second if you’re the one paying.

Are your lives heading in similar directions? As cruel as it may sound if your life is on the rise don’t tie an anchor around your neck! This doesn’t mean that a minimum requirement for dating someone is how much money they make, but rather that they are at least making an honest effort to realize their potential. Along the same lines you have to have at a minimum broadly defined common goals. If their great ambition in life is to see Star Wars at the IMAX for the 500th time and yours is to upgrade a software package for the universal exchange of medical records, you probably aren’t the best fit.

You must next consider whether or not you fit in each others own personal worlds. This is really just a nice way of saying are they going to embarrass you socially. The harsh reality is if you aren’t exactly busting at the seams to be seen with someone don’t even bother. You can hide someone away for a little while but eventually you will have to meet each others friends and family. If the prospect of that makes you feel ill then don’t waste each others time. If you aren’t willing to be seen with someone it is likely that even if you somehow wound up in an intimate situation there would be no chemistry. If you cannot have a healthy sex life you have no shot at a healthy relationship. Just move on to the next episode.

Only you know what things you can live with and without in a person you are going to date. These are merely a few red flags to look for that are good indicators you are wasting your time. The choice is always yours to make and sometimes the best couples are the outwardly most unlikely to succeed. The best advice is keep an open mind, have an escape plan at the ready in case a date is particularly bad, and do make sure they do have a pulse both literally and figuratively!

I began writing this in 1985 when I was a lovestruck kid in HS. It never finished. I don’t even know where the initial idea came from anymore (aside from the girl), just that a pair of lines repeated in my head incessantly. I’m no poet, and I’ve never pretended to be, but this is something that never left my head. Over the years, I’ve likely written it down to try to finish no less that 50 times. It never resolved itself.

For some reason, about 4:15am, I woke up and this was back in my head. I’ve barely been able to focus much less stay awake all yesterday with the stomach flu running through me. Maybe it’s the fever, dehydration or sleep deprivation that comes with only half sleeping far too long – like when you feel as though you’re watching yourself from the side somewhere. Maybe it’s a lot of things, or maybe it was just time it put itself together.

I’m not in love with it, but I learned a long time ago if you wake up from a sleep and the words are in your head and you can’t think of a single change – it’s done! Good or bad. It will never get any better than it is at that moment. I don’t think I have another 28 years to wait on it to come out again, so here it is.

I’d normally never share any kind of poetry stuff I’ve written publicly – certainly not unless it was under one of my pen names. This time I figured I would. It’s like finally closing out bits and pieces of many chapters and feeling like I could move on and open up new ones.

I hope it doesn’t suck too much! 🙂

And now I will see if I can fall back asleep . . .


I heard your voice at the end of a tunnel

Garbled and unintelligible

I could feel you slipping away

And then I was jerked awake to realize you were never there

Oh what a painter I must be to create a illusion so real

A dream within a dream

Only to realize it would only ever be a dream

The most important aspect of business is quality, it always has been and always be. While there are many factors that contribute to a successful business none trumps this simple axiom whether it be a product or a service oriented enterprise. lack of quality in any aspect of business whether it be personnel, marketing, location, equipment, or any portion of business is essential. In the final analysis you will see how exactly this is true.


Many people will argue that the most important aspects of business are financing and advertising. I will not say these aren’t important and essential but they certainly are not number one when it comes to a successful business. When deciding to enter any business venture the first thing that is discussed is the product, and if the product is a stinker nothing will make the business venture work successfully. Advertising can spread the word and drive a lot of consumers your way, but if the product is no good, no amount of looks will create sales enough to save a bad idea.

For instance it is not uncommon for a person with a great product and business model to find financing anywhere. Everyone including lending institutions wants to make money and if they feel your idea is good enough they will line up to compete to lend you money. If the product or service is sub-par they will give you the polite denial letter and and often tell you the reason they will not finance the venture is the product. Quite simply people have had great ideas throughout business history and almost no money to invest on their own but gotten financing quite easily based on the strength of the concept for their product as can be seen with very simple items like the Hairagami, extension cord clip, and home hair cut systems. There are literally thousands of products like this people have brought to the market through financing from outside sources based on the strength of the product and succeeded.

