Archive for ALS

A Bucket of Ice Water

Share

Nicole Sandler

When Homer Simpson joins in, you know you've gone viral.

Although the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has raised awareness about the disease and a lot of money, there's so much we still don't know about it - thus the need for a campaign like this one.

Homer challenged Donald Trump who actually dumped water on that thing on his head, proving that his hair really looks like that! I hope that dump also included a hefty donation!

My favorite is still this 2-year old

I'm pretty confident in guessing that most people didn't know what ALS was before this month of ice water dumping. Sadly, I knew. I knew about ALS because someone I knew and admired fought the disease and, eventually, succumbed to it.

I first met Eric Lowen in the early 1990's. He was the "Lowen" half of the duo Lowen & Navarro who wrote amazing songs and sang beautiful harmonies together. Eric was diagnosed with ALS in 2004, and lost his battle in March of 2012. 

For the past few months, I've been running interviews and performances from my music radio days on Friday mornings as a bridge to the weekend. Today, as ALS is in the news and Eric Lowen is on my mind, I reached out to my dear friend Dan Navarro and invited him to join me to talk about all of it, and share in listening to one of our in-studio sessions from December of 1999 too.

Dan Navarro has continued as a solo artist, and has worked to educate others about ALS with the goal of someday helping to eradicate this awful disease. He's also fully immersed himself (figuratively and literally) in the ALS ice bucket challenge. You can see some of his work on his Facebook page. 

It was a busy first hour of the show too. Jim Dean joined me to talk about the great work Democracy for America is doing. They've recently endorse Shenna Bellows in her race for the US Senate against Susan Collins of Maine, Mary Burke for Governor of Wisconsin (vs the evil Scott Walker), and more.

And Jason Leopold, who couldn't get to Guantanamo Bay this week through no fault of his own (damned weather gods) but has landed firmly and deservedly at Vice News, joined me to talk about his reporting on Gitmo, national security issues and the fact that his persistence in filing FOIA requests has put him squarely inside the story about Sen. Dianne Feinstein trying to delay the release of the CIA torture report. 

And with that, it's the end of the week, the month and, sadly, the summer. I'll be taking Monday off for Labor Day, but will return Tuesday to kick off the fall with GottaLaff... cuz we gotta laugh, or else we cry... and whatever else the weekend brings. Talk to you then, Radio or Not.

Share

VIDEO: ALS #IceBucketChallenge can be... challenging

Share

RachelMaddoww284h202

gotta laugh political jokes

There are some very well-meaning celebrities who are taking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. And then there are those who appear to be indulging themselves in a Self-Serving Moment of Promo.

Take Les Moonves, for example. He's the president and CEO of CBS. His video happened to appear on his CBS show "Big Brother," which, not so coincidentally, his wife Julie Chen hosts. And where his wife also took the challenge after airing her husband's video. Her douser, by the way, was Will Arnett... of CBS's "The Millers":

What's that saying again? Oh yeah, "It's all in the family." I truly hope their efforts help, but, IMHO, they are also exploiting a good cause.

And something has been puzzling me about the ALS challenge's very premise. Wiki:

A common stipulation is that nominated people have 24 hours to comply or forfeit by way of a charitable financial donation.

So those who comply aren't donating? Why are the drenched participants proud of that? Isn't the whole point to not only bring attention to ALS, but also to help fund raise? Color me confused. But I digress...

Allow me to introduce my buddy "Special K" to you. She and I both live in sunny California where a major drought is underway. Conservation is a huge issue here, which inspired Special K to come up with this:

She's already gotten negative feedback on Facebook (quel surprise) for injecting some humor into something that comedians and others have already playfully skewered. Lighten up, people. Nobody's anti-good cause here. When you think about it, provoking laughter is already incorporated into the very act of dumping ice water all over the heads of participants, so why not increase awareness with a little more (benign) humor?

giggle laughPerhaps her critics should have taken a moment to read this at the ALS Association site:

Please be thoughtful about water usage! If you’re in an area of the country or world affected by drought, repurpose the water for later use or help spread ALS awareness by becoming an ALS advocate, joining the Walk to Defeat ALS® in your community, getting involved in our fundraisers, or sharing information about this disease via social media. Or you can make a donation instead at www.alsa.org/donate.

