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18 Mar 2014 

Achilles Tendonitis: Treatment, Symptoms, and Causes | FootSmart

WHAT ARE THE CAUSES AND SYMPTOMS?Drawn diagram of foot with Achilles area highlighted to show symptoms of tendonitis
Named after a mythological Greek warrior whose only mortal vulnerability lay in his heel, the Achilles tendon connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. Like its namesake, this tendon is significant. As the strongest connective tissue in the body, it boosts us forward when we walk, run, or jump.

If overloaded, the Achilles tendon may become inflamed, leading to Achilles tendonitis. This condition causes swelling and a painful, burning sensation behind the ankle about two inches above the heel. The area may also turn red and feel warm to the touch. Without treatment, scar tissue may build up over time and cause palpable bumps along the tendon.

Experiencing these difficult symptoms daily can interfere not only with your healthful exercise routine, but also with everyday activities.

Experts at FootSmart and the Podiatry Institute have identified
several common causes of the irritation that can lead to Achilles tendonitis:Injury caused by repetitive overuse, like long-distance running, or trauma to the Achilles tendon, such as a tear. Not surprisingly, injuries such as these lead to the inflammation and pain typical of Achilles tendonitis.Tight calf muscles due to inadequate stretching. This tightness can irritate the Achilles tendon and cause inflammation.Other painful foot and lower leg conditions, like over-pronation and flat feet. Such conditions can become irritated by lack of proper footwear support and cause irritation in other parts of the foot and leg, such as the Achilles tendon.
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15 Mar 2014 

Claw Toes and Hammertoes - Patient Education - Orthogate

What can be done for the problem?

Nonsurgical Treatment
Treatment depends on how far along the process is. Early on, simplyswitching to shoes that fit properly may stop the deformity and returnthe toes to a more normal condition. If the condition is more advancedand the toes will not completely straighten out on their own, a contracture may exist. A contracture occurs when scar tissue tightens a joint and keeps it from moving through its normal range of motion.

Pressure points and calluses caused by a contracture can be treatedby switching to shoes that have more room in the toe or by placing padsover the calluses to relieve the pressure.

If all else fails, surgery may be suggested to correct the alignmentof the toe. The main type of procedure performed for these conditionsis referred to as an arthroplasty. Arthroplasty is the reconstruction or replacement of a joint.
DIP Joint Arthroplasty
For the hammertoe deformity, an arthroplasty of the DIP jointmay be suggested. This procedure is performed through a small incisionin the top of the toe over the DIP joint. Once the joint is entered, anarthroplasty is performed by removing one side of the joint. Thisreleases the tension on the ligaments and tendons around the joint andallows the toe to be realigned in the proper position. Once the toe isin the proper position, it is held with sutures (stitches) or a metalpin while it heals.
PIP Joint Arthroplasty
One of the most common procedures to correct the claw toe deformity is an arthroplasty of the PIP joint.In this procedure an incision is made over the joint. Once the surgeoncan see the joint, the end of the proximal phalanx is removed toshorten the toe and relax the contracture around the joint. The toe isthen either held with metal pins or sutures in the straight positionuntil it heals.

As the joint heals, scar tissue forms, connecting the two bonestogether and replacing the area where the joint once was. Surgeonsrefer to this as a false joint (or pseudo joint) because thescar tissue allows a bit of motion to occur between the two bones whilekeeping them from rubbing together and causing pain.
MTP Joint Release
If clawing is a problem, then the MTP joint may also have to bereleased to relieve the contracture of this joint and allow theproximal phalanx to come into the correct position. This procedure isperformed by making an incision on the top of the toe over the MTPjoint. The surgeon then releases the tight ligaments and tendons untilthe toe easily moves back into the proper alignment. The toe may beheld in the proper alignment with a metal pin until the soft tissuesheal. The pin may remain in place for three or four weeks.

