Sam Johnson wants us to rethink the way we look at cancer

With sister Connie in the final stages of advanced cancer, actor Samuel Johnson has once again expressed his frustration that there is still no cure for the hideous disease.

And while his latest Instagram post could be considered offensive to some, we’re positive that was not his intention.

Johnson, 39, shared his thoughts on the Love Your Sister social media page today, starting by saying, “If cancer wore a burqa would we have cured it already?”


Image: Instagram @loveyoursister

What we think he meant by that comment is that if cancer were vilified the way those who wear burquas are WRONGLY targeted, if we focused all that energy wasted on mistakenly assuming all Muslims are terrorists, then cancer would probably have been eradicated by now.

His message seeming to be: Stop inventing fake problems and focus on targeting the real ones, like cancer.

The actor writes, “We want all the freedoms and we want them all now. We hate and kill other humans, for freedom from each other.

“For a freedom cancer doesn’t permit.

“75% of us live in real fear of a home-grown terrorist attack, while cancer will detonate and kill 50,000 of us this year. In our own backyard. Not in some province we can’t pronounce, let alone point to on a map.

“Rather than chanting for death, I choose to fight for life. Ideological rant over. xsam”

Followers of the cancer fundraising page have chosen to accept Johnson’s comments in the spirit in which they were intended, with @maso_chick who has experience with breast cancer saying, “Nope .. a burqa hides everything.”

The actor responded, “Cancer cares not of burquas or bikinis…”.

Connie before her final public appearance. Image: Instagram @loveyoursister

@amelie73 also chose to take his comments at face value, saying, “I know of no-one personally that has been killed by terrorism, but have lost two relatives, two colleagues, a dear neighbour, and one sweet young man to cancer.

“My father-in-law lost all his eight siblings to cancer.

“I live every day with the feeling that if I get it, it won’t be a huge shock. Governments please fund our defence against this actual menace, that’s killing thousands of Australian’s each year.

“Help us.”

Sam and Connie promote a fundraising drive. Image: TODAY

Samuel Johnsons’ sister Connie, 40, is dying from an aggressive form of cancer, her third experience with the disease since the age of 12.

Initially diagnosed with bone cancer, she recovered and lead a normal life until being diagnosed with uterine cancer at 22, and then breast and liver cancer at age 33.

Since her most recent cancer battle, brother Sam has dedicated his life to raising money for cancer research, establishing the charity Love Your Sister which has raised $5 million to date.

Last week the devastated actor wrote a love letter to his sister who is suffering through the final stages of the cruel disease, saying, “I wish I could soften your pain, or lessen your fear, or give you something tangible, but tangible clearly isn’t in season.

“I’m proud to walk you to the hardest part of the road. The end. The only part of the road in your life that must sadly be traveled alone.”


Yoga, beer mix at Happy Hour

Yoga, beer mix at Happy Hour

TRAVERSE CITY — Forget about raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens.

A group of enthusiasts have found a different mix of their favorite things at Happy Hour Yoga, held every other Friday under the water tower outside Earthen Ales in the Village at Grand Traverse Commons.

For $10, participants receive an hour of yoga instruction from Kelsea Erickson, followed by a pint of craft beer at Earthen Ales.

Erickson is an Experienced-Registered Yoga Teacher with 500 hours of certified training through the Yoga Alliance in Hatha yoga.

She teaches weekly at the Sleeping Bear Bay Club in Glen Arbor, does private instruction and trained in Rishikesh, India for a total of 12 weeks.

“It’s combining two of my favorite things that are on the totally opposite spectrum,” Erickson said. “I love beer, I love yoga and I love socializing so combining the two and having fun with it is a good thing. In the studio you teach your class and then everybody leaves right after, you don’t get that chance to talk with people.

“Having everybody come in, we do a class, we go have a beer afterwards and we can chit-chat and talk about whatever. It brings a lot more community feel to it.”

