John Belushi – Why he died

John Belushi – Why he died

John Belushi - Why he died

Who is right about John Belushi?

Bob Woodward has written a book named Wired that portrays Belushi as a man out of control, whose life came to be ruled by cocaine and other drugs.

Judy Belushi, his widow, has attacked Woodward’s book for a number of reasons, of which the most heartfelt is: That’s not John in the book. Woodward’s portrait doesn’t show the life, the humor, the courage, the energy. He wasn’t just a junkie.

Yet the cops who removed his body from a bungalow at the Chateau Marmont on March 5, 1982, were brutally frank. He looked, to them, like just another dead junkie.

Judy Belushi remembers the good times. She argues that “drugs can be fun,” and that she and John had a lot of ups along with the downs. The difference was that John never knew when to stop. Woodward portrays a man who, at the time of his death, was throwing away a career and alienating key people in the movie industry by a pattern of uncontrolled drug abuse. Judy Belushi speaks of the pressures of show business, of John’s need to find energy and inspiration in drugs so that he could deliver what was expected of him.

In all the important ways, Woodward’s book is apparently reliable. Judy Belushi quarrels with some dates and interpretations, but basically the facts are there, and documented. Their real difference is over the interpretation of the facts. Beginning with the same man and the same life, Judy Belushi sees a lifestyle, and Bob Woodward sees the progression of a disease.

Was John Belushi an addict? Friends shy away from the word, and yet on the evidence in Woodward’s book he was a classic addict, a textbook case of drug and alcohol abuse. You don’t get much worse and live, as indeed he proved.

The protests over Woodward’s unflinching portrait of Belushi’s last days reminds me (not with a smile) of an old Irish joke. The mourners are gathered around the dead man’s coffin.

“What did he die of?” one asks the widow.

“He died of the drink,” she says.

“Did he go to AA?”

“He wasn’t that bad.”

John Belushi did try to stop, many times. It is just that he never tried to stop in a way that would have worked. He tried resolutions and willpower. Every addict knows that willpower hardly ever works in the long run, since when the will turns, the game is over. He tried changing his environment, with retreats to Martha’s Vineyard. Recovering addicts talk cynically of “geographical cures,” as if a habit you carry within yourself can be left behind. He tried placing himself under the discipline of others, and even submitted to “trainers” who were to guard him twenty-four hours a day. That made his drugs their problem, not his. He tried switching from one drug to another, or to “only beer” or “only pot.” All mood-altering substances are interchangeable to the abuser, and the drug of substitute leads inevitably back to the drug of choice. He tried health kicks, with Judy mixing her husband “health shakes” in the mornings, all filled with yogurt and bananas and wheat germ. An abusers body is incapable of efficiently absorbing nutrition. He talked to doctors who issued their dire warnings while writing him prescriptions for tranquilizers. He talked to psychiatrists who wanted to get to the root of his problem, as if today’s drug abuse can be treated by understanding the traumas of childhood.

All of these attempts were valiant. When Judy Belushi speaks of them, she speaks from the bottom of her heart. But they were all doomed. All but the very luckiest of drug abusers and alcoholics have tried and failed at most of those strategies. Those who have been successful at stopping are almost unanimous in describing what finally worked:

1. Complete abstinence from all mood-altering substances.

2. Admission of defeat, and willingness to accept help.

3. Use of a support group, such as AA.

The odds against successfully stopping by going cold turkey and using willpower are so high, according to the Harvard Medical School study “The Natural History of Alcoholism,” that it’s hardly worth trying — except as a prelude to an admission of defeat.

From the evidence in Wired, John Belushi was rarely away from one drug or another for more than a few days. Using Valium or Quaaludes as a “substitute” was just his way of putting his drug of choice on hold. When he did occasionally get clean, it was almost always in response to a specific challenge (doing a movie, meeting a deadline), and it often involved some kind of external control, like a bodyguard who would act as a substitute for Belushi’s own will. When he went back to drug use, it was also often in response to a challenge like a movie or a deadline; whether he was using or abstaining, he connected drugs with his ability to work.

I remember a day here at the Sun-Times building when Belushi was shooting scenes for Continental Divide. I had known him for years on a casual basis; our paths crossed occasionally, from early days of Old Town bars and Second City parties to later interviews and show-biz occasions. I had rarely seen him looking better than he looked that day. He told me he was in great shape. He was off the booze and the drugs. He was exercising.

A man was standing next to him, and he introduced him as “my trainer.” Well, what was he going to call him? “My drug guard?” Alcoholism and drug abuse are characterized by denial and an addict will substitute almost any conceivable illness or weakness for the one he must deny; John seemed to place the entire situation in the category of “losing weight” and “getting in shape.” An alcoholic who has temporarily stopped drinking but does not yet admit his problem will frequently do what John did, which is to describe abstinence as a training program or a diet.

