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Published: Tuesday, January 09, 2018 @ 11:00 PM
— It's the annual concerted promise Americans make —vowing to shed some pounds.
If you're one of the many who are trying to lose weight, but struggling, you're probably wondering how you can best do so with the minimum effort. Exercising for hours per day may not sound ideal, or even practical.
Well, according to doctors and leading weight-loss experts, more exercise isn't actually the quickest or most efficient way to reach your ideal waist line.
"Studies tend to show that in terms of weight loss, diet plays a much bigger role than exercise," Philip Stanforth, a professor of exercise science at the University of Texas and the executive director of the Fitness Institute of Texas, told Business Insider.
Stanforth explained that exercise actually burns less calories than people think. It also requires consistent effort, meaning it takes much longer to see results than simply fixing your diet.
"You'd have to walk 35 miles to burn 3,500 calories. That's a lot of walking. But if you look at eating, a Snickers bar might have, say, 500 calories. It's going to be a lot easier to cut the Snickers bar than to do 5 miles of walking every day," he explained, (note that a normal Snickers bar is actually about 220 calories, while a Snickers '2-to-go' is 440).
Shawn M. Talbott, PhD, nutritional biochemist and former director of the University of Utah Nutrition Clinic, voiced a similar expert opinion. However, he also suggested a combination of diet and exercise is the ideal weight loss solution.
"As a rule of thumb, weight loss is generally 75 percent diet and 25 percent exercise. An analysis of more than 700 weight loss studies found that people see the biggest short-term results when they eat smart," Talbott explained to the Huffington Post. "On average, people who dieted without exercising for 15 weeks lost 23 pounds; the exercisers lost only six over about 21 weeks. It's much easier to cut calories than to burn them off. For example, if you eat a fast-food steak quesadilla, which can pack 500-plus calories, you need to run more than four miles to 'undo' it!"
Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 1:25 PM
— The family that took in suspected school shooter Nikolas Cruz after his adoptive mother died suddenly last year said that, although the 19-year-old was troubled, it was unaware of any red flags to hint beforehand that he planned to carry out last week’s deadly attack.
Cruz opened fire Wednesday on students and staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in what police believe was a preplanned attack, authorities said last week. The shooting left 14 students and three teachers dead. More than a dozen other people were injured.
“We knew he had troubles and a couple of issues, but I’ve raised three boys, and I thought we could help,” James Snead told The New York Times on Sunday. “It’s a very selfish thing he did -- aside from the families he hurt, he hurt the family that tried to help him and give him a chance.”
James Snead and his wife, Kimberly Snead, told the Times that they took in Cruz after their son, who knew Cruz from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, asked if he could move in with them. Cruz had been staying with a friend of his mother’s after she died Nov. 1 of pneumonia, according to the Times.
“We didn’t know he had such an evil past,” James Snead told the Times. “We just didn’t know.”
School records obtained by WPLG showed Cruz had a lengthy disciplinary record beginning in 2012, when he was in middle school. He faced disciplinary action five times while attending Marjory Stoneman Douglas High from January 2016 to February 2017, WPLG reported.
School administrators in January 2017 recommended a threat assessment be done for Cruz after an alleged assault, according to WPLG. Details on that incident were not immediately available, although James Snead told the Times that Cruz had to leave school because of fighting.
The Sneads said Cruz was struggling with depression stemming from his mother’s death but that he appeared to be doing better, according to the Times. The couple had planned to have him see a counselor this week.
They said in an appearance on “Good Morning America” that they saw Cruz at the police station Wednesday when he was brought in after his arrest.
“I went after him,” Kimberly Snead said. “I wanted to strangle him more than anything.”
She said she yelled, “Really, Nik? Really?” Cruz mumbled something in response.
“He said he was sorry,” Kimberly Snead told “Good Morning America.” “I was furious. Heartbroken. Devastated. I still can’t process it, what he’s done. This wasn’t the person we knew. Not at all.”
James Snead said the family has gone through “a roller coaster of emotions” since learning of Cruz’s alleged role in Wednesday’s massacre.
"It's still tough. We're still hurting. We're still grieving," he said on “Good Morning America.” "Everything everybody seems to know, we didn't know.”