Sisters Victoria and Christina Dixon agreed that yoga and beer work well together.

Victoria Dixon has attended both Happy Hour Yoga sessions. The Traverse City woman found out about the June 23 debut class on Facebook.

“Beer and wine are very relaxing and my job is very stressful,” said Victoria Dixon, an operating room nurse at Munson Medical Center. “I like yoga and come to Earthen Ales often.”

“I love both beer and yoga,” added Christina Dixon, who was in town visiting her sister from Las Vegas. “They’re the top two on my favorites list.”

Nan Lewis of Interlochen did a beer and yoga event previously on Old Mission Peninsula held through the Jolly Pumpkin. She was at Happy Hour Yoga with her truck driver husband, Larry, who had the week off.

“It’s just something new to try and I have the opportunity to do it with my husband, something I didn’t have the opportunity to do before,” she said.

Andrew Kidwell-Bix, who co-owns Earthen Ales with his wife, Jamie, said Erickson had the idea for Happy Hour Yoga. It didn’t take much to sell them on the concept.

“She was just in, having a beer, talking about yoga and ways to unwind at the end of the week,” Andrew Kidwell-Bix said. “To me, there’s no better way to end the week with yoga and then sitting down and having a beer.”

The first Earthen Ales Happy Hour Yoga drew seven participants. The next drew four, faced with competition from the National Cherry Festival. Sessions will continue every other Friday outside Earthen Ales, with the next one scheduled from 5-6 p.m. on July 19. No advance registration is required.

“If we can get more people out more often, I’m always happy to use the sunshine in the summertime,” Erickson said. “There’s only so much time you can spend in Michigan doing outdoor yoga stuff. We want to get as much as we can in here.”

Participants are asked to bring a yoga mat or towel and “your thirsty self.” New Happy Hour Yoga participants have to sign a waiver, pay Erickson the fee and receive a “Na’ Ma Stay and Drink a Beer” voucher for a pint of their choice.

There are some in the fitness community that believe that beer after a strenuous workout is a good way to recover quickly.

“Beer definitely has a lot of good nutrients for you,” Erickson said. “I got done having a kid seven months ago and they said one of the best things for me to do for my milk production was to drink beer, which was very odd to me. So I looked into that a little bit. The yeast is really good for you and honestly, I feel better if I’ve earned drinking my beer.”

“If I feel like I did something first, I don’t feel quite so bad about drinking a beer later on.”


N.C. cancer patients’ lives are at stake if Senate doesn’t act this week

Image result for N.C. cancer patients’ lives are at stake if Senate doesn’t act this week

Cancer patients increasingly take pills for their treatment rather than injections. But insurance rules make them far more expensive. Diedra Laird 2015 file photo

A cancer diagnosis is one of the most disrupting and frightening experiences a person can go through. I know because it happened to me just last year.

I live with two forms of blood cancer – myelodysplastic syndrome and myelofibrosis. I am also one of the fortunate ones. Ongoing treatment has so far been successful in keeping the cancer in check, but I live with the reality that my body will stop responding so positively and I will need a new treatment game plan.

And unless the North Carolina Senate acts this week on legislation bringing fairness to cancer health coverage, I will also continue living with the reality that I might not be able to afford the next treatment I need, even though I have health insurance.


Student Graduates in Dying Mom’s Hospital Room

For many years, intravenous (IV) delivery was the primary method for administering the medicines used to treat cancer, but these days, many of the frontline cancer treatments are in pill form – used in conjunction with injectable or IV therapies, or even in place of them.

In fact, well over one-third of the anti-cancer medications approved by the Food & Drug Administration over the last two years are in pill form. For many cancers, the most effective and appropriate form of treatment comes in a pill, and for some cancers, such as chronic myeloid leukemia, an oral therapy is the only available treatment option.

