Rats No Longer Thought To Be Responsible For Bubonic Plague

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(PCM) New research has now been uncovered that reveals that the fleas on black rats that were initially thought to have caused the bubonic plague many not necessarily be at fault. Instead, researchers have now uncovered information that leads them to believe that it may have been gerbils, not rats that are behind the wide-spread outbreak of the deadly disease.

The bubonic plague, or Black Death, wiped out about 100 million people in Europe during its’ outbreaks that occurred in the mid-14th century and then again in the 1800’s. The new research study posted in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows climate data that dates back to the 14th century that contradicts the conditions that would be cause of the plague outbreaks to have been caused by disease-carrying fleas on the rat population.

Using 15 tree ring records the researchers were able to determine that the plagues occurred in Europe after Asia experienced a particularly wet spring and a warm summer. These conditions are not good for the rat population, however they are excellent for Asia’s gerbil population. It is thought that the gerbils, rather than the rats, along with the disease-ridden fleas traveled along the Silk Road and arrived in Europe several years later causing the horrific bubonic plague outbreaks.

The researchers also claim that this is the reason why the disease would only outbreak every so often instead of staying with the rats that were already living in Europe the entire time.

Definitely food for thought and certainly changes the viewpoint about the cause of the Black Death quite a bit.

Rats No Longer Thought To Be Responsible For Bubonic Plague was contributed by a Myth

Why I Will Never Shop At Cricket Wireless Again

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(PCM) It is not very often that I make the decision to share a personal story online, however I was so hurt and infuriated about the service I received during a recent visit to a Cricket Wireless store that I felt compelled to share and let them know that the type of service I received was completely and totally unacceptable.

Many of us have worked in retail over the years and we all know that customer returns can certainly be one of the bigger headaches that occur on a day to day basis. Most retail employees have surely heard every excuse in the book as to why a person needs to return a particular product.  Often times the employees hands are tied at being able to complete the return due to each stores specific policies, procedures, etc.

Here’s where I get to Cricket Wireless.  I did read online that the company offers a seven day return policy on all of their devices, which I was not aware of until after this incident, however I admit that I was trying to return the device on day eight.  I should have probably prefaced this by saying that we are currently dealing with a personal family emergency, as my mother-in-law is currently on her death bed and we have been extremely busy with around the clock care making sure she is as pain-free and comfortable as possible during her final days.  Hence, the reason that I was not able to get the phone back to the retail location for return any sooner.

One of my mother-in-law’s wishes when she was first hospitalized was to finally own a smart-phone, as she wanted to use it to check emails and make calls easily during her hospital stay.  My fiancee purchased the phone for his mother, as per her wishes,  and it was then that she tragically took a turn for the worst.  Hospice has been called in and she obviously has no use for the phone at this time.  Since it had only been purchased a few days prior to her health decline, we figured that the company would be fairly understanding about our reasons for wanting to make a product return.

I took the phone, still in the box, along with all the paperwork and receipt to the Cricket Wireless location at 3616 Kirkwood Highway in Wilmington, Delaware.  The dark-haired girl behind the counter, whose name I unfortunately can not recall,  took a look at the paper work and informed me of the store’s seven day return policy.  I explained the entire situation about my mother-in-law’s illness and the reason that the phone needed to be returned if possible. Although I did understand that we were unfortunately one day too late.

I saw the store employee send a text message out to who I am guessing was the store owner or manager and then finally make a phone call about the situation when she received no immediate response.  It was just myself and two other gentlemen in the store at this time.  I heard the employee telling the owner/manager my situation and then she hung up the phone. It was at this time that she shockingly looked at me and said verbatim “He said he doesn’t care”.

With the ordeal that my family has been going through these last few days, that was probably one of the most cold and cruel responses to come out of her mouth.  I was flabbergasted and said to her “He really said it like that?”  She said “yes, he doesn’t care”.  Even the other two gentlemen in the store were as absolutely shocked and horrified as I was about her response.

I mean, even if that was exactly what the owner/manager had said to her on the phone, there is a way to sugar coat things a bit when dealing with a customer who is currently in a fragile emotional state.  It was not so much that they could not take back and refund the phone, but it was the utter lack of common sense and decency when speaking to another individual. It was so cold and heartless. She could have easily said “I’m very sorry Miss, but my manger unfortunately told me I can not return the phone, as I can not break store policy”  or “I’m very sorry for your situation, but at this time there is nothing I can really do about assisting you with the return as the manger will not allow it”.

