Category Archives: Uncategorized

Politics and crime fighting don’t mix, but don’t tell the politicians that

Despite what I write here and the report I recorded for 93 WIBC today, I love politics. I love watching the maneuvers back and forth between the parties. I love covering elections and, especially, hunkering down in a studio on election night as returns come in – the simultaneous emotion from the candidate who loses, emotionally drained, yet realizing they just spent millions of dollars for naught.

When crime increases, or is perceived to increase in certain parts of a city, politicians typically spout platitudes such as “now is the time to put politics aside.” They do so while doing everything they can to pin the increase in crime on their political opponent, thereby positioning themselves to win an office for their party in the next election. That’s what seems to be happening in Indianapolis right now, with the added attraction of a well-meaning Ten Point Coalition who is scoring zero points by asking for the same “anti-crime programs” that have worked so well up until now.

My friends who work in politics will deny it. I love you all, in both parties – the only party to which I am loyal is the CM Punk party, but you know this is true.

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What does everybody want? Head Transplant!

A scientist in Italy says he could conceivably conduct a human head transplant within the next two years. One Indiana neurosurgeon says it might be possible eventually, but not that soon.

Dr. Sergio Canavero has gotten attention this week with his claim that he has outlined a way to successfully transplant a human head to another body, delicately attaching the spinal cord, blood vessels, nerves and everything else that would be necessary for a person to survive. “It’s fairly easy to propose a theory like that, because you don’t have to back it up,” said Dr. Jean-Pierre Mobasser, a neurosurgeon with Goodman Campbell Brain and Spine in Indianapolis. “He lays out (in the journal Neurology International) exactly how he would recommend doing the procedure, but I think there are a lot of limitations to this being practical and working in reality.”

Canavero claims to have solved the problem that plagued the attempt to transplant the heads of monkeys more than 40 years ago – the reattachment of the spinal cord. While a monkey’s head was transplanted onto another body, the monkey died eight days later because the spinal cord was not reconnected. But Mobasser says there is more to worry about than just connecting the spinal cord. “You have to reconnect the carotid artery, you have to hope that the brain doesn’t suffer a stroke in the process, and you have to hope that the brain doesn’t suffer ischemia (insufficient blood flow) during the surgery to reconnect all of these structures,” said Mobasser.

If he had another $30 million for research, Canavero claims he could complete a head transplant within two years. Mobasser says he doesn’t buy that timeline, but says he doesn’t rule out a successful head transplant as medical technology advances. “If he had said this may occur within the next century, he may be right,” said Mobasser. “Certainly, we have made large jumps in transplant surgeries and treatments of autoimmune rejection system, but reattaching the spinal cord has always been the limiting factor for surgeries such as this.

Both doctors believe that if head transplants were possible, they would only benefit a limited group of people, someone with Musular Dystrophy or some other disorder that halts the proper function of someone’s body. But even if it’s possible, many will still wonder if it is ethical, something even Canavero is wondering. “If it’s something that’s ever done in the future, there will have to be some very strict guidelines before it’s allowed to occur,” said Mobasser.

 

Of course, when you think of head, there’s only one place to go…back in time to ECW..

Steve Austin: More than just Stone Cold

Holy cow! Steve Austin!

I only have vague memories of Stunning Steve Austin from the final days that World Class Championship Wrestling was available on cable in Trenton, GA around 1990 or so. Where I became a Steve Austin fan was a few years later, when he and the late Brian Pillman formed one of the most entertaining tag teams of the 1990’s, The Hollywood Blonds, in WCW. Man, they were hilarious – “rolling film” as they were whipping Ricky Steamboat & Shane Douglas, or whomever they were whipping at the time.

Fast forward a few years to WWF’s King Of The Ring, 1996. Every jabroni in the world will tell you “I knew Steve was going to be huge when he delivered that ‘Austin 3:16′ line.” Bullsnot. As legend has it, Steve wasn’t even supposed to win King Of The Ring; Triple-H was, but Hunter was punished for his role in ‘The Madison Square Garden Kliq incident.’ Yes, Austin 3:16 was one of the greatest promo lines in the history of pro wrestling, but Steve worked his arse off both before and after delivering the goods to “Dok Hendrix” that night. That work, plus a little luck and most fans deciding they loved cheering for the bad guy led to the greatest run in the history of Vince McMahon’s company.