Despite the need for oral anti-cancer medications, some health plans in North Carolina require patients to pay a large sum for them, often in the thousands of dollars, as opposed to the more reasonable fixed copay charge for IV treatments. The high costs make it difficult and often impossible for cancer patients to get the therapies their doctors prescribe. Without those prescribed therapies the prospects for continued life are extremely limited.

The sobering reality is that cancer is the leading cause of death in our state, with nearly 57,000 North Carolinians diagnosed each year. And yet, North Carolina is one of only seven states that hasn’t enacted legislation requiring health insurers to cover oral anti-cancer medications in the same way they cover injectable or IV chemotherapy.

The state House passed such legislation – known as the Cancer Treatment Fairness Act (HB 206) – this year and during the past two legislative sessions, yet it has never gotten a hearing in the Senate.

With the clock ticking down on this year’s session, time is of the essence for the Cancer Treatment Fairness Act and for the many North Carolinians that it would help. I hope senators will finally listen to our voices and allow the legislation to move forward.

Health insurance is a pool we all pay into so that we can afford care if or when we need it. No North Carolinian should have to forego the necessary treatment prescribed by their doctor because insurers do not cover oral anti-cancer medications in a fair way. It’s time to bring insurance policies in line with modern medicine – and in line with the rest of the country – and make cancer care fair in North Carolina.



Insomniac? You are at a greater risk of asthma

Insomniac? You are at a greater risk of asthma (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)Insomniac? You are at a greater risk of asthma (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)
Do you chronically spend sleepless nights, have poor sleep quality or face difficulties initiating or maintaining sleep? Beware, you may be more than thrice at risk of developing asthma in adulthood, researchers have warned.

Asthma affects approximately 300 million people worldwide, with major risk factors including smoking, obesity and air pollution.

“The study found that those people with chronic insomnia had more than three times the risk of developing asthma, suggesting that any changes in the body due to insomnia may accumulate and result in more severe harmful effects on the airways,” said lead author Ben Brumpton from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Norway.

More recently, symptoms of depression and anxiety have also been associated with a risk of developing asthma in adulthood, the researchers said.

For the study, published in the European Respiratory Journal, the team used statistical analysis to assess the risk of asthma among 17,927 participants aged between 20 and 65 years in Norway.

The results showed that those participants reporting difficulty falling asleep “often” or “almost every night” during the last month had a 65 per cent and 108 per cent increased risk of developing asthma over the following 11 years, respectively.

Similarly, those who reported waking too early without being able to go back to sleep “often” or “almost every night” had a 92 per cent and 36 per cent increased risk of developing asthma.

For people who reported poor quality sleep more than once a week, the risk of developing asthma increased by 94 per cent.

“As insomnia is a manageable condition, an increased focus on the adverse health effects of insomnia could be helpful in the prevention of asthma,” suggested Linn Beate Strand from NTNU.


Google Maps now shows how hard it will be to park at your destination

google maps parking

Update 1/27/17: The feature is now available in the full version of the app. This article has been updated to reflect this news.

If you’ve ever taken longer to find a parking spot than you did driving somewhere, Google Maps might be able to help—or at least prepare you for a headache. Thanks to a new feature in the latest version of the app, you’ll now be able to tell how hard it will be to park once you arrive at your destination.

The new feature is easy to miss. The next time you pull up driving directions, you’ll see a small circular P icon to the right of your route overview, next to which will show three levels of parking difficulty: Easy, Medium, and Limited. (To make it easier to see at a glance, easy and medium are colored blue while limited is red.) While the feature doesn’t update to show the actual parking situation when you arrive (at least not yet), you can get a slightly longer description when you expand your directions.

The update is currently rolling out in the Google Play store, but if you’re not seeing it, you can sideload the Google-signed APK from APKMirror. Keep in mind that the feature is only available in 25 cities across the U.S: Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa, and the Washington D.C. area.

Why this matters: Parking can be a major headache when driving somewhere new, so we’ll take any information we can get. And with the new Uber integration built right into the app, a red circle could mean the difference between driving or being driven somewhere.