Say it with me now: GottaLaff or you cry.

Share

Hit Me With Your Best Shot - on ice, please, and lots of ice

Share

BabyIceORIG
Vertical dunking on the rocks? Genius.

The trend moving to all corners of the country (and overseas), of getting dunked and with a very large bucket of ice water (hope they at least add a lime wedge) is full-blown viral.

Even Grandma Ethel Kennedy  took it like a sailor. AND she also challenged President Obama.

Still giving back, Dame Ethel.

pippin

The viral trend has drawn celebrities, athletes, and politicians, including the Kennedys, to participate in the #IceBucketChallenge. And they spared no one — after thirty or so members of the Kennedy family poured freezing water over their heads, they nominated "Grandma Ethel," one of the eldest in the family, to follow suit. She did — but not before she named President Obama to be next.

Next, QEII? Bet she'd still have her ubiquitous purse. Doncha' sometimes wildly wonderwhat the Queen has in her trademark hand bag? 

Morning Schmoe got frisky for a few moments on messnbc.

rachel-maddow-msnbc-ice-water

GO Maddow!

Then the Roundtable of The Morning Ick:

Gaah!

 

For the record, ALS is Lou Gehrig’s Disease. It’s a disease of the nerve cells in both the brain and the spinal chord that control voluntary muscle movement. Over time, it weakens your muscles and your ability to voluntarily control your muscles, killing you. ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Here is the website to donate to the ALS Association: ALSA.org. And here is another website, made by the family of Peter Frates who was recently diagnosed with ALS; they are heavy proponents of “striking out ALS” and the ice bucket challenge: www.petefrates.com.

gunscar2

Here's the history, ably summarized by The Verge.

WHAT'S GOING ON?
Everyone you've seen is participating in the Ice Bucket Challenge. The challenge involves daring a person to dump a bucket of ice water over their head within the next 24 hours, or else donate money — usually $100 — toward fighting ALS. Even if a person completes the challenge, they're more than welcome to donate money too.

Once a person completes the challenge, they're also supposed to dare several other people — usually three — to participate, which is why the challenge has been growing and growing.

 

Photo courtesy of

 

This Hawaiian footage of flash-mob dumps/observers, below, is priceless.

Jimmy Fallon outdid himself - video below.

Now that's funny right there, no matter how you judge the cause.

 

bucket

colbertonfox

Share

A Love Story

Share

leo tolstoy love

This is a feel good/feel bad story. But most of all, it should make you feel.

Two people meet and fall in love. They're both 27 at the time and spend the next twenty years together. Sadly, ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease (always fatal) strikes one of the partners. Time is running out and the inevitable must be faced. Plans for burial.

The dying partner, John Arthur wanted his survivor to receive the earned benefits from his years of work. But even more pressing was the fact that the burial plots that had been purchased by the Arthur family stipulated that for John's spouse to be buried in the family plot, the two must be legally married. So, after 20 years, they applied to be married. And the state of Ohio refused them a license.

With only a few weeks left, maybe only days, the two received donations from friends as they didn't have enough money -- illness and no Obamacare to cover them -- to fly by private plane (commercial flights were out of the question as John is bed ridden) to Maryland where they could be married. But they faced their big challenge when they came home for the last time. Would Ohio acknowledge this out of state marriage? Could this loving couple spend their final hours together without worrying about the state of their future and whether they could remain side by side in the cemetery? Could John Arthur pass peacefully with his partner at his side for eternity?

But this wasn't just any marriage. It was a same sex marriage between John Arthur and his spouse James Obergefell.

Monday, the two men sued Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and the Cincinnati doctor responsible for approving death certificates. Obergefell and Arthur asked a judge to overturn existing Ohio law - which doesn't recognize same-sex marriage - to allow Obergefell to be listed as surviving spouse on Arthur's death certificate and for it to show that Arthur's marital status at death as married.

Monday they won. Arthur has but a few days left, perhaps even as this is posted, the end will be here. But this story goes to show you how love and perseverance, coupled with a fair interpretation of the law is now possible since DOMA was struck down. Hopefully soon there won't have to be stories like this -- but merely of two consulting adults being able to love and marry one another, in sickness and in health, and to be together, until death do they part.

Share