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12 Mar 2014 

You doctor or podiatrist can help you discover the cause of your condition. After the cause has been determined, your doctor will advise you on the best plantar fasciitis pain therapy. Most of the time, plantar fasciitis pain therapy is easily conducted at home with exercise, rest and relaxation. Sometimes staying off your feet for a given amount of time is the best form of plantar fasciitis pain therapy. Other times, a doctor may tell you to apply tape across the plantar fascia located just in front of the heel where the arch begins to allow the inflammation to subside and the foot to heal correctly.

The mechanical structure of your feet and the manner in which the different segments of your feet are linked together and joined with your legs has a major impact on their function and on the development of mechanically caused problems. Merely having "flat feet" won't take the spring out of your step, but having badly functioning feet with poor bone alignment will adversely affect the muscles, ligaments, and tendons and can create a variety of aches and pains. Excess pronation can cause the arch of your foot to stretch excessively with each step. This "hypermobility" may cause other bones to shift and cause other mechanically induced problems.

How a shoe fits is crucial. Wearing small shoes may aggravate the symptoms of plantar fasciitis When choosing shoes or trying on shoes that have been purchaed and delivered online, patients should ensure they do so in the afternoon or evening. This is because as the day progresses, feet swell and become slightly bigger than they are first thing in the morning. Furthermore, one foot is often slightly larger than the other. If this is the case, patients should check for proper fitting on the larger foot. It is better for shoes to be slightly too large (on the smaller foot) than vice versa.

Heel pain is common complaint in runners. Actually, heel pain is common in all people. 40% of all visits to podiatrists in the U.S. are because of heel pain. Of all of the different causes of heel pain, the vast majority is due to a condition known as plantar fasciitis. This is an inflammation in the band of tissue (the plantar fascia) that runs from the heel to the toes. This condition is most often caused by a tight achilles tendon or poor foot structure such as overly flat feet or high arches.

Pain from plantar fasciitis can cause sharp pain on the bottom of the foot and can affect quality of life in many people. The American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine states that heel pain is the most common complaint to podiatric practitioners throughout the country. According to the National Library of Medicine, treatments for heel pain include rest, medicines, exercises and taping. They also mention that surgery is rarely needed in cases of heel pain caused by conditions like plantar fasciitis. Some exercises can be performed at home without a lot of equipment and can help with the symptoms associated with plantar fasciitis. Anatomyplantar fasciitis

To make a custom splint, a therapist, podiatrist or physician molds a hard plastic splint to each patient's leg and foot. The splint covers the posterior part of the leg and the sole of the foot. It is fastened around the leg and foot by Velcro straps. The splints can be made to control abnormal foot motion since they are fit closely to the leg with minimal or no padding. Because each splint is unique, they can cost more than a commercial off-the-shelf splint. The splints are not designed for walking.

Of all the hours I spent reading and researching a plantar fasciitis cure or remedy, my lightbulb moment came by surprise. In the As Seen on TV section of a store I saw Yoga Toes. Yoga Toes is a small bubbled ladder that goes between your toes to stretch out the ligaments and tendons in your foot side to side. But it was $30. So I wondered if I could think of something else that would stretch out my feet in the same way but cheaper. Then I thought of the foam pedicure toe separators. They were only $1 a pair.

Stand barefoot, with your feet hip-width apart and with your left foot in a slightly forward position - two to three inches ahead of your right foot. The bottoms of the toes of your left foot should be in contact with a wall in front of you (the wall should be creating a forced dorsiflexion of the toes, so that the sole of the left foot is on the ground but the toes are on the wall), and your left knee should be bent slightly. Keep your weight evenly distributed between your right and left foot to start the exercise (see note below).

The Achilles tendon is a group of tissues that connect the heel bone to your calf muscles. When these are inflamed, you have Achilles tendonitis. The plantar fascia is also a group of tissues; but, this links the toes to your heel. Home remedies work well for both the conditions. The treatment of plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis are almost the same. When ice packs and stretching exercises don't work for plantar fasciitis, it may be advisable for you to visit a podiatrist. A new therapy called ESWT or 'Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy' is recommended. The therapy may take about 4 months for complete cure.