There is also a school of thought that believes a strong advertising campaign can take even a bad product and push it until sales take off and make it viable. In the very short term this is sometimes true. New Coke back in the mid 1980’s sold great briefly but was so unpopular the old formula was demanded by consumers. If Coca-Cola can’t sell a bad product with their vast resources, nobody can.

Most of us as consumers have tried something new out on the basis of simply giving it a shot. While these are usually inexpensive things which we feel safe with risking a small amount of money, sometimes they are much larger financial risks. Either way the one truth that comes out of this is if the product is a bomb you aren’t going to be a repeat client and you’re very likely to let others know it stinks as well and steer them away from wasting their money on it. Did you ever hear of anyone giving positive endorsements of the Yugo? Conversely speaking if a product is good word of mouth from satisfied consumers can spread farther, faster, and more effectively than any advertising campaign. Honestly answer this, are you more likely to try something based on a trusted friends recommendation or a coupon or advertisement you randomly happen upon?

Again financing and advertising are important, there is no arguing that. Financing can help weather the turbulent start up time for a business, and advertising increases awareness for the product or service. As important as those aspects are however they simply won’t save a bad product. Business is a marathon, not a sprint, and getting out of the gates fast may be exhilarating, but eventually quality always wins out over hype.

People experience a wide range of emotions when thinking of their first love. For some it is a positive thing that brings a smile to their face and for others it brings feelings of loss or regret. Sometimes it is even a little bit of each. First loves are different for everyone, some swear they experienced their first love very early in life, others in their teens, and yet more say they never really felt true love until they were adults. As such, we all think differently when thoughts of that person re-visit us.

A perfect example points back to many years ago when as a teen I asked my father about his first love after feeling devastated by being ripped away from mine through the cruelty of corporate relocation, not my own mind you, his. He took a deep breath and for the next to last time in my life invited me to hop up on his lap while he related the story of his first love. “She was a beautiful woman” he said, going on to describe so many little things that made her special; how she laughed, how she looked at him, the way he felt inside when he even did so little as just think of her. Imagine my surprise when I realized it wasn’t my mom he was talking about but rather a woman he met in Germany some 35 years earlier at the end of World War II!

He explained how special that first love was, and that even though it hurt to have to leave her behind, that experience was what prepared him for the greatest love of his life which was my mom. Over the years he explained we would likely fall in love with several people and that even though the “trauma” I was feeling leaving behind the girl I thought I was going to be with forever, my first love, may seem like the end of the world it was just the beginning. He even went on to relate how lucky I was to have felt love that felt that strong so young because unlike him, when true love approached again I would be ready to handle it.

I think of Tammy, my first love, often still. Sometimes I get the wild hair to see where life has taken her in the 25 or so years since we last spoke, but I never do. Instead I remember her as the cute little girl with honey blond hair sitting on the roof of a VW micro-bus waving to me as we drove by on our way out of town. I think about the days we passed notes in class, held hands sitting on a blanket watching the 4th of july fireworks, or even the first time I kissed a girl and realized I liked it.

When I think of that first love I think of how much I owe her even today. Were it not for her and the love we shared for each other who knows what life would be like for me now? Would I have been as good a student or athlete as I was because I constantly tried to keep up with her high standards of achievement? Would I have been as willing to accept that sometimes people are different from the majority, and that they are still okay and good people so young life? Would I have learned the lesson that love transcends all boundaries and that nothing should stand in its way, and if it does, you have to climb over it, go around it, or just knock it down and walk over it to get to that love we all deserve? The odds are I would not have learned those lessons or achieved what I have without that first love.

When I think of that first love the feelings are almost always good. Sometimes there is regret that we drifted apart a few years after we moved on. Sometimes I do worry about her and wonder if she remained the same sweet girl she had always been or if life beat her down and made her someone completely different. Mostly though I smile, for that first love was the love of childhood and innocence when it didn’t matter what others thought and there were no expectations or worries, just the moment and the feeling that at least for us the world was perfect.

While there are actually numerous ways to get an idea of what clouds are harbingers of good or bad weather, some reliable, some little more than old wives tales, it takes very little to acquaint yourself with techniques to pick bad weather clouds very quickly and easily. It would be a stretch to say you can read this article once and immediately identify every bad weather cloud which passes within your line of vision, but picking half of them out within a few days is reasonable. Over the course of a good active weather month you can increase that percentage even more until you appear to be a wizened old sage at the game.