Anything, and I mean anything at all would have been better to hear that “I/He doesn’t care” at that given moment.  Cricket Wireless should be ashamed of themselves for not providing better customer service training and teaching their employees to show at least some shred of compassion towards their customers. I can say with certainly that Cricket Wireless has lost a customer for life and I will do everything in my power to make sure that other consumers know that this is how the company behaves and treats its’ clientele.

Shame on you Cricket Wireless, shame on you!

The post Why I Will Never Shop At Cricket Wireless Again also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

Actor Leonard Nimoy Dead At Age 83

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(PCM) We are deeply saddened to report that beloved actor Leonard Nimoy has passed away at the age of 83. Nimoy is best known for his role as “Spock” in the “Star Trek” television series.

Nimoy’s wife confirmed that the actor had died in their Los Angeles area home. Nimoy was hospitalized early this month for shortness of breath, but was later released. He had announced late last year that he was suffering from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) due to being a smoker for many years.

The role of “Spock” transported Nimoy to super stardom and he was often a fixture at many “Star Trek” conventions and events throughout the country. “Star Trek” the series was canceled by the network after only three season, but to this day has an incredible cult following and “Spock” is truly one of the most beloved characters.

Nimoy went on to direct two “Star Trek” films and made an appearance in the recent J.J. Abrams reboot of the film franchise. A little known fact is that Nimoy also directed the comedy film “Three Men And A Baby” and was the narrator for the History Channel series “Ancient Mystery” from 1995 to 2003.  He has written two autobiographies, as well as, a book of poetry.

Our sincere condolences go out to the family and friends of Leonard Nimoy during this very difficult time!

The post Actor Leonard Nimoy Dead At Age 83 appeared first on TV News.

Harrison Ford Confirmed for “Blade Runner 2″

Balde_Runner_2(PCM) The internet and social media are abuzz today with the confirmation of news that Harrison Ford will be returning in Blade Runner 2 as Rick Deckard, the protagonist from Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-fi classic, possibly answering the question once and for all fo whether Deckard is a replicant or not.

Reactions have been mixed with some fans eager for the sequel and excited to see Ford reprise his role while others are less enthusiastic for yet another sequel from Hollywood.

While little is known about the plot, we do know that Denis Villeneuve has replaced original director Ridley Scott, who is now serving as an Executive Producer on the untitled Blade Runner project.

Alcon Entertainment announced that Villeneuve, director of the crime/mystery dramas Prisoners, Enemy, and Polytechnique, is helming the Blade Runner sequel, set several decades after Scott’s adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s 1968 sci-fi novel, Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, in a press release.

Co-writer of the 1982 predecessor, Hampton Fancher, and Michael Green (who is also penning Ridley Scott’s upcoming Prometheus sequel), are writing the screenplay for the sequel that may or may not be based off of friend to Philip K. Dick K.W. Jeter’s authorised Blade Runner sequels.

“We are honored that Harrison is joining us on this journey with Denis Villeneuve, who is a singular talent, as we experienced personally on ‘Prisoners,'” Alcon co-founders and producers of the sequel Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson said in a statement. “Hampton and Michael, with Ridley Scott, have crafted a uniquely potent and faithful sequel to one of the most universally celebrated films of all time, and we couldn’t be more thrilled with this amazing, creative team.”

With his lackluster performances from the past few years, many are voicing their less-than-enthusiastic opinions about Ford’s return to Blade Runner, while others are claiming that his acting style is perfect for the dystopian, futuristic setting and atmosphere of Blade Runner.

Production is expected to begin on the Blade Runner sequel as soon as the summer of 2016. Stay tuned for more updates!

The post Harrison Ford Confirmed for “Blade Runner 2″ also appeared on Movie News & Reviews.