I then begin to send healing energy to the affected area of pain, in this case the heel of your foot. I send the energy for about 20 minutes and then ask you for your pain level again. Most of my client notice a pain reduction anywhere from 20-30% in the first twenty minutes. We repeat this process another two times in the course of the hour healing session until the pain level is zero or greatly reduced to a much more comfortable level. Some people may need two or three sessions to experience complete relief.plantar fasciitis relief
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22 Feb 2014 
Sturdy Shoes and Insoles It is important to wear comfortable but sturdy shoes that have thick soles, rubber heels, and a sole insole to relieve pressure. (An insole with an arch support might also be helpful.) Cutting a round hole about the size of a quarter in the sole cushion under the painful area may help support the rest of the heel while relieving pressure on the painful spot. Heel cups are not very useful. When combined with exercises that stretch the arch and heel cord, over-the-counter insoles may offer the same relief as prescribed orthotics.

Clawfoot and Abnormally High Arches. Clawfoot, or pes cavus, is a deformity of the foot marked by very high arches and very long toes. Clawfoot is a hereditary condition, but it can also occur when muscles in the foot contract or become unbalanced due to nerve or muscle disorders. An overly high arch (hollow foot), in general, can cause problems. Army studies have found that recruits with the highest arches have the most lower-limb injuries and that flat-footed recruits have the least. Contrary to the general impression, the hollow foot is much more common than the flat foot.

Another cause of Ball of Foot Pain is over-pronation. Over-pronation (or excess pronation) occurs in a lot of people, especially as they get older. The arches drop and feet and ankles tend to roll inwards. Excessive pronation is a major contributing cause to heel pain and heel spurs, but it also can lead to Metatarsalgia. As the longitidunal arch collapses so does the transverse arch. The transverse arch is the arch that runs across the forefoot and is formed by the 5 metatarsal bones. The bones in the foot drop and the structure of the foot is severely weakened. foot pain icd 9

Foot pain is also caused by wearing the wrong type of shoes for the wrong type of activity. Really, there's a reason why athletic shoe makers sell billions of dollars of footwear each year. These shoes were designed to protect the feet while the user competes in his preferred sport. Sports or activities that Achilles Pain are high-impact require more padding or support in certain areas. For instance, a marathon runner absorbs an incredible amount of force on his hindfoot, which is why professional running shoes are designed to absorb force. Wearing the wrong type of shoes can cause or even aggravate an existing injury.

If you are experiencing this foot pain at an alarming regularity, you need to take some curative measures. These remedies can be adopted at home or at a clinic as well. It really depends on the severity and the frequency of the pain. Some home remedies may provide you instant relief but do nothing in the long run, whereas, some remedies suggested or provided by a doctor will cure the problem in the long run, but do nothing to relieve you of temporary pain. As a result, you must adopt a plan that envelops both these forms of remedies, and carry out a suitable plan of physiotherapy for yourself.

Achilles heel tendonitis can really put a black cloud over anyone's day. The shrinkage of this vital tendon can cause cramping in the lower leg. It can also be a major contributor to shrinking enough to rip during activity such as running. The way to help the tendon relax and elongate in order to lessen pain is to apply gentle stretching to the area. In a seated position on the floor, extend both legs in front. Then, slowly lean the upper body forward and your hamstring will be engaged in a stretch. Hold the stretch for about 30-45 seconds, rest for 60 seconds, and repeat 5 times.

One of the best home remedies for foot pain is to opt for a massage. A good foot rub, whether you do it yourself or go to a professional reflexologist will help in easing the pain. Massaging the feet with gentle pressure, helps to ease the pain and relaxes sore muscles. One of the best herbal remedies for foot pain is to use a foot rub that contains essential oils. You can also make your own foot rub by mixing two drops of rosemary essential oil and two drops of chamomile oil with two tablespoons of olive oil.
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28 Jan 2014 
heel lifts walmartThese shoe lifts can be worn in your shoes and are comfortable enough to wear all day without you even knowing that they are there. If you want to find a way to look taller without having to use products or other procedures that try to make you look taller, you can find what you are looking for in the height increasing shoe insoles that are easy to use and are comfortable to have in your shoes. You can look taller and increase your height, without anyone being able to notice the lifts in your shoes.