While it is true some people have bodies which are sensitive enough to pick up on slight changes to the electromagnetic charge in the air created by impending bad weather, not all can. Color is an indicator as well but can’t be wholly relied upon since some bad weather clouds come dressed as good weather clouds as clouds constantly evolve and devolve into various forms at each of the three heights; low, middle, and high, it takes a keen eye to watch for changes. There are however some very easy tips to watch for to pick out the most basic bad weather clouds with little effort.

The first cloud to watch for is often called a cauliflower cloud (Cumulus congestus) because the tops of it simply look like a head of cauliflower. To help further identify this, or any cumulus cloud for that fact, hold your arm out straight and make a fist. If your fist blots out at least 85% of the cloud it is cumuliform. Move your fist down slightly so you just see the top, if it looks like cauliflower you can expect moderate to heavy rain showers.

Staying in the low clouds we move to cumulus clouds of vertical development commonly known as cumulonimbus. There are too types of cumulonimbus clouds to be aware of which are the two varieties of low cloud nine. By first employing the “fist technique” described above you can insure you are dealing with a cumuliform cloud. Next look at the base cloud. While each variety will have what appear to be hanging sacks at the base of the cloud, cumulonimbus mammatas will further develop an anvil top. The anvil top is immediately noticeable and associated with the most severe types of weather: rain, hail, snow, lightning, and most notably tornadoes.

Nimbostratus clouds also belong to the low cloud family and you can forget identifying them via the fist technique as these are huge, so much so in fact the tend to blot out the entire sky to the point you can’t even discern the edges. These will appear dark and ragged in formation almost as if patch-worked together. Nimbostratus clouds mean prolonged rain or snow.

In the middle cloud family we have the altocumulus cloud to deal with. Going back to the fist technique, amend it so that this tie you use only your thumb. If your thumb can blot out almost the entire cloud, then you have an altocumulus. For further clarification these clouds reside between 2,000-7,000m vertically. An altocumulus will appear grayish white as if a dirty and clean cotton ball were pressed together. The appearance of this cloud on humid mornings means afternoon thundershowers.

In the high cloud family (5,000-13,000m) we look for cirrostratus clouds which look like long thin white sheets that seem to span the entire sky. Due to the high content of ice crystals in these clouds the sun or moon shining through it will look like it has a halo which is an easy way to pick these out. If you hold your hand up at an arms length the halo will be about the width of your hand. The presence of cirrostratus clouds indicate rain or snow of varying intensity within 12-24 hours, particularly if there is a large amount of middle cloud activity.

The final cloud we look for in the high cloud family is the cirrocumulus. These look like long rows of cotton balls lined up side to side, or more accurately like fish scales, hence the name mackrel sky. While that is easily identifiable, if you have any confusion hold your arm out straight and this time measure the width of a “scale” against the tip of your pinkie finger. If it is about that size you undoubtedly have a cirrocumulus cloud. While cirrocumulus clouds don’t actually bring bad weather, they are a sure sign of colder weather.

With these few tips of what to look for in the sky you should be able to pick out the most important bad weather clouds with relative ease. Take a look at the sky a little each day, practice identifying each cloud types particular signatures, and in no time you will have it down pat.


USAF/USN/USMC Weather Observers Manual, Block 1 Instruction

Trying to truly understand what the world’s rarest animals are has proved to be a challenging task. Scientists themselves cannot even seem to agree on the answer to this, There are many logical arguments made for why any particularly animal is in fact the rarest, some come with strong proof, others with a hint of speculation. Either way there appears to be no definitive answer. With that said, the following are generally regarded as the world’s rarest animals.

If reports are true, Thylacine, more commonly known as a Tasmanian tiger, was spotted within the last three years on several occasions. The problem is that Thylacine is officially extinct and no photographic evidence has been provided to back up these sightings. From 1934 to 1980 over 320 sightings were investigated with half having been deemed to hold enough merit to be considered authentic. Tracks found in and around their old habitat have been confirmed to be at least “highly possible” they belong to Thylacine as recently as 2007. If these reports are true and Thylacine does still exist in the wild it is believed this may be the world’s rarest animal.

