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Bad sperm? Drop the bacon

Published: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 @ 3:38 PM
Updated: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 @ 3:38 PM

Order your next cheeseburger without the bacon if you are looking to be a father.

A Harvard University Research presented this week at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s (ASRM) annual meeting in Boston says that bacon and other processed meats can affect the quality of sperm - AKA baby potion.

According to the research by Myriam Afeiche and others at Harvard School of Public Health, men who ate one to three servings of processed meat per day had worse sperm shapes than those who had fewest servings.

“Processed meat intake was associated with lower percent morphologically normal sperm while white meat fish intake was associated with higher percent morphologically normal sperm. Dark meat fish intake was related to higher total sperm count,” the study of 156 men concludes.

Stick with fish.

The men who ate the most cod , halibut and other white meat fish, had better sperm shape than their counterparts.

Men who ate the most tuna, salmon and other dark meat fish had sperm counts roughly 34 percent higher than men who ate the least amount of fish, CBS News reports.

But here is a bit of good news for would-be papas who like a cup of Joe or three and an adult beverage or more from time to time.

Another Harvard study presented at the conference concluded that caffeine and alcohol intakes does not influence sperm quality.

“Caffeine and alcohol intakes were unrelated to semen parameters. However, smoking status may modify the association between alcohol and normal morphology,” the study of 387 sperm samples concludes.

Owner tells shelter to euthanize young dog with six-pound tumor; staff saves his life instead

Published: Thursday, October 12, 2017 @ 3:35 PM
Updated: Thursday, October 12, 2017 @ 10:10 AM

His former owner may not have believed in Clyde, but the good folks at Gallatin County Animal Shelter and County Animal Hospital in Mason, Ohio, knew he deserved a chance to live.

The 1-year-old dog suffering from a 6-lb. tumor was dropped off at the shelter with instructions to euthanize him, reports WLWT5 News. Luckily, staff at Gallatin County did no such thing.

Doctors think the poor pup’s tumor may have been growing for at least six months — half the dog’s lifetime. On Tuesday, he was brought to the animal hospital for surgery to remove the tumor and is currently resting and recuperating.

“He’s only a year … way too young for a death sentence,” Shari Wyenandt, of HART Animal Rescue, told WLWT5. “I mean he was in pain, dragging [the tumor]. It was already rupturing from being drug on the ground.”

Wyenandt said she can’t fathom leaving a pet in such bad condition for so long, but then again, this same neglectful owner wanted to have Clyde put down, and just walked away. Fortunately for Clyde, he now has a second chance at life with a new, loving forever family.

“The next step that we have for him is getting a biopsy done. Basically, the biopsy will tell us a little bit better about the mass, what we’re dealing with,” Dr. Fidan Kaptan, Clyde’s vet, said. Depending on whether or not the tumor is cancerous, the dog’s road to recovery may be long and might include chemotherapy.

Still, the vet said he stands a chance, something this furry survivor wasn’t certain of just a few days prior. And considering his sweet disposition, staff think he’ll have no trouble finding a home and will eventually be up for adoption.

In the meantime, the rescue is looking for donations to help cover Clyde’s medical costs. Click here if you’re able to help or would like more information about Hart of Cincinnati Animal Rescue.

Her house was inspired by ‘Bonanza’. Now she’s seeking a buyer who loves westerns

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 3:48 PM

Karen Perez's Hanford home has been added on and made to look like an old west ranch home reminiscent of
Karen Perez's Hanford home has been added on and made to look like an old west ranch home reminiscent of "Bonanza," much of it done by herself, as seen on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017. (Craig Kohlruss/Fresno Bee/TNS)(CRAIG KOHLRUSS/TNS)

HANFORD, Calif. — Karen Lopez wanted to own a horse and live in a house reminiscent of America’s classic Western television series “Bonanza.”

Forty years ago, Lopez and her husband, John, (who died in 2010) bought a 2-acre property at 1586 Beulah St. in Hanford to live out their dream. The couple doubled the size of the existing home, built a great room with special wood floors branded with irons and created a backyard retreat with barrel seats, rustic furniture and a horseshoe pit.