Shoe lifts or heel lifts can be used to address various problems. The most common use is to adjust for leg length discrepancies. Leg length differences are often the cause of pain in the back, knees, hips, legs or feet. If one leg is longer than the other, it can carry more weight and take more force upon impact. On the other hand shorter leg can strike the floor differently the problems are never-ending. Shoe lifts that reduce the strain on the low back during walking or those that facilitate in the improvement of posture are good buy.

Patients with heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis are often advised by doctors to wear supportive footwear whenever they bear weight so as not to strain and further injure the plantar fascia. The problem is that most footwear lacks good arch support. Podiatrists sometimes advise expensive custom made orthotic inserts for such shoes ; other times they recommend patients try over-the-counter insoles. For those patients, therapeutic shoe inserts can replace the manufacturer's footbeds included in shoes with removable insoles. Unless otherwise directed by a health care provider, use orthopedic insoles in both shoes , even if the heel pain occurs only in one foot.

One way to help prevent heel spurs is stretch the foot and calf before strenuous exercise. By stretching these tissues, you create more flexibility which lessens the likelihood of plantar fascia stress. It is also essential to wear shoes that fit properly and provide ample arch support and cushioning to the foot. Arch support insoles are a smart addition to any shoe to help eliminate any abnormal stress on the Plantar Fascia, which could lead to heel bone spurs. Being mindful of our feet is a very important step in staying healthy. Healthy feet are a critical component to our long-term health.

Removable insoles of shoes are called shoe inserts. Shoe insert is the latest invention which has really helped many people. They serve numerous purposes, from providing comfortable fit and usage of fashionable shoes to avoiding pain and injuries that are caused due to certain foot problems and joint pains like overuse, arthritis, orthopedic correction of feet and increasing athletic performance. Shoe inserts are also used for cosmetic purposes and mainly to increase the height of the wearer. When it comes to orthopedic shoe inserts, the most popular type of them all are the arch support inserts. The following article deals with the features and reviews of arch supports.

Heel pain starts after overuse of heels due to physical activities like running and jumping. Sever's disease occurs when there is some temporary distortion in the Achilles tendon present at the back of the heel. This happens when the growth of the calf bones, calf muscles and Achilles tendon is height increase shoe inserts not properly matched. In other words, the growth of the bones are faster as compared to the growth of the muscles and the tendon. As a result, the muscle and the tendon tends to become taut and gives rise to pain. Heel pain in athletes are found due to running or jumping on hard surfaces.

KURU shoes are specially formed with custom orthotics that are proven to address many foot conditions to help you rediscover healthy movement. Through our innovative KURU SOLE technology, our built in orthotics provide a custom fit for your own unique foot. Medical-grade, heat responsive foams built into the footbed adapt to the natural shape of the foot when you move for natural comfort, and outstanding performance. KURU shoes are durable and proven to meet your everyday needs. Lacking arch support? KURU provides some of the world’s most comfortable arch support shoes that fit your feet like a glove.

It is important that you choose the correct type of shoe inserts if you wish to rid yourself of this condition. That means that you must buy inserts that are placed near the area of the toes and it opposed to the other parts of the feet. Consult with medical experts in order to find out which types of insert will work best for you. People suffer from foot problems in our lives because of several reasons such as wearing wrong size shoes , from normal wear and tear, due to some injury, or some kind of skin disease.

The majority of people highly recommends adopting the non-surgical tips for pain relief as they are more result giving in a friendly and comfortable environment and also gives relief for longer time. The most common non-surgical care recommended by all the physicians and researchers are physical therapy, pain killers, asteroid injections and most common cure of adapting to tailor and customized footwear that includes inserts for shoe to avoid paining feet. Foot Solutions Alexandria recently gained huge customer feedback on the latest customized footwear that includes inserts for shoe helping people to avoid the shock to their toes while walking and also provides relief from the extreme foot ache.