The Tamaraw (Dwarf Water Buffalo) is found on Mindoro Island in the Philippines with 2002 numbers estimating as few as 30 were possibly left in existence. Some estimates claimed there may be somewhere near 200 at that time. Either way what is known is fewer are remaining now than then and they simply appear to have stopped reproducing and are still being hunted although recognized as an endangered species.

The Hispid Hare better known as the “Bristly Rabbit” is indigenous to the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains. It has been estimated that 110 of these creatures are still in existence, but with their natural habitat being radically changed and the inability to get them to breed in captivity with enough success to keep the species alive, the numbers are rapidly dwindling. Some conservationists estimate that 110 is a rather generous estimate of how many Hispid hares are alive, and none have definitively been documented in the wild since 1966.

The Javan Rhino has been reduced to about 60 creatures after being hunted to near extinction for its horn. It is now known to only exist in two locations, one being in Indonesia and the other in Vietnam. It was long believed its horn had medicinal powers and was also a favorite target of big game hunters. Now their biggest enemy is their remaining habitats being encroached upon and polluting as well as inbreeding.

Bajji (Yangtze River Dolphin) is believed to be functionally extinct which means most scientists and conservationist believe a few may still exist but they have not been spotted in so long that the odds are considered slim. The reason for its extinction has been placed at the feet of China for disregarding the Bajji’s natural habitat in their fevered race for economic development. Much like the Thylacine, some report having seen the Bajji, but no definitive evidence has been proved it is still alive.

Until recently, the rarest animal on Earth which almost nobody seems to argue, was the Pinta Island Tortoise known as Lonesome George. He was often called this as the only such example of his kind spotted since 1971 at which time the species was considered extinct. With no mate it is likely no other Pinta Island Tortoise will be seen when he passes on.

It is important to keep in mind that this listing of the rarest animals in the world is partly speculative. In some cases animals are listed as extinct but sightings of them have been made that reputable researchers feel the possibility of undiscovered survivors is possible. In other cases the number of survivors within a certain species are estimates at best as they can only gauge them on how many are in captivity because so few or none have been seen in the wild for many years. No matter what the numbers say, it is a shame that this happens, but it is a part of the

Tommy John surgery is a surgical procedure which is used to repair the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL). The ulnar collateral ligament is located on the inside of the elbow joint which is why the procedure is most commonly associated to athletes, particularly baseball pitchers. The procedure is known as Tommy John surgery because he was the first professional pitcher to undergo the procedure in 1974 while a member of the LA Dodgers that came back to successfully resume his career.

Over the years since Tommy John had his surgery performed by Dr. Frank Jobe whom developed it, the procedure has advanced significantly to the point that some feel pitchers who have had the operation come back better than before. After surgery, John went on to pitch another 14 years until he was 46. He often joked that he may be in his 40’s, but his arm was just a kid. Aside from Tommy John, there have been many big name athletes that had the surgery like Eric Gagne, Rick Ankiel, Erik Bedard, Mariano Rivera, Tim Hudson, John Smoltz, and now Stephen Strasburg can be added to the list as well.

The reason the UCL is often damaged is because it is susceptible to heavier than normal wear and tear through repetitive stressful motion. The UCL can be stretched, frayed, or under the worst of circumstances torn. The UCL along with the lateral collateral ligament connect the ulna and humerus which is what provides the elbow with stability. If it fails to heal correctly, then the elbow will remain unstable, and left to heal on it’s own naturally, it never seems to repair itself to be capable of providing the stability it once did which is why surgery is often performed.

The procedure itself is performed by first harvesting a ligament to replace the UCL. The next step is  removing things like bone spurs in the elbow, although this step is not necessary in all cases. Going through the medial side of the elbow joint, which is the side near the body, the UCL which is damaged is removed and replaced with the harvested tendon.

The major changes in the procedure performed today as opposed to when Dr. Jobe began is that the ulnar nerve is only re-routed if the patient was displaying symptoms of ulnar nerve damage prior to the procedure, and that the flexor muscles are split and retracted rather than detached to provide access. Despite the advances, there is still always the risk of infection or nerve damage, and the replacement itself does not guarantee that the elbow will be more stable than prior to the surgery. About one half of those undergoing the surgery experience a 5 to 10 degree loss of elbow extension which means they cannot fully straighten their arm. The recovery time is usually pegged at 12-18 months depending on the progress made rehabilitating the elbow after surgery.