“I grew up watching ‘Bonanza’ and wanted to live like that,” Lopez said. “I love cowboys — the Old West.”

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There were horses too, for a time. Lopez jokes that she traded them in for something she didn’t have to feed — a motorcycle. Now, Lopez is ready to downsize and is selling the property.

The house is listed for sale by Keller Williams Realtor Holley McKay. The price: $349,000.

The great room at Karen Perez's Hanford home has the appearance of a mountain lodge, featuring a rock fireplace and large taxidermy pieces of different animals, as seen on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017. (Craig Kohlruss/Fresno Bee/TNS)(CRAIG KOHLRUSS/TNS)

The 2,324-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bathroom house is a Western lover’s paradise. The small rustic kitchen with horseshoe drawer pulls has a 1920s- or 1930s-era refrigerator and stove. A bedroom and a bathroom with Mexican tile sit off the kitchen as well as a cozy den built in what was once the tank house. After the original home in the front of the property burned in a fire, the owners moved into the tank house, which was built around 1966, Lopez said.

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Walk into the den and up a few steps and you’re in the great room with a high ceiling and a tall rock fireplace. A restored wood bar in the room is from Hanford’s old Ritz Cafe and a 1906 Brunswick pool table came from an old Corcoran bar. The pool table and bar stools come with the house.

Make an offer on some of the other cowboy nicknacks that fill the room and Lopez might just entertain it. Her home decor was inspired by F. McLintocks and Harris Ranch restaurants and Sierra Sky Ranch historic hotel and restaurant in Oakhurst where she once worked. There is a guitar, wagon wheels, animal head mounts on the walls and horse saddles.

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The wood floor in the great room at Karen Perez's home features burnt-in brands that she did with some help with friends, as seen on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017. (Craig Kohlruss/Fresno Bee/TNS)(CRAIG KOHLRUSS/TNS)

The wood floors in the great room are special. The couple held a branding party in the backyard to prep wood boards for the floor. Family and friends came over, grabbed iron brands in the shape of a heart, squiggly lines and some letters, then burned them into the wood, said Lopez, who was a carpenter.

“There are a lot of sentimental things in here,” Lopez said.

Two bedrooms upstairs are filled with more country collectibles mixed in with cabin decor like a bear rug and snowshoes. A door upstairs leads outside to the second-floor balcony with barrel tables and stools overlooking the large backyard entertaining space.

The back of the house looks like a building you’d find in an old Wild West movie with a gun-toting cowboy stumbling out the back door. Only here, you might find Lopez’ two large dogs.

Take your pick of seats in the yard from wine barrel chairs to a long dining table under shaded arbor, log stools, or benches near trickling water fountains or the horseshoe pit. Cap off the night with a camp fire.

The kitchen at Karen Perez's Hanford home features old time appliances while carrying a western theme as it does throughout the home, as seen on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017. (Craig Kohlruss/Fresno Bee/TNS)(CRAIG KOHLRUSS/TNS)
The expansive backyard at Karen Perez's Hanford home has a gas firepit built to look like an old west camp fire, as seen on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017. (Craig Kohlruss/Fresno Bee/TNS)(CRAIG KOHLRUSS/TNS)

Sorry, parents, one of this year’s hottest Christmas gifts is already selling out

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 3:30 PM

It’s mid-October. Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet?

If not, you may already be too late to snag one of this year’s hottest toys.

The L.O.L. Surprise! Big Surprise, which is sold at major retailers such as Target, Walmart, Toys ‘R’ Us and and is the equivalent of last year’s Hatchimal, is already nearly impossible to find.

I discovered this fact this weekend as I was searching for one for my daughter, who will turn 9 on Oct. 21 and asked for this for her birthday. Just last week we saw dozens of them at our local Target. When I returned to buy one, they had all disappeared.

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So what is an L.O.L. Surprise! Big Surprise, you ask? Honestly, I have no idea. The L.O.L. Surprise brand taps into the insanely popular unboxing movement by allowing children (frequently elementary-school-age girls) to peel back numerous layers of surprises, such as stickers, charms and outfit accessories, before uncovering a collectible doll. The brand has been topping sales charts since it debuted in 2016.