Footwear has become a fashion accessory these days. No wonder, the footwear companies are always on a lookout for designs that will please the customers. One must, however, not forget that style must not come before health. Some of the shoes might look very appealing, but the fashionable high-heeled or pointy shoes can put pressure on the plantar fascia. Wearing poorly-fitting shoes is one mistake that can cost you a lot later on. Those who have already been diagnosed with foot problems such as plantar fasciitis will, therefore, benefit greatly by donning plantar fasciitis shoes. These are good at absorbing shocks and also facilitate a proper arch support.
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26 Jan 2014 
heel lift insolesDo you often want to be taller and are not happy with the height that you are? You may have tried a lot of different products and techniques to try to grow taller and if you are ready to try something that really works, you can find shoe insoles that will make you look inches taller, all without having to take any kind of supplement or other procedure that is designed to make you look taller. The insoles that you can try are called the Levitator shoe lifts, and they are made to easily fit into your shoes without being able to notice that they are there.

Shoe lifts have possible side effects too. So before you begin to wear lifts check with your doctor, physiotherapist or chiropractor. Improperly used shoe lifts can be hazardous and can make things worse. It would be wise not to mess around with unilateral heel lifts without the supervision of a qualified professional. Stores like My Lift Kit offers customized shoe lifts for those who have a precise height beside their regular ones. The custom made lifts may be very expensive, but they durable too. After putting on your lifts for a couple of days you become more comfortable and feel comfortable using the inserts.

A foot x-ray is the only way to properly diagnose this condition. With an x-ray, your doctor can confirm that a heel spur has developed. Treatments vary from elevating the foot to much more serious solutions like foot surgery. Many people are able to lessen inflammation by applying gentle heat to the heel. By increasing the circulation, the blood vessels dilate and the pain lessens. Many people discover that simply wearing orthotics can provide significant relief. These devices provide additional arch support and can help correct over-pronation. By reducing the stress on the Plantar Fascia, the tissues in the foot are allowed to heal properly.

One way to help prevent heel spurs is stretch the foot and calf before strenuous exercise. By stretching these tissues, you create more flexibility which lessens the likelihood of plantar fascia stress. It is also essential to wear shoes that fit properly and provide ample arch support and cushioning to the foot. Arch support insoles are a smart addition to any shoe to help eliminate any abnormal stress on the Plantar Fascia, which could lead to heel bone spurs. Being mindful of our feet is a very important step in staying healthy. Healthy feet are a critical component to our long-term health.

Most people experience pain on the heel when they wake up in the morning and begin to walk. There is less pain and stiffness after a while; however, the pain may increase during the day. The pain can occur when you stand or sit for a long time too. The illness is caused when there is strain on the ligament that provides support to the arch. Tiny ligament tears are caused when there are repeated strains resulting in swelling and pain. Continued stretching of the plantar fascia can result in heel spur which is a bone-like development on the heel. Flat feet or high arches can be a cause.

A good exercise that you can perform before sitting up is to stretch your foot by moving it up and down ten times. An alternative exercise you should do while sitting is to roll a rolling pin or tennis ball with the arch of your foot. Once you can, move on to doing this elevator insoles exercise as you are standing up. After these exercises, put on your shoes with arch support inserts inside them, or wear supportive sandals. Don’t start the day walking without shoes on hard floors or tiles, or it can be guaranteed that your heel pain will come back.

There are some very simple things you can do for heel pain. If you are a runner or do high impact aerobics , cut back on your workouts, at least temporarily. Ask your doctor about using inserts for your shoes called orthotics that help support your feet. If you are overweight, try losing a few pounds to relieve some of the pressure on your feet. If you have to stand for long periods of time, place some type of padding on the floor where you are standing. This helps to provide a cushion to lesson your heel pain.

There are plenty of people these days who experience unfortunate pain in the bottom half of their body whilst walking, running or standing. A good number of of these discomforts are connected to incorrect padding inside footwear. Although the more expensive shoes offer the basic cushion along with the shock absorbent sole for arch support there isn't any extra cushion or aid to decrease the discomfort experienced by the user. This is how Walk Fit designed. The manufacturers have manufactured special shoes inserts designed to decrease noticeably the pains suffered by men and women on their feet, hips, knees and lower back.

