Monday, May 28, 2012
45% of Afghan and Iraq Vets Filed For Disability
By Muriel Kane
Sunday, May 27, 2012 20:11 EDT
According to a new report from the Associated Press, a record 45% of the 1.6 million veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are seeking compensation for service-related injuries.This is more than double the rate for Gulf War veterans. For all the publicity given to “Gulf War syndrome,” only an estimated 21% of the veterans of that conflict have filed disability claims.
The recent applicants are also citing a much larger number of ailments than veterans of previous wars — an average of eight or nine per person, which has shot up over the past year to 11 to 14. This compares to less than four for Vietnam War veterans who are currently receiving compensation, and just two for veterans of World War II and Korea.
The causes of the increase, and to what extent it simply reflects the poor economy, are not clear. “Government officials and some veterans’ advocates say that veterans who might have been able to work with certain disabilities may be more inclined to seek benefits now because they lost jobs or can’t find any,” the AP explains.
Much of the change, however, is clearly the legitimate result of more soldiers surving life-threatening injuries, along with an increased incidence of concussions and severe hearing loss resulting from IED blasts.
Even the heavy body armor that helps save lives can often leave soldiers with back, shoulder, and knee problems that sometimes require orthopedic surgery. In addition, 400,000 veterans have already been treated for mental health problems, most often post-traumatic stress disorder, and these have been exacerbated by multiple deployments.
Whatever the cause, the flood of applicants is putting strain on a system that is badly backlogged — as a result of 1.3 million claims in 2011 alone — and is still dealing largely with paper records. “We have 4.4 million case files sitting around 56 regional offices that we have to work with; that slows us down significantly,” Allison Hickey, the VA’s undersecretary for benefits, told the AP.
The real burden, however, may become apparent only 30 or 40 years from now, when the cost of caring for disabled veterans is multipled by the effects of old age. Harvard economist Linda Bilmes estimates that it will amount to $600 billion to $900 billion overall.
“This is a huge number and there’s no money set aside,” Bilmes says. “Unless we take steps now into some kind of fund that will grow over time, it’s very plausible many people will feel we can’t afford these benefits we overpromised. … There’s [presently] a lot of sympathy and a lot of people want to help. But memories are short and times change.”
Saturday, May 26, 2012
40,000 Year Old Mammoth bone flute
Day Forecast Mammoth-bone flute proves that German cavemen played music in 40,000 BC
By Rob Waugh
PUBLISHED: 08:14 EST, 24 May 2012
UPDATED: 08:14 EST, 24 May 2012
Music was flourishing in Europe in 40,000BC - millennia before Beethoven or the Beatles.
European's earliest ancestors were playing musical instruments and showing artistic creativity more than 40,000 years ago, a study has shown.
Evidence of the musicians was unearthed in Germany in the form of primitive flutes made from bird bones and mammoth ivory.
This bird-bone flute was found in a cave in Germany and is thought to date from 42-43,000 years ago
Mammoth-bone flute: The finds, described in the Journal of Human Evolution, are from Geissenkloesterle Cave in the Swabian Jura region of southern Germany
A new system of fossil dating confirmed the age of animal bones excavated in the same rock layers as the instruments and examples of early art.
The bones, probably the remains of meals, bore cuts and marks from hunting and eating.
The finds, described in the Journal of Human Evolution, are from Geissenkloesterle Cave in the Swabian Jura region of southern Germany.
They show that the Aurignacian culture, a way of living linked with early modern humans, existed at the site between 42,000 and 43,000 years ago.
It suggests that some of the first ‘modern’ humans to arrive in central Europe had a musical bent.
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Professor Nick Conard, from Tubingen University in Germany, who took part in the excavation, said:
‘These results are consistent with a hypothesis we made several years ago that the Danube River was a key corridor for the movement of humans and technological innovations into central Europe between 40,000 to 45,000 years ago.
‘Geissenkloesterle is one of several caves in the region that has produced important examples of personal ornaments, figurative art, mythical imagery and musical instruments. The new dates prove the great antiquity of the Aurignacian in Swabia.’
The results indicate that modern humans entered the Upper Danube region before an extremely cold climatic phase around 39,000-40,000 years ago.
Previously, experts had argued that modern humans only migrated up the Danube immediately after this event.
Early artists? The results indicate that modern humans entered the Upper Danube region before an extremely cold climatic phase around 39,000-40,000 years ago
Professor Tom Higham, from Oxford University, who led the team that dated the bones, said: ‘Modern humans during the Aurignacian period were in central Europe at least 2,000-3,000 years before this climatic deterioration, when huge icebergs calved from ice sheets in the northern Atlantic and temperatures plummeted.
‘The question is what effect this downturn might have had on the people in Europe at the time.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2149331/Mammoth-bone-flute-proves-German-cavemen-playing-music-40-000-years-BC.html#ixzz1w2NdWuLL
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
HAPPY 10TH BIRTHDAY TO ROXY AND STARLING
Saturday, May 12, 2012
HAPPIEST MOTHER'S DAY
I know you are always watching over me from Heavenly Rainbow. Thank you for all the love and nurturing. We, who were left behind, miss you deeply!
Until we meet again. Your Loving Daughter, RubyNorma *o*
Wednesday, May 09, 2012
THE PHOTO SAYS IT ALL
Thursday, May 03, 2012
PTSD is something so challenging, and yet it tantalizes me. Whenever possible, the most rewarding aspect of this work is to see real and concrete improvement. All credit must go to the patients. We work diligently to create harmony back into the hurt lives. Success is to see someone who cannot function, return to an active and productive life. It can take a very long time, or a very short period. No two patients are the same. Each case is an individual finger-print of emotions and reframing.
Continuing Norma's Ark Blog is part of my way to inform. Thank you for your readership and contacts. Blest Be. Ruby *o*
Ancient Iceman Otzi's Blood Cells
The 5,300-year-old mummy found in the Alps in 1991 has produced the oldest blood cells ever found.
NormasArk = www.normasark.blogspot.com/: Garrett, Poodle Therapy Dog
Garrett, Poodle Therapy Dog
It was such fun to enjoy this precious dog and how well-behaved he is. The photo really does not do him justice. Thank you for allowing us to be so pampered. Blest Be.
Dr. RubyNorma Yanez and Family *o*