UPSC CDS (I) 2016: Results declared at

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has declared the result of the Combined Defence Service (CDS) Examination today on January 28. The marks of the candidates will be available within 15 days from the date of declaration of the final result on commission’s website for 60 days.

Result declared at

Result declared at

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The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has declared the result of the Combined Defence Service (CDS) Examination today, i.e. January 28. All those candidates who had appeared for the same are required to check their respective results at its official website,  . The new course will begin in April.

The website contains the lists, in order of merit, of 199 (153 men and 46 women) candidates who have finally qualified on the basis of the results of the CDS I (2016) and interviews held by the Services Selection Board of the Ministry of Defence for admission to the (i) Officers’ Training Academy, Chennai for 105th Short Service Commission Course (for Men); and (ii) 19th Short Service Commission Women (Non-Technical) Course, commencing in April, 2017.

(Read: Indian Bank PO Results 2017: Likely to be declared soon at

Steps to check the result:

  • Log on to the official website,
  • Under ‘What’s New’, click on ‘Final result: CDS (I) 2016 (OTA)’
  • A PDF file will open containing the roll numbers and names of the selected candidates
  • Check your roll number
  • Download the same and take a print out for future reference.

The marks of the candidates will be available within 15 days from the date of declaration of the final result on the commission’s website for 60 days. Also, the result of medical examination has not been taken into account.

About UPSC:

UPSC conducts the Combined Defence Services (CDS) examination twice a year for the recruitment of candidates to the Indian Military Academy, Officers Training Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Indian Air Force Academy.


Sony might unveil a 4K, SD835 flagship at MWC, along with four other phones

Keeping to its usual schedule, MWC 2017 is now just about a month away. Excitement over at camp Sony is pretty high and the official event time is already set – February 27, at 7:30 GMT. There have been a few renders and photos floating about recently, but nothing really all that revealing.

Well, a new source now claims to offer a lot of insight on Sony’s future lineup, with details for a whopping total of 5 smartphones, lined up for the event. The rumor comes courtesy of a quite shady site in Georgia, so you should probably break out the whole salt shaker for this one.

Spearheading the alleged lineup is the Sony Yoshino – a new 4K, 5.5-inch flagship, with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 chipset and 4GB or perhaps even 6GB of RAM. In the camera department, we can expect the new Sony IMX400 sensor.

Up next is the Sony BlancBright. It brings the resolution down to QHD, while retaining the 5.5-inch form factor. Powering it should either be aforementioned flagship chip or, perhaps, the Snapdragon 653, accompanied by 4GB of RAM and the same IMX400 camera sensor.

Further down the list is the Sony Keyaki (zelkova). It sits a 5.2-inches with a modest FullHD panel, MediaTek’s Helio P20 chipset and 4GB of RAM. Other rumored specs include 64GB of on-board storage and a 23MP, plus 16MP camera setup.

Then, there is the final pair of devices, which will likely be budget offers. The Sony Hinoki (cypress), with a 5-inch HD display, MediaTek Helio P20 chip, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. There is a bump down in the camera setup as well: 16MP on the back and 8MP on the front.

And last, but not least – the Sony Mineo. The source shares little actual info on this device expect for its alleged price tag of $350. This could be viewed as a good sign that the whole story isn’t simply made up, since it would have been just as easy to throw in some numbers for the Mineo as well. Still, we remain quite skeptical on the leak, so don’t get your hopes too high just yet


NEET UG 2017 Official Notification: To be released soon at

It is speculated that the the examination is likely to be held on May 7.

NEET UG 2017 Official Notification: To be released soon at

NEET UG 2017 Official Notification: To be released soon at

  • MPPSC State Services Prelims 2017: Admit card released, download now
  • UPSEE 2017: Check out examination schedule, here
  • AIBE 10 Registrations begin: How to apply
  • GATE 2017: Practice exclusive mock test papers here
  • IBPS RRB Office Assistant Results 2016: Expected to be out today at

The official notification for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) 2017 for undergraduate graduates courses is likely to be out next week on Monday, January 23.