It’s hard to believe Steve’s run as the top wrestler in the world lasted only seven years – less than that if you consider the time he had to take off for major injuries. Such is the life of a pro wrestler, especially when a botch almost leaves you paralyzed and you still find a way back inside the squared circle (BTW, it’s awesome to hear people like Steve use the term “squared circle.” I learned the phrase from one of the men who made me want to be a broadcaster, Gordon Solie, in 1978).

People who don’t know better are constantly asking Steve and other retired wrestlers “when are you coming back,” or “how about one more match?” Dad gum, folks, did Steve and the other boys give their all for you already, and then some? While I would no doubt like to see this match, it’s okay if it never happens. Steve has proven there is a hell of a life to be lived after wrestling.

He’s been part of several action movies – are they B-movies? You got a problem with B-movies? People who do A-movies can’t do B-movies. Anyway, Steve is in Grown Ups 2 this summer, which is a smidge of a different role. But more his speed is his show on CMT, Redneck Island, which is in the midst of its 3rd season. Is it just me, or do they do confessions in an outhouse? Ah, home.

Eight minutes isn’t nearly enough to talk to Steve, but it sure was fun having a go at it. Don’t forget to listen to the Steve Austin Show, a great, great podcast.

Jamie Deen – Home For Dinner

One of the best things about living in Savannah, Georgia was being fortunate to have gotten to know the Deen family. Much could be written about the undercurrent of dislike for the Deens in Savannah, which no one has been able to explain to me.

I take that back. Michael Groover, Paula’s husband, had the perfect explanation the last time I saw him before we moved north to Indy. “Jealousy,” he said. That plus a few harbor-docking pilot-style expletives.

The Deens have been nothing but good people, as far as some of us have seen. I’m pretty certain the SAFE Shelter for domestic violence victims, Savannah’s America’s Second Harvest food bank and more than a few other charities would agree. Any time I have the chance to talk about the good work of the Deen family, I will take it.

Please check out Jamie’s show, as it is excellent. He and I got to talk about it on WIBC recently.

Jim Gaffigan: Dad Is Fat

Every time I told someone I was talking to Jim Gaffigan, every person – all of them – said the exact same thing. “Hey, he’s funny. Hot Pockets!” Jim Gaffigan turns everyone into a Stepford wife, at least at the WIBC studio.

This book is funny, and is especially relatable if you are a parent of a child ten or younger. I only have two as opposed to Jim’s five – he must have a better… um, well, Jim could borrow this theme song;

Jim is a native Hoosier, too, originally from Chesterton, Indiana. You can meet him this coming Thursday, June 13, when he holds a book signing at the Barnes & Noble on Hwy 31 North in Carmel. It’s always a lot of fun to talk to this guy.

The Naptown Rock Radio Roundtable

Naptown Rock Radio Wars, the wonderful documentary from Dave Fulton that told the story of the greatest radio battle Indianapolis will ever see, won an Emmy! The movie took home the regional Emmy award for outstanding documentary featuring Al Stone occasionally smoking, film noir style. At least I think that was the category.

The Emmy was well deserved, as even if you weren’t in Indy when WIFE, WNAP, WIBC-AM and others were battling for listeners in the 1960’s and 1970’s, watching the documentary makes you feel as if you did live it.

In April, prior to their Emmy win, I had the pleasure of moderating a sort-of roundtable featuring Mr. Fulton and three of the radio personalities who helped make that era of Indy radio so much fun; Cris Conner – who programmed WNAP-FM, former WIFE “Good Guy” Reb Porter, and Ann Craig-Cinnamon – the woman who broke the guys-only barrier at several stations.

Derek Drouin, Canada’s greatest athlete since Iron Mike Sharpe

The IU high jumper is going for his fifth national title this week at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, to go along with his Olympic bronze medal from last year’s London games. One of the best athletes in IU history, and just a good, all around dude.

Oh, and Iron Mike Sharpe? Well, here you go..ARRRRRRRRRRRRGHHHHHH!