Emory Researchers Conclude that Dolphin-Assisted Therapy is Crap

28 12 2007

From a recent Emory press release…

“While swimming with dolphins may be a fun, novel experience, no scientific evidence exists for any long-term benefit from DAT, Marino says. She adds that people who spend thousands of dollars for DAT don’t just lose out financially — they put themselves, and the dolphin, at risk of injury or infection. And they are supporting an industry that — outside of the United States — takes dolphins from the wild in a brutal process that often leaves several dolphins dead for every surviving captive.

A little farther down the release…

“During the dolphin drives hundreds of animals are killed, or panicked and die of heart attacks, in water that’s red with their blood, while trainers from facilities around the world pick out young animals for their marine parks. They hoist them out of the water, sometimes by their tail flukes, and take them away.”

Each live dolphin can bring a fisherman $50,000 or more, she says. “The marine parks make millions off of dolphins, so that’s a drop in the bucket. It’s an irony that dolphins are among the most beloved, and the most exploited, animals in the world,” Marino says.

So instead of throwing money at your problems and stress, why not find more time to spend with your loving, spazzy dog/family. Or if you need a more “novel experience” try jumping out of an airplane. Risking your own life is so more fun than risking the life of a dolphin.

Mandela’s Corrections Minister Now a Decatur Shopkeeper

28 12 2007

The AJC has a very intriguing interview with Pambili’s shopkeeper, Sipo Mzimela, about his upbringing and eventual return to South Africa as Nelson Mandela’s minister of corrections.  Recapping a 5 hour interview, the AJC article tells of Mzimela’s experience before and during Apartheid, his escape to depressed, communist Czechoslovakia, then to Germany and finally the US.  

A great read! I am continually amazed by the hidden stories/histories that exist in our small 3 square-mile city.

Check out Sipo’s shop, Pambili (in Decatur’s Artisan building), for an array of South African imports.

Wishing for a Closer Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods

27 12 2007

A Decatur Metro reader writes…

Hello, I was curious as to whether you knew anything about the empty Advance Auto Parts or AutoZone building next to Eckerds at the five points of Scott Blvd, North Decatur and Medlock? This building has been vacant for over four years and seems like a prime location for a Whole Foods or Trader Joes.

Well, first things first. This property is outside the Decatur city limits, in unincorporated DeKalb County, so the Decatur Downtown Authority has no jurisdiction. Personally, I haven’t heard anything about developing the property at that intersection, so I welcome any further info in the comments.

While we may all wish for a Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods closer than Midtown and Briarcliff/Lavista, respectively, I prophesy it would be difficult to convince either of these high-end food stores to come closer to Decatur due to a lack of upper income residences to our immediate east. I think the most likely of all of these scenarios is a Trader Joe’s inside the Decatur city limits. The Midtown location is a drive even for affluent Druid Hills/Emory residents (don’t get me started on Monroe Cr. traffic) so a Trader Joe’s around Decatur could be quite profitable.

But when I wish for a Trader Joe’s in walking distance of my house, even I feel pangs of greed and gluttony. I mean seriously, how much Mandarin Orange Chicken can one man eat?

OK, a lot. Why not email Trader Joe’s and let them know how you feel? Can’t hurt!

Decatur Residents: Recycle Your Christmas Trees thru Jan 5th

26 12 2007

From the city’s website…

Recycle your live Christmas tree in the annual “Bring One for the Chipper” event on Saturday, Jan.5. Drop off your tree at the Christmas Tree Recycling Center in the Agnes Scott parking lot. The entrance is between 184 and 206 S. Candler St.

[If you can’t make it on that particular date…] The recycling center will be open Wednesday, Dec. 26, through Saturday, Jan 5.

Please do not leave trees anywhere else on the Agnes Scott campus.

[So don’t do something like this…”eh…just throw it in front of that dorm Mavis! We ain’t bringing that half-dead needle-dropper back in the house!]

Refugees in DeKalb Again Featured in NY Times

26 12 2007

Every once in a while the New York Times likes to highlight the melting pot of refugees that are making DeKalb County their home. Back in September they featured a Clarkston church that was adapting to an influx of refugees and prior to that they looked at a refugee soccer team.

Then today, one of the top emailed articles on NYTimes.com features the International Community School on Covington Hwy in DeKalb/unincorporated Decatur, where children from more than 40 different countries come to get a customized education in both classes and from each other.

The school is mix of the income brackets, comprised not just of kids from war torn countries but also from upper-income households in and around Decatur.

“Parents from low-income families tend to choose the school over other nearby public schools because it is safe and has small classes. More affluent parents seek it for the potential benefits of exposure to so many cultures. Most of the middle- and upper-middle-class parents are social progressives from Decatur, a liberal enclave. But not all.

Harvey Clark, whose son Zade is in the fifth grade, is a veteran of the Persian Gulf war and a Nascar fan.”

What will the New York Times’ next DeKalb refugee feature be?

Brick Store is #3 Among America’s Top Pubs

25 12 2007

This won’t help my Christmas wish that the Brick Store’s wait times would decrease.

InDecatur notes that BeerAdvocate has ranked the Brick Store as the nation’s third best pub for 2007, up 12 places from #15 last year.

Soon we’ll be known as the birthplace of Michael Stipe, endless, mindless violence (thanks to unincorporated Decatur) and home of the Brick Store Pub.

Congrats Brick Store!

Peace. Love. Joy.

21 12 2007

The shopping coma has set in and I barely have the time or wherewithal to post.

We’ll be traveling up to the great white north tomorrow so posting may be infrequent over the next week.

And how ’bout as a gift to me upon return, a Brick Store wait time of less than 30 minutes?

Peace, Love and Joy to you and your loved ones.