February 27 Celebrity Birthdays

Elizabeth-Taylor1A list of celebrities who celebrate their birthday on February 27th:

Roman emperor, Constantine I (272)
Poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807)
Actress, Ellen Alice Terry (1847)
TV/Radio pioneer David Sarnoff (1891)
Actor, William Demarest (1892, d.1983)
Actor, Edward Brophy (1895)
Actor, Ian Keith (1899)
Author, John Steinbeck (1902)
Actor, Reginald Gardiner (1903)
Actress, Grethe Weiser (1903, d.1970)
Actor, Renaat Verheijen (1904)
Actor, Franchot Tone (1905, d.1968)
Musician, Mildred Bailey (1907, d.1951)
Musician, Elisabeth Welch (1909)
Actress, Joan Bennett (1910, d.1990)
Actor, Michael Fox (1921)
Musician, Dexter Gordon (1923, d.1990)
Director, Michael Kaye (1925)
Actor, Guy Mitchell (1927, d.1999)
Actress, Lynn Cartwright (1927, d.2004)
Actress, Joanne Woodward (1930)
Actress, Lieux Dressler (1930)
Actress, Elizabeth Taylor (1932, d.2011)
Consumer advocate, Ralph Nader (1934)
Actor, Van Williams (1934)
Musician, Chuck Glaser (1936)
Actress, Virginia Maskell (1936)
Actress, Barbara Babcock (1937)
Actor, Pascal Petit (1938)
Actor, Howard Hesseman (1940)
Actor, Bill Hunter (1940)
Actor, Michael Forget (1942)
Actress, Mary Frann (1943, d.1998)
Actor, Alan Fudge (1944)
Actor, Daniel Olbrychski (1945)
Actress, Marian G Klaren (1947)
Musician, Eddie Gray (1948)
Fashion designer, Fred Moschino (1950)
Musician, Steve Harley (1951)
Musician, Kevin Raleigh (1952)
Musician, Neal Schon (1954)
Musician, Garry Christian (1955)
Actress, Sally Spencer (1955)
Musician, Peter Christopherson (1955)
Actor, Timothy Spall (1957)
Musician, Adrian Smith (1957)
Sid Vicious girlfriend/murder victim, Nancy Spungen (1958, d.1978)
Musician, Johnny Van Zant (1959)
Musician, Paul Humphreys (1960)
Actor, Stoney Jackson (1960)
Actor, Grant Shaud (1961)
Actor, Adam Baldwin (1962)
Actor, Grant Show (1962)
Musician, Ewen Vernal (1964)
Actor, Noah Emmerich (1965)
Actor, Gregg Rainwater (1966)
Actor, Donal Logue (1966)
Musician, Brad Vander Ark (1969)
Musician, Rozonda “Chili” Thomas (1971)
Actor, Derren Brown (1971)
Musician, “Pooh” Clark (1973)
Actress, Christina Nigra (1975)
Director, James Wan (1977)
Clinton daughter, Chelsea Clinton (1980)
Musician, Bobby Valentino (1980)
Musician, Josh Groban (1981)
Actress, Haley Angel Wardle (1983)
Actress, Kate Mara (1983)
Model, Juliana Imai (1985)
Musician, Kelly Breeding (1989)
Actress, Lindsey Morgan (1990)

February 27 Celebrity Birthdays also appeard on Pop Culture Madness!.

How The Debate Over The Dress Almost Broke The Internet

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(PCM) Almost every other debate or argument that typically takes place on the internet was put aside as everyone began to weigh-in with their opinions on #Dressgate.

It all started when a Tumblr user posted an image of a dress and asked for the public’s assistance to settle a debate among a few friends about the actual color of the dress. The post read “[G]uys please help me – is this dress white and gold, or blue and black? Me and my friends can’t agree and we are freaking the f*** out”. 

The question sparked up a firestorm of activity and confusion as seemingly people are completely split in the way that they view the dress. Many users agreed that the dress was indeed gold and white, while others saw the complete opposite and viewed the dress in black and blue.

For the record, the dress appeared to me to be gold and white, however it was interesting to note that Vice.com published an image of the Tumblr poster allegedly wearing the dress in question and clearly in that particular photo (posted below) the dress is black and blue. After I viewed the black and blue dress wearing image, I then took a look back at the original picture and only then was I able to pick up a few shades of blue.

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The color of the dress remains a mystery and many experts feel that the reason why some of us see different colors is based upon the way the light is reflected off the image. That is only one reason and it is surprising that a small Tumblr post about a dress has even left many vision and image experts completely and totally baffled.

It even has me freaked out, because now that I am done put together this article, I am now beginning to actually see the dress in blue and black. It is just unreal!

What color do you see what you look at the dress? Did looking at the image of the girl wearing the dress change the color for you at all?

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The post How The Debate Over The Dress Almost Broke The Internet appeared first on The World Of Pop Culture.

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