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Avoiding the ‘glasshole’
- by Bethany Beck

If you ever see someone standing in the corner talking to themselves as they tap and swipe at their head, they are either off their meds or they are the proud owner of a Google Glass unit. In either case it is doubtful they see any problem with the fact that they seem to be a complete weirdo.
For those of you not in the know, Google Glass is a device which has many of the same features as a smartphone, but is worn like glasses placing a small screen over the right eye. It is part of a new technology and fashion trend called “wearable tech” or “wearables” which can include everything from smart jewelry to smart watches.

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Avoiding the ‘glasshole’

- by Bethany Beck

If you ever see someone standing in the corner talking to themselves as they tap and swipe at their head, they are either off their meds or they are the proud owner of a Google Glass unit. In either case it is doubtful they see any problem with the fact that they seem to be a complete weirdo.

For those of you not in the know, Google Glass is a device which has many of the same features as a smartphone, but is worn like glasses placing a small screen over the right eye. It is part of a new technology and fashion trend called “wearable tech” or “wearables” which can include everything from smart jewelry to smart watches.

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Girl Scout cookie boycott and abortion – seriously?

- by Jon Mark Beilue

Nothing much surprises me any more in this poisonous political climate. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t make me shake my head at the latest stupid stunt, but it doesn’t surprise me.

How about this one? The Girl Scouts have been targeted by anti-abortion groups, which have urged a boycott of their famous cookies during the ongoing sales period.

I kid you not.

Late in 2013, the Girl Scouts organization’s official Twitter account cited a Huffington Post article about well-known and influential women of the year. The article named several women, including Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis. Davis’ crime is she is pro-choice.

The Girl Scout also posted a link on its Facebook page to a Washington Post story of seven women “who makde a difference in 2013.” One of the seven was U.S. Secretary of Health Kathleen Sebelius, who has called for mandatory insurance coverage of contraceptives.

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TV’s snake-handling pastor dies from bite

- Jon Mark Beilue

"Snake Salvation," a creepy reality show on the National Geographic channel that ran in 2013, lost one of its co-stars.

Jamie Coots, pastor of the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name Church in Middlesboro, Ky., died Saturday night after he refused treatment from a bite earlier in the day by a rattlesnake.

Coots, 42, is part of what I would call a cult — pockets of religious believers mostly in the hills of Kentucky and Tennessee who take Jesus’ words in Mark 16:17 to literal and dangerous extremes:

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How wrong can wrong be?

- by Jon Mark Beilue

In the case of the Beatles, and their first time to play in the U.S. 50 years ago, I’d say pretty wrong. Spectacularly wrong.

The best rock and roll band of all time debuted on these shores 50 years ago last weekend — Feb. 9, 1964, to be exact — on the Ed Sullivan Show. It was a night that changed music and in many ways changed America.

CBS, the network that carried Sullivan, celebrated the 50 years Sunday night on the anniversary date  with a terrific 2 1/2 hour show that featured Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, the two surviving band members, and many of today’s artists playing iconic Beatles music.

But the Beatles debut 50 years ago was met with an upturned nose by many of the crusty old establishment, who expected these mop-topped lads from Liverpool to go away quickly.

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When push comes to shove: Random thoughts on Pushgate

- by Jon Mark Beilue

As the news cycle spills over onto Michael Sam, the Missouri defensive end who announced Sunday that he was gay, here’s some random  thoughts on Pushgate – Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart’s push of a Texas Tech fan in the last few seconds of Saturday night’s basketball game:

1. There are no winners. Smart looks bad, and Jeff Orr, the Tech fan, looks bad.

2.  As badly as that incident unfolded, Sunday’s action was appropriate. Smart was suspended three games, and  in a news conference in Stillwater, apologized to Orr and others, saying his “emotions got the best of me” and “I take full responsibility.” Orr too apologized to Smart, OSU, Tech coach Tubby Smith and the Tech basketball team. Both schools took the high road, refusing to blame the other side.

3.  The narrative until Sunday afternoon on ESPN platforms, in particular, was that Orr might have directed a racial slur, and possibly, maybe, could have, thrown in the N word, at Smart. This was fueled by an Oklahoma State broadcast crew reporting Smart told someone that he was called the N word. This would have been about third-hand information.

But Smart never said that Saturday night, and with the opportunity to do so Sunday via Twitter or even in the news conference, did not accuse Orr of that. Had he heard Orr say that, you have to think he would not have remained silent.

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Out of the Beilue: Feb. 5

Great news: Out of the Beilue trivia is back! This week’s question: In Jon Mark’s opinion, where and when was the Beatles’ most famous U.S. concert?

Be sure to watch the end of the video to find out the answer, then email it to newmedia@amarillo.com by noon Wednesday to be entered in the drawing for a prize from Suddenlink! Only emailed answers will count, not ones posted on amarillo.com or Facebook.

You can find every episode of Out of the Beilue, plus his latest blog posts and columns, at http://amarillo.com/JMB

One unlucky — and then very lucky — girl

- by Jon Mark Beilue

Makenzie Wethington damaged her liver, broke her pelvis and lumbar spine in her lower back, broke a shoulder blade, several ribs and has a broken teeth.

And she is still one fortunate 16-year-old.

That’s because Wethington plummeted more than 3,000 feet to the ground Saturday in an accident at a  skydiving school in Chickasha, Okla.

Not only did she survive a fall of more than a half mile, but the OU Medical Center where she is being treated lists her in good condition and she is expected to leave the intensive care unit soon.