His career was coming apart. Continental Divide did not do well at the box office. There were arguments and major problems during the shooting of Neighbors. Work was at a standstill on the screenplay for Belushi’s next project, titled “Noble Rot.” All the career setbacks are described by Woodward. They were accompanied by episodes of drug and alcohol abuse that grew increasingly alarming to his friends and family.

Judy Belushi, in describing those episodes, often links them with their “causes.” For example, she differs with Woodward on his interpretation of Belushi’s drug use during the filming of “Goin’ South,” one of his early films, which starred Jack Nicholson. In the Woodward version, Belushi’s drug use created problems with the shooting schedule. In Judy Belushi’s version, John had flown to New York for a heavy “Saturday Night Live” taping schedule, had exhausted himself, was diagnosed as having “walking pneumonia,” should have been hospitalized, was nevertheless advised by his lawyer to fly back to the movie location in Mexico — and only then, after being kept on hold for several days in Mexico, began to use drugs. Well, she seems to be asking, can you blame him?

The disagreement over the facts of this episode are unimportant, now that Belushi is in his grave. Judy’s interpretation is revealing. Her rationale, if I follow it, is that John used drugs in response to an intolerable situation, and that drugs were his means of coping with it. He was not just irresponsibly going on a blast.

That is true, but it is half of the truth.

It is true, that for someone with a dependency on drugs or alcohol, there will be situations that literally cannot be gotten through without drugs or alcohol. But the other half of the truth is: The situations that cannot be gotten through without drugs or alcohol are invariably situations caused by drugs or alcohol. Booze fixes a hangover. Then booze causes a hangover. If a non-drinker woke up with a normal hangover, he would go to an emergency room. A surprising number of drug and alcohol abusers walk around every day for years with symptoms that a healthy person would equate with “walking pneumonia,” or worse.

Some reviews of Wired say it describes John as a tragic figure. But disease is not tragic, it is just very sad. And what is sad in John’s case is that he was not lucky enough to find, or be able to accept, help. In the book, Dan Aykroyd cries out that John must be hospitalized, that he needs professional help. John Landis says, “We’ve got to get him formally committed if necessary.” Judy was in agreement, but wondered how they’d ever get John to go along with it. They were right. At the time of John’s death, his friends were apparently mobilizing to “enforce” such help — to intervene.

They were on the right track, but too late. John Belushi himself, on some pages of this book, pounds his fists, cries out against his demons and vows to straighten himself out forever. If he had gone the route of detox, drug counseling, therapy and AA, there is a possibility that he could have stayed drug-free long enough to come down to normal speed, to look soberly at his life, and to accept help. But in the years covered by this book, Belushi was never clean long enough to see very clearly.

To me, the tragic figure in the book is Judy Belushi. Tragedy is when you know not only what was, but what could have been. No matter what she thinks of the Woodward book, for me she comes across in it as a courageous, loving, generous and incredibly patient woman who stood by John as well as she could, who put up with a lot of hell, who did what seemed to be right, and who is not content to have his epitaph read “junkie.”

Yet her behavior toward her husband, as described here, is often an example of “enabling.” Almost all active alcoholics and addicts have “enablers” in their lives — people who make excuses, hold things together, assume the roles of bodyguard, parent, nurse, accountant and alibier. Enabling is obviously done out of love — usually out of a deep and stubborn love that refuses to admit defeat. But groups such as Al-Anon, the organization for friends and associates of alcoholics, argue that the best thing an enabler can do is stop enabling.

Judy tried that on occasion, threatening John with divorce as a last resort. Unfortunately, her battle was not only against her own enabling, but also against the army of enablers that flocked around Belushi in the years of his fame. This was possibly the most enabled man of his generation. The angriest pages in Woodward’s generally dispassionate book are devoted to the friends, fans, agents, producers, employers, groupies and general scum who competed with each other to supply Belushi with drugs.

I remember John from the early 1970s, in Old Town, where, to put it cruelly, you’d put drinks into him like quarters into a jukebox, and he’d entertain everyone in the room. He was eventually “eighty-sixed” (barred) from most of those bars, though, and at the end was frequenting his own private saloons in New York and Chicago.

In Chicago during those early days, we were buying him drinks, In Los Angeles and New York in the later days, Woodward reports, money for cocaine was built into some of his business deals, and his associates were giving him hundreds of dollars in cash, on demand, day or night, to buy drugs. For that matter, what difference would it have made if they hadn’t? Friends and sycophants were sneaking him drugs because it boosted their own images: There are long, painful passages in the book in which Judy is asking people not to give John drugs “because I know you don’t want to hurt him.” The same people are hiding drugs for him in stovepipes, toilet bowls and his pockets.