Prescription orthotics, on the other hand, will actually alter foot structure, especially when that structure is deformed because of flat feet. These thermoplastic inserts are made by taking a plaster impression of the foot, while holding the foot in a corrected position. Not only do the inserts that are made from this impression match the individual foot contours exactly, they also match the foot as it should normally be positioned without excessive rotation. The foot is therefore stabilized in this position, and any abnormal pressure due to abnormal foot structure is significantly reduced.

The inflammation caused by the heel spur can be relieved by placing a flaxseed heat pack over the affected area. Performing some stretching exercises like rolling a tennis or golf ball under your feet is also helpful to lessen the inflammation. Apply heat to your heel for 20 minutes two times daily with a heat pack. Cabbage leaves can also help you get rid of the heel spur pain. Place fresh green cabbage leaves over you heel and leave it on there for sometime. The pain and inflammation can also be eased by soaking your feet in chlorinated water.
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25 Jan 2014 
This Week in Review: Learning from Grantland’s errors, and Ezra Klein cuts loose from the Post » Nieman Journalism Lab

Lessons from Grantland and Dr. V: Much of the talk about journalism this week centered on a single story about the creator of an innovative golf club on the ESPN-owned site Grantland. What drew all the attention (and outrage) was the way the story treated the fact that the inventor, known as Dr. V, was a transgender woman. The author, freelancer Caleb Hannan, made Dr. V's transgender status a central element in the story and treated it as an extension of the "lies" that existed in other areas of Dr. V's past. Hannan outed Dr. V as transgender to one of her company's board members, and when Dr. V committed suicide sometime after telling Hannan he was "about to commit a hate crime," Hannan incorporated it into his story, calling it a "eulogy."

Nieman Storyboard has a good roundup of the wealth of criticism of the story, which covered a wide range of issues but generally focused on the callousness with which Hannan treated Dr. V's transgender status and especially his treatment of it as part of a life of deception. Some of the most salient critiques were written by Shakesville's Melissa McEwan, Jezebel's Tracy Moore, Slate's Josh Levin, and, at Grantland itself, Christina Kahrl.

Author Maria Dahvana Headley wrote a particularly insightful response, chastising Hannan for failing to realize that "his story is not the most important thing here." Several other writers took away lessons from the story: Poynter's Lauren Klinger and Kelly McBride drew out several principles of reporting on trans people, and OutSports' Cyd Zeigler and The Atlantic's Matt Schiavenza both reached back to the coverage of former Los Angeles Times sports columnist Christine Daniels, who was trans, to talk about how to approach transgender issues as a journalist.

After a weekend of uproar about the piece, Grantland's editor, Bill Simmons, explained in a candid and conciliatory apology how the editing process broke down that was (with some notable objections) generally well received. One of its most striking aspects was that the story didn't suffer from a lack of oversight -- it was read by more than a dozen editors -- but by those editors' complete blindness to the story's glaring problems relating to transgender issues.

NYU's Jay Rosen called the case, and that massive collective blind spot in particular, "the best argument I have for you about diversity -- real intellectual and intercultural diversity -- in the newsroom," outlining what he called Joy's Law for journalism: "No matter how good you are, most of the smartest sources are untouched by your reporting and unknown by your people." Meanwhile, Gigaom's Mathew Ingram examined the backlash itself, noting that the web might cater to niche interests, but it also makes it much easier for niche stories to jump into the mainstream and come into contact with other niche groups who see it much differently.

ezra-kleinKlein strikes out from the Post: Ezra Klein, who's been running the popular Wonkblog at The Washington Post since 2009, will be leaving the paper after it rejected his proposal of a new site devoted to explanatory journalism under the Post's banner. Klein is setting out to start is own news organization, and according to The New York Times, he's had talks with several potential backers that include Vox Media, owner of The Verge and the SB Nation network. Wherever he's going, he's taking Matt Yglesias from Slate with him.

Politico reported that Klein proposed an independent site that would have required a staff of more than three dozen and a multiyear budget of at least $10 million. As Politico demonstrated, opinion within and outside the Post was split over the decision to reject Klein's proposal: Some saw it as evidence of new Post owner Jeff Bezos' prudence and caution -- "he doesn't see his Washington Post purchase as a philanthropic venture," said Columbia's Bill Grueskin -- while others saw a lot of similarity with the Post's rejection several years ago of a proposal of a political sub-site that become Politico.