"If she truly fell 3,000 feet, I have no idea how she survived," Dr. Jeffrey Bender, a trauma surgeon, told the Associated Press at a Tuesday news conference.

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Dove’s ‘Selfie’ campaign hits home

- by Stephanie Williams

Dove is all about redefining beauty. From showing how celebrities are photoshopped to having artist’s sketch descriptions of woman, the beauty brand is always looking for a way to show women that no matter what the world says, they are beautiful.

The company’s newest endeavor is a 7-minute short film called Selfie that follows teenagers and their mothers who take self-images that highlight insecurities about the way they look.

During interviews, the teens admit that they find insecurities in themselves because they see or hear their mothers talking about their own. But as the video progresses you see both mothers and daughters overcome those insecurities and discover that what they don’t like is what others see as unique and beautiful.  

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Kids snort Smarties and become infested with maggots

-by Stephanie Williams

If it wasn’t bad enough that kids are going “Breaking Bad” on their school lunch treats, then perhaps the aftermath will make them turn their noses.

According to CBS, Daily Mail and other news sites, parents in Rhode Island have been warned that their children could suffer nasal maggots, internal bleeding and lung infections if they continue crushing and snorting Smarties candies.

The downward spiral of candy abuse is not a new trend. A quick search of YouTube revealed hundreds of clips where kids are seen crushing the beloved round candies into powder before sniffing them.   

Smarties — made up of dextrose, citric acid, calcium stearate, flavoring and coloring agents — do not provide any high.  The sugary ingredients are what lure the maggots.  Flies, attracted by the rotting candy trapped inside the nose,  lay larvae eggs inside the nose.

Symptoms of nasal maggots are sneezing and a gooey discharge that can lead to mucus emanating from the patient’s eyelids. In the worst cases the maggots can lead to septicemia and serious infection.

Other symptoms include infections, cough, wheezing, and respiratory arrest, scarring of the nasal cavity and allergic reactions. 

I guess the treats my teachers once gave out as a reward for being smart can cause serious problems for students dumb enough to fall for this trend.

Not a straightjacket, a ‘Joy Jacket’

- by Karen Smtih Welch

Cadbury has gone a little Willie Wonka on us.

The company hired tech creators to fashion a Cadbury Joy Jacket, an interactive trenchcoat made to show what we feel when eating chocolate.

The coat lights up, launches inflatables and even blows confetti when a sensor senses chocolate.

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Japanese World War II soldier, in jungle for 30 years, dies

- by Jon Mark Beilue

He’s not the last Japanese soldier from World War II to die, but Hiroo Onoda may be the most enduring.

The Japanese surrender to end World War II was in August 1945.  But Onoda, an Army Intelligence officer, remained hidden until he was talked into coming out of hiding in a Philippines jungle in 1974.

There were stories about Japanese soldiers who for several years remained hidden in the South Pacific, believing the war was still going on and that surrendering was cowardice. But none rivaled Onoda, who died Thursday in  Tokyo hospital from heart failure. He was 91.

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Meanwhile, down in Austin

- by Jon Mark Beilue

Florida State’s pulsating 34-31 win over Auburn in the BCS national championship game Monday night ended the Southeastern Conference’s streak of national champions at eight.

Until Monday night, the last champion that wasn’t from the SEC was Texas, which edged USC, 41-38, on a Vince Young fourth-down run in the final seconds at this same Rose Bowl in January 2006.

That seems like a lot longer than eight years ago — certainly it does in Austin. The Longhorns, who would return to the title game in 2009, fell from their dominant ways over the last four years. Mack Brown, who restored Texas football, saw the program fall to a 30-21 record since 2010 and he was forced out last month.

On the same day that the national champion was crowned, Louisville’s Charlie Strong was formally introduced as Texas’ new coach. His charge is simple — to get Texas back again, to get the Longhorns into the new college football playoff, to contend for national titles. It’s Texas, why shouldn’t it be?

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If you thought you had a bad weekend

- by Jon Mark Beilue

Poor Southern Illinois University basketball team. The Salukis, alma mater of Globe-News staffers Jim Lexa, Jim McBride and Jacob Mayer, are making headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Last month, SIU coach Barry Hinson went on a colorful and entertaining rant that went viral following a dismal loss to Murray State. The diatribe went national because it was so different and pointed.

Then came Sunday afternoon after SIU lost to Northern Illinois by 18 points to fall to 4-11. The Salukis boarded the team bus for the four-hour drive from Normal to home in Carbondale.

Except they didn’t make it. In a season gone wrong, it really went off the road for the Salukis.

Blinding snow from a Midwest storm caused the bus driver to pull off to the side of Interstate 57, where the bus became stuck in accumulating snow  and was unable to continue.

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Want to keep tabs on Santa? NORAD can help

- by Jim McBride

Wanting to keep track of Santa as he zooms across the globe giving presents to all the good girls and boys?

The North American Aerospace Defense Command has a link http://www.noradsanta.org/ that will help.

According to government records, the program began in 1955 when a Sears Department store placed an ad in a Colorado Springs newspaper that told children they could call Santa and included a wrong telephone number. Callers instead ended up reaching the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) Center. Col. Harry Shoup, who was on duty that night, told his staff to give all children who called in a “current location” for Santa Claus. A tradition began and has continued since NORAD replaced CONAD in 1958.

 http://www.noradsanta.org/

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