John Belushi was an actor and a comedian, but the book could have been written about a pilot, a plumber, a taxi driver or a journalist — if their diseases commanded $600,000 advances from Simon and Schuster. Judy Belushi is wrong, I believe, in confusing the progression of John’s disease with the “demands” and “pressures” of show business.

Life involves a lot of pressure. It is easier to handle without the incalculable pressure of drug abuse. The comedian who cannot be funny, the pilot who cannot fly, the journalist who cannot meet a deadline, the mother who cannot be patient with her child, feels demands and pressures that are exactly the equal of Belushi’s — since there is no measuring the intensity of the intolerable. Wired is essentially not a show-business biography, but just the sad natural history of a disease.

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Extraterrestrials – NASA rover shows Mars rodent

Extraterrestrials – NASA rover shows Mars rodent

Extraterrestrials - NASA rover shows Mars rodent

A report posted on UFO Sightings Daily claims that life has been discovered on Mars. The report talks about finding a rat like Creature in one of the photos posted in official NASA website. The photo was sent by the Mars Rover. The website, UFO Sightings Daily, is coordinated by Scott C. Waring. He had been affiliated with the United States Air Force at SAC base (USAF flight line).

He currently owns an ESL School in Taiwan. In this report, Scott has published images of the creature, taken from official NASA website, along with a video of the creature posted on YouTube.

Mr. Waring tells us how the creature was discovered. He also tells us that it is not the first creature discovered on Mars.

“This odd creature was discovered on Mars by a person in Japan in March. This animal was not the first to be discovered in NASA photos but is in a long line of strange creatures.”

He describes the last reported creature and talks about what this particular creature resembles.

“Remember the last one we reported that was very similar to a squirrel (left had column of our site)? Well this one also seems to resemble a rodent but also may be a lizard.”

He explains why it is possible to find such creatures on Mars.

“With water existing on Mars in small amounts, it’s possible to find such desert animals wandering around…although very rare mind you.”

He also suggests that the creatures might have been placed by NASA for experimentation.

“Then again, is NASA placing animals from tiny cyogenic chambers inside the rover onto the surface of Mars to conduct tests?”

Finally, he asks the readers to provide their opinion about the images.

“Check out the NASA photo for yourself and tell us what you think about it in the comments please.”

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Read more in the UFO and Exopolitics section of The Canadian.

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Black widows on grapes

Black widows on grapes

Beware of lethal black widow on red, green, black grapes

Black widows on grapes

Black widows on grapes bought in supermarkets might not appear at first like a black widow, the most venomous spider in North America, but as merely some irregularity or red spot on the grapes — until it starts moving. Earlier this month, one shopper in Michigan bought some grapes but after she had taken them home and was getting them ready to be eaten, she noticed something staring at her, reported Fox News on Nov. 22, 2013.

“I looked in the grapes and there was a black widow staring right at me,” said Callum Merry who had the unexpected encounter with a black widow on her grapes.

And Callum Merry from Michigan is not the only shopper who recently discovered a black widow hiding among her grapes.

At the beginning of November, Yvonee Duckhorn was shopping with her four-year-old daughter at an Aldi in Wisconsin when she picked up a clear container of red grapes that was on sale. When she flipped the container with the grapes over to check for mold or any soft grapes, she noticed something was moving inside.

“I saw the legs moving frantically,” Yvonee Duckhorn said. “I’ve seen bugs on fruit before, and I thought, ‘That is a very big spider.’ Nothing I’d ever seen before.”

Yvonee Duckhorn realized that she was actually looking at a black widow on her grapes when she noticed the red marking on the black spider. Following the incident, Aldi Supermarkets pulled all red, green and black grapes from Milwaukee-area stores and promised to beef up inspections, reported the Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.

Black widows can be easily recognized by their distinctive red hour-glass-shaped marking on the body. However, how many people think about checking for a black widow when buying grapes?

No matter whether a black widow is found on grapes in a supermarket or just as you walk out the door (as it happens often in Southern California), black widows are to be respected. They are the most venomous spiders in North America and their venom can cause some major reaction, especially in children, adults, or people with allergies.The bite of a black widow can be lethal.

Black widows, especially the female black widow, have very potent venom. The bite feels like a pinprick. At first you may notice slight swelling and faint red marks. Within a few hours, though, intense pain and stiffness begin. While the much larger body mass of a person can usually fight off the small amount of potent venom, other symptoms can develop including chills, fever, nausea, vomiting, and severe abdominal pain. While a severe or even lethal reaction to a black widow spider bite is rare, any of the above symptoms might warrant a visit to the doctor to receive an antivenom.

According to Aquatic Community, “in the United States, compiled black widow spider bite facts show us that between the year 1950 and 1989 there were only 63 reported instances of lethal black widow spider bites. The risk of dying from a black widow spider bite will increase if you do not seek medical attention, and if you have underlying health problems, such as a heart condition. Before the antivenom was invented, up to 5