FBI officials said they investigated a comment made last year on YouTube by a user who was going by the name “Nikolas Cruz.”
“The comment simply said, ‘I’m going to be a professional school shooter,’” Rob Lasky, the FBI special agent in charge of the agency’s Miami division, said Thursday. Authorities were unable to verify the identity of the poster.
Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 1:55 PM
PARKLAND, Fla. — Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School won’t return to the building where Nikolas Cruz is accused of shooting into classrooms, killing 17 people on Valentine’s Day, according to a reporter for CBS4 News in Miami.
The building, which is one of several on the campus, will be torn down and replaced with a memorial, assuming the school district receives funding from state lawmakers, reporter Jim DeFede said in a series of tweets Friday afternoon.
No student will ever walk back into the building where shooting took place at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas, Broward School Superintendent Robert Runcie just told me. Assuming funding from legislature, the building will eventually be torn down and replaced with a memorial @CBSMiami— Jim DeFede (@DeFede) February 16, 2018
Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 2:33 PM
PARKLAND, Fla. — Peter Wang died proudly wearing his gray JROTC uniform, holding open doors so several of his classmates could escape the gunfire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last week.
Though those classmates made it, Peter did not. And now, a White House petition has been established seeking full military honors at the burial of the 15-year-old freshman who was among 17 people killed in the Valentine’s Day school shooting.
As of Monday morning, the petition had reached just over 23,000 signatures. A petition must reach 100,000 signatures to get a response from the White House.
The petition states that Peter was last seen, in uniform, holding doors open so that other students, teachers and staff members could escape.
“His selfless and heroic actions have led to the survival of dozens in the area,” the petition states. “Wang died a hero, and deserves to be treated as such, and deserves a full honors military burial.”
Friends of the teen said they want people to know how selfless he was, according to WPLG News 10 in Pembroke Park.
“I want people to know that he died a hero; that he died saving many people,” friend and classmate Aiden Ortiz told the news station.
His selflessness extended into his everyday actions, classmate Rachel Kuperman said. She recalled the last time she saw Peter, the day before he was slain.
“I forgot my lunch that day, and he went to the vending machine with me and he bought me Sprite and candy and snacks,” Rachel said. “He put others before himself.”
Fox News reported that it would take government intervention for Peter to receive a military funeral, since JROTC does not provide basic training and thus does not count as military service. JROTC, or the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, is a federal program for middle and high school students that focuses on citizenship, service to the community and country and personal achievement.
Peter was not the only JROTC cadet credited with springing into action that day. Colton Haab, a junior at Stoneman Douglas, heard gunshots and ushered several dozen people into the JROTC room.
There, he and other cadets grabbed Kevlar sheets used for marksmanship practice and held them up in front of the students huddled together.
“We took those sheets and we put them in front of everybody so they weren’t seen, because they were behind a solid object and the Kevlar would slow the bullet down,” Colton told CNN the day after the shooting. “I didn’t think it was going to stop it, but it would definitely slow it down to make it from a catastrophic to a lifesaving thing.”
Peter’s cousin, Aaron Chen, described him to the Miami Herald as brave, while Peter’s best friend, Gabriel Ammirata, said he was “funny, nice and a great friend.”
“He’s been my best friend since third grade,” Gabriel told the Herald.
Gabriel planned to celebrate Chinese New Year with Peter the day after the shooting at the Chinese restaurant Peter’s family owns, the Herald reported. Instead, he and members of Peter’s family started the new day frantically searching for information on Peter’s whereabouts.
The teen’s parents speak Mandarin and very little English.
Jesse Pan, a neighbor of Peter’s, has been sharing information about him and his funeral arrangements on social media. Peter’s family has a funeral planned for Tuesday at Kraeer Funeral Home, in Coral Springs.
An obituary on the funeral home’s website reiterates Peter’s ultimate sacrifice in the face of danger.
“He loved being in the JROTC and planned on attending (the) United States Military Academy at West Point,” the obituary read.
Peter loved the Houston Rockets, hip-hop music, playing basketball and spending time with friends. He also aspired to become a world-renowned chef.
He is survived by his parents and two younger brothers.
A GoFundMe page created to help his family with expenses exceeded its $15,000 goal in just three days.
Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 4:08 PM
TAMARAC, Fla. — A Florida man spurred by the massacre that killed 17 people at a Parkland high school last week has “put (his) money where (his) mouth is” and surrendered his assault rifle to authorities.
Ben Dickmann, 40, wrote on Friday, in a Facebook post that has since gone viral, that he decided to lead by example.
“I own this rifle,” Dickmann wrote, sharing multiple photos of the semiautomatic AR-57 as he turned it in at the Broward County Sheriff’s Office. “It’s a caliber variant of the AR-15.”
The suspected gunman in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, former student Nikolas Cruz, is accused of using an AR-15 to gun down 14 students and three faculty members on Valentine’s Day.
“I am a responsible, highly-trained gun owner. (I am not a police officer or sheriff’s deputy),” Dickmann wrote. “However, I do not need this rifle.”
Dickmann wrote that no one without a police badge needs an AR-57.
“This rifle is not a ‘tool’ I have use for. A tool, by definition, makes a job/work easier,” Dickmann wrote. “Any ‘job’ I can think of legally needing doing can be done better by a different firearm.”
Dickmann wrote that, although he enjoyed shooting the weapon, he has other types of guns that he can shoot for recreation. He could have sold the rifle, he wrote, but “no person needs this.”
“I will be the change I want to see in this world,” Dickmann wrote. “If our lawmakers will continue to close their eyes and open their wallets, I will lead by example. #outofcirculation.”
Officials with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office praised Dickmann for his decision.
“We commend Ben for helping us get one more dangerous weapon off the streets,” a post on the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page read.
The post also offered two ways for the public to turn in an unloaded, unwanted weapon. A citizen can call the department’s non-emergency line, 954-765-HELP, and inform a deputy that they have a weapon to surrender for destruction.
“Leave the firearm in a location away from you in the home/business, allowing the responding deputy to retrieve it when they arrive,” the post read. “The deputy will take possession of the weapon (and) ammunition for disposal.”
The second way to turn the weapon in is to secure the gun in the trunk of a vehicle and drive to the nearest Sheriff’s Office substation. After parking in the visitors’ lot, a citizen can go inside and tell the deputy at the desk that he or she has a firearm and/or ammunition in the vehicle for surrender.
“A deputy will meet with you and retrieve the weapon from your vehicle for disposal,” the post read.
Dickmann, who lives about 30 minutes from Parkland in Fort Lauderdale, told NPR in an interview that the decision to give up his assault rifle came after “a lot of soul searching.” He said that, like others, he sees a lot of “thoughts and prayers” being offered, but not much else.
“I thought, ‘Well, this is something I can do that I think is right,” Dickmann said. “And it’s something I can do that might spark a change. You know, my whole goal was maybe to inspire one friend on my Facebook page to do the same thing. And maybe that friend would inspire one other person.”
Dickmann said he considered taking action after the Las Vegas shooting, but thought that his gun was not hurting anyone sitting in his gun safe. The Stoneman Douglas massacre, however, hit close to home.
He said response to a Facebook post he wrote the day after the school shooting is what spurred that action. In that long post, Dickmann wrote that it was past time to do something about the mass violence undertaken with firearms in the United States.
“I can now say I know people who have been directly affected by three of the most horrific gun violence events in our history (Northern Illinois University, Las Vegas, Stoneman Douglas), and a couple more single events,” he wrote. “This makes me sick. This makes me mad. I’m tired.”
In the Northern Illinois University shooting, which took place 10 years to the day before the Stoneman Douglas massacre, former NIU student Steven Kazmierczak walked onto the stage in an auditorium where class was taking place and gunned down five students before killing himself. More than a dozen more were injured.
Commenters on Dickmann’s post, who numbered in the thousands, varied in their responses. Some thought he spoke common sense, while others accused him of being a paid lackey for the anti-gun crowd.
Dickmann told NPR that it was sarcasm from one man who told him, “Well, if you feel this way, why don’t you go turn your gun in?” The man even offered to drive Dickmann to the station.
“Even though he was being extremely sarcastic about it because he’s a very staunch conservative, gun rights activist person, it kind of spurred me to say, ‘You know what? Yeah, I’ll do that,’” he said.
Dickmann said he’s glad that his actions sparked a debate.