The L.O.L. Surprise! Big Surprise launch party was Sept. 29 in Los Angeles. Rachel Murray/Getty Images for MGA Entertainment

According to the L.O.L. website, its latest offering, the Big Surprise, “provides the ultimate unboxing experience” with “50 never-before-seen surprises inside.” All of those surprises are packaged neatly inside a large, glittery copper ball that can double as a purse and is sold for $69.99.

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The L.O.L. Surprise! Big Surprise is one of this year’s hottest gifts. Contributed by MGA

If you can find it, that is. It’s currently sold out on, and, and an in-person search of local Target stores found only a handful left in the city. I found the last remaining few (there were five; I bought one) this morning at the Capital Plaza Target location, but it’s safe to say they won’t be there long. You can find them from third-party retailers on, but the sales prices there start at $114.

The L.O.L. Surprise! Big Surprise is currently out of stock at all major retailers.

Think you’re the only one who may have missed out? Never fear. Apparently it’s an international ordeal.

Woman gets a Wonder Woman tattoo over her double mastectomy scar: ‘I see my scars now as entirely positive’

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 3:18 PM
Updated: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 3:09 PM

Austin Mayor Steve Adler used a witty approach in responding to an email he received last week, in which the writer voiced his opposition to the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema’s plans to host two women-only screenings of the movie “Wonder Woman."

When Stephanie Kelly learned that she had tested positive for the BRCA1 gene mutation, which signals a strong likelihood of developing cancer, and decided to get a preventive double mastectomy, she stayed strong by thinking of another heroic female — Wonder Woman.

“I have always loved Wonder Woman, and during this time I began to joke that I was going to be like Wonder Woman and be strong and unfazed by the things I needed to do that scared me,” Kelly, 42, tells PEOPLE. “Friends and family sent me little gifts of Wonder Woman figurines, cards, clothes, even a full robe. It all helped me feel stronger and it was a way to feel all the love and support I had and bring that along with me.”

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Though Kelly was already extremely tough. The mom of four has battled other health issues — gastroparesis, a digestive tract illness; lingering injuries from a car accident and fibromyalgia. Plus, she’s watched her own mother face breast cancer — twice. Her mother’s history of breast cancer and the fact that she has the BRCA1 gene mutation is what pushed Kelly to get tested herself. It was also why Kelly didn’t bat an eye when her test came back positive.

“With the family history and just my general luck about things, I’d always expected breast cancer to play some role in my life,” she says. “It would have been a great surprise if it had been negative, but I completely expected to hear it was positive. The genetic counselor joked that she’d never had someone be so calm and matter-of-fact about positive results before.”

The stay-at-home mom says that from there, it was “an easy decision” to undergo a double mastectomy, though she wasn’t happy about losing her breasts.

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“They had been a part of my body I’d always liked,” Kelly says. “I liked the way they made me look and I loved that they had fed my four children as babies. But when I put those feelings up against the fear I had of getting sick, needing chemotherapy, not being able to care for my family or worse, it really seemed to be a small sacrifice.”

Kelly didn’t really consider breast reconstruction — with her other health issues, it wasn’t worth the additional surgeries and doctors visits. Instead, she decided to celebrate her scars with a Wonder Woman tattoo, the symbol that helped her through.

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“Along with Wonder Woman, I was also drawn to images of the phoenix and how the bird reconstructs itself from the ashes of it’s former body,” Kelly explains. “I brought both of these ideas to my tattoo artist, Miss Jamie at Lovely Monkey in Whitmore Lake, Michigan, and she designed my amazing chest piece. I absolutely love it!”

Kelly says the tattoo completely changed how she thinks of her body, for the better.

“With my other health issues, I’d never really been very confident of my body,” she says. “But now, I already don’t fit the mold of what the world expects, so there is a sense of freedom that comes with that. But then on top of this, I have this image of strength, power and fearlessness across my chest and that continues to build me up. I see my scars now as entirely positive.”