NYU's Jay Rosen noted the clearer, more social science-oriented style Klein brought to the Post and the hostility he faced there, and Slate's David Weigel (an ex-Postie himself) pointed out the similarity to the Politico case. Gigaom's Mathew Ingram wondered if the Post just lost another Politico and urged the paper not to be so wedded to the idea of complete control over its news projects.

On the other hand, the Lab's Joshua Benton noted that $10 million is not an insubstantial investment for an organization in such a financially precarious position as the Post, especially for a site with an unknown (to us, at least) revenue model and potentially limited appeal. The New Yorker's John Cassidy calculated that Klein's site would have to draw significantly more traffic than it does now to provide a return on such an investment and called it a real risk that he can understand Bezos not taking. Others who talked to Digiday's John McDermott also voiced their skepticism about the financial feasibility of Klein's plan.

Similarly, Dean Starkman of the Columbia Journalism Review saw a disadvantage for Klein in the lack of a roadmap for a site like his and urged him to wait a year to see how the other new independent news franchises fare. Also at CJR, Brendan Nyhan outlined a number of tips Klein could take from ESPN's Grantland in developing new, attractive forms of analytical journalism.


Some new restrictions on the NSA: President Barack Obama gave a speech last Friday in which he defended the U.S.' National Security Agency surveillance program, but outlined several restrictions he plans to place on its mass collection of telephone data. The Washington Post's Brian Fung offered a good explanation of exactly what's expected to change.

Most critics of NSA surveillance saw the proposed changes as vastly insufficient. Some NSA surveillance opponents in Congress applauded the reforms, though those critics also said they didn't go far enough and called for Congress to do more. Likewise, the Freedom of the Press Foundation said Obama's proposals "should be seen as the floor--and not the ceiling--for the debate going forward." The Electronic Frontier Foundation's Mark Rumold told VentureBeat that "the NSA surveillance program is so broken that it was easy to pick off some low-hanging fruit and call them reforms," and he and others in tech noted that Obama said nothing about the NSA's encryption-breaking efforts and online information security. On the other hand, Slate's Fred Kaplan saw the reforms as much better than nothing and called those who expect Obama to end bulk collection of metadata naive.

Elsewhere in the discussion about NSA surveillance: An independent review board in the executive branch determined the phone data program is illegal and called for it to end, and WNYC's Brian Lehrer collected a list of the mass intelligence-gathering capabilities we know the NSA currently has. Columbia Journalism Review's Lauren Kirchner documented the ongoing FOIA fight over NSA-related documents, and in the U.K., The Guardian's Alan Rusbridger charged Parliament with complacency on surveillance issues. Meanwhile, historian Sean Wilentz wrote in The New Republic that NSA leaker Edward Snowden and former Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald aren't truth-telling fighters for Constitutional rights, but "enemies of the liberal state." Snowden also took a variety of questions in an online Q&A yesterday.


Layoffs mar a bold plan outside L.A.: The Orange County Register and Riverside Press-Enterprise, two newspapers owned by Aaron Kushner's Freedom Communications, both underwent significant layoffs late last week -- 32 at the Register and 40 at the Press-Enterprise, according to The New York Times. Jim Romenesko has a bit of a blow-by-blow, and OC Weekly's Gustavo Arellano has a full list of those laid off at the Register, which includes a lot of veterans and longtime editor Ken Brusic, who reportedly resigned rather than implementing the cuts. Brusic will be succeeded by Rob Curley, who reached prominence close to a decade ago for his work in hyperlocal journalism at The Washington Post, Las Vegas Sun, and the Lawrence (Kansas) Journal-World. Arellano said Curley is already "loathed" in the newsroom and detailed the reasons for his own skepticism.