Once the official notification of NEET UG 2017 will be out, all the candidates can check the same at

A few days ago, one of the leading media websites stated that the examination is likely to be held on May 7 at various test centres across the nation.

The exam was conducted for admissions to MBBS/BDS courses in medical/dental colleges run with an approval of Medical Council of India/Dental Council of India under the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.

Recent update on NEET-UG:

  • The NEET-UG will be conducted in six additional languages from the commencing academic session 2017-18, a statement released by the Union Health Ministry
  • The six languages in which the exams will be conducted are Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali, Assamese, Telugu and Tamil, apart from conventional English, Hindi.

Paper pattern:

The exam will be based on the three subjects physics, chemistry and biology.

Meanwhile, the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) 2016 was successfully conducted on July 24 and the results for the same were released on August 16. The results of the second round of seat allotment for NEET 2016 were declared on September 12.


APPSC AE Mains Exam: Admit cards to be out soon at

Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC) will release the admit cards soon on the official website,

APPSC AE Mains Exam: Admit cards to be out soon at

APPSC AE Mains Exam: Admit cards to be out soon at

  • MPPSC State Services Prelims 2017: Admit card released, download now
  • UPSEE 2017: Check out examination schedule, here
  • AIBE 10 Registrations begin: How to apply
  • GATE 2017: Practice exclusive mock test papers here
  • IBPS RRB Office Assistant Results 2016: Expected to be out today at
  • RRB NTPC Exam: Answer keys to be released soon on this website

Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC) will release the admit cards soon on the official website,

How to download

  • Go to the official website
  • Click on the link, ‘Click here to download the admit cards’
  • Enter the necessary details
  • After submitting the same, the admit cards will be displayed on the screen
  • Take a printout for future use

The candidates must carry the admit card to the examination centre, failing to which they will not be allowed to sit for the examination.

The exam is scheduled to be held on February 1 and February 2.

The candidates should keep it in mind that they will not be allowed to sit in the examinations without the admit card. The candidates who will clear the examinations successfully  will be hired for the respective posts.

About APPSC:

The Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC) is an organisation that works under the government of Andhra Pradesh to recruit staff for various posts in the various ministries and departments, and in subordinate offices. The commission also conducts examinations for the recruitment in various departments of the state.



We’ve seen several 3D renders of the Samsung Galaxy S8, but the one render we have of the Galaxy S8 Plus did not show its back.

And the back matters – according to rumors, only the Plus model will have a dual camera on the back. Not that these renders show it, but the hole for the camera is suspiciously wide and much wider than that of the vanilla Galaxy S8.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus: Front Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus: Back (note the camera hole - wide enough for two)
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus: Front • Back (note the camera hole – wide enough for two)

The sides of the phone are quite interesting too. Initially, we thought that the Power button moved on the left, but we now see it in its original position (on the right). Recent rumors have mentioned that Bixby, Samsung’s upcoming AI digital assistant, will have a dedicated button.

There's an extra button - it should summon the dedicated AI assistant, Bixby There's an extra button - it should summon the dedicated AI assistant, Bixby There's an extra button - it should summon the dedicated AI assistant, Bixby
There’s an extra button – it should summon the dedicated AI assistant, Bixby

And we move to the bottom to find a USB-C port. Like the camera, we can’t fully trust what has been drawn, but the hole is wide enough to accept USB-C (it could be that the case maker is just playing it safe). And, of course, there’s the 3.5mm headphone jack on the bottom.

Bottom with USB-C and headphone jack Top with no grill for the second speaker
Bottom with USB-C and headphone jack • Top with no grill for the second speaker

That said… where’s the speaker grill for the top speaker? The smaller Galaxy S8 had stereo speakers (top and bottom).