The Lookout
  • David Daly remembers sitting in a garden in Afghanistan two years ago and discussing military strategy with his counterparts in the Afghan army. At this point, the U.S. had spent a decade there.

    A Marine offered a tactical suggestion, one that made perfect sense to the Americans but not to the Afghans. Daly, then a Marine captain, says an "old" Afghan major looked at him and said: "You think you have been here 10 years, but you have really only been here one year, 10 times."

    For Daly, the major had perfectly encapsulated a quote often attributed, but probably wrongly, to Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin or Mark Twain: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

    “He was right,” Daly writes in a first-person perspective on Yahoo News this week, “We were doing the same things there over and over with the same results. Instead of building on the experiences and lessons learned from each year, we failed to understand their point of

    Read More »from Military vets and others speak out about talks with Taliban
  • James Gandolfini at the Screen Actors Guild awards event in 2008. (Danny Moloshok/Reuters)

    It's been less than 24 hours since James Gandolfini, the 51-year-old award-winning actor, died while vacationing with his 13-year-old son in Rome, Italy.

    But that, apparently, was more than enough time for Michael Gelb, clinical professor at New York University’s College of Dentistry, to seize the opportunity to promote his "pioneering" integrative sleep apnea treatment center.

    "Might the iconic 'Sopranos' actor's legendary loud snore been a warning sign?" an email pitch from Gelb's publicist, sent on Thursday morning, read. An excerpt:

    Enter Dr. Michael Gelb, clinical professor at New York University’s College of Dentistry and founder of The Gelb Center, a pioneer in integrative sleep apnea treatments: “James Gandolfini’s snoring was well-known. What’s less well known is that snoring is a warning sign of obstructive sleep apnea, which is linked to higher risks of heart attacks and strokes for people with cardiovascular disease. More than 38,000 people a year die from this disease,

    Read More »from Shameless doc’s PR pitch: Gandolfini’s death ‘a wake-up call to guys who snore like freight trains’
  • Deidre Hansen (left) with her son Sgt. Joshua Hansen and his children Jesse James (in hat) and Trinity Rose (Paul Fraughton/the Salt Lake Tribune)

    Sgt. Joshua Hansen, struck nine times by IEDs, has received a Bronze Star for his service in Iraq, reports the Salt Lake Tribune.

    A spokesman for the Utah Department of Veterans Affairs confirmed the details to Yahoo News.

    “I have the greatest admiration for combat veterans," Terry Schow, executive director of the Utah Department of Veterans Affairs, told Yahoo news by telephone. "He had one of the more dangerous jobs. He took out IEDs, obviously that saves lives. He’s a very humble, self-effacing young man," Schow added.

    According to the Tribune, the ninth hit to Hansen's personnel carrier was on March 15, 2007. Although wounded, he helped another injured solider who was having trouble breathing before losing consciousness.

    Hansen was awarded the Bronze Star, according to the Tribune, for "'exceptionally meritorious service' during the six months in which he served as a team leader for 2nd Platoon, Company A of the U.S. Army’s 321st Engineers, a reserve unit based partly in Ogden.

    Read More »from Soldier awarded Bronze Star for service in Iraq

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  • FIFA official says England had best bid for 2018 World Cup

    LONDON (Reuters) - England's failed bid to host the 2018 World Cup "was by far the strongest contender", FIFA official Harold Mayne-Nicholls was quoted as saying on Sunday. "How could England have only got two votes? It was a big surprise," Mayne-Nicholls was quoted as saying in The Sunday Times. The 53-year-old, a former Chilean football federation president, was chairman of a FIFA group tasked with assessing the strength and feasibility of the various bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup finals. ...

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