Since buying the Register in 2012, Kushner has drawn attention for his bold, counterintuitive strategy of investing heavily in improving the paper, particularly its print product. The New York Times' David Carr, who interviewed Kushner two days before the layoffs, highlighted the juxtaposition of Kushner's continued optimism and ambition for his papers (including his proposed new daily paper in L.A.) with the apparently brutal, though undisclosed, economic realities that led to the layoffs. Here at the Lab, Ken Doctor had the most thorough analysis of the Register's plans, characterizing the layoffs as just one move in the midst of a still-uncertain whirlwind of unorthodox changes.

The Columbia Journalism Review's Ryan Chittum noted that the Register is still better staffed than when Kushner began, but wondered whether Kushner's plan is sunk or merely in need of a correction. At The Huffington Post, journalism professor Dan Kennedy expressed a similar ambivalence, emphasizing his hope that Kushner's plan still succeeds.

Reading roundup: A few other stories that captured people's attention this busy week:

-- The former WaPo Labs -- still owned by the Graham family and now separated from The Washington Post after the paper's sale to Jeff Bezos last year -- relaunched its social reader Trove, which allows users to create curated news topics and lists and share them with others. Recode's Mike Isaac gave a good overview of the app, and The New York Times' Vindu Goel and Gigaom's Mathew Ingram both assessed its strengths and weaknesses -- Goel more positively, Ingram more tepidly.

-- The New York Times revealed that an interactive quiz app got more traffic in 11 days that any other Times piece got all year. Carl Sessions Stepp of the American Journalism Review and Joy Mayer both said journalists shouldn't be freaked out to a quiz at the top of the Times' 2013 most-read list -- Stepp because it represents the human desire to be entertained, and Mayer because it indicates a healthy desire to pick interactivity and personal relevance over traditional explanation. The Knight Lab explained how an intern created it, and at The Atlantic, Ian Bogost saw it as an example of the rise of "curiosity journalism."

-- A U.S. federal appeals court ruled last Friday in a defamation case that bloggers are entitled to the same free speech protections as traditional professional journalists. The case received some press a little more than two years ago when another judge ruled against the blogger, and this time around, legal blogger Venkat Balasubramani broke down the case and Gigaom's Mathew Ingram explained why it's important.

-- News Corp. had an editorial shakeup that included the resignation of Lex Fenwick, CEO of Wall Street Journal publisher Dow Jones. The New York Times has the background, and Jim Romenesko has the memo.

-- A few miscellaneous worthwhile reads: Amy Wallace in The New York Times on the verbal abuse suffered by female journalists, especially online; Liz Hannaford of on the role of journalist-coders in newsrooms, and The Atlantic's Megan Garber on long reads for mobile devices.

Photo of NSA headquarters by AP/Patrick Semansky. Photo of Long Beach resident Antonio Romero reading the first edition of the Long Beach Register on August 19, 2013, by AP/Nick Ut.

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24 Jan 2014 

Almond Footwear. New Stage, New Ideas.
#tbt 2008 back before I wrecked my ankle and got scared of 180 whips. That @stevie_churchill video has me wanting to do them again
Jared Washington
18 hours ago
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22 Nov 2013 
Renowned psychic Sylvia Browne dies at 77

Montel Williams says he "lost a friend."
Sylvia Browne died Nov. 20 at a hospital in northern California, according to her website.(Photo: Facebook)
Renowned psychic and author Sylvia Browne died Wednesday in a San Jose, Calif., hospital, according to a message posted on her website. She was 77. No cause of death is listed.

Browne, who appeared regularly on television and radio, used her psychic ability to help people around the world. She made frequent appearances on TV shows including Unsolved Mysteries, Loveline with Dr. Drew and The Montel Williams Show, on which she was a weekly guest for 17 years.

"I, like so many of you, lost a friend today," Williams said in the posting on Browne's website. "But, as has been for the last 20 years, she'll always remain a part of me."

Of her ability to talk to the dead and see toward the future, "I don't know how I do it," Browne once explained on CNN's Larry King Live. "I've done it all my life."

"Browne's certainty in the existence of reincarnation remained a central theme in her philosophy and she believed it held the key to understanding life, though never imposing her values upon anyone," said her website. "Often, she had been quoted as saying, 'Take with you what you want and leave the rest behind.'"

A private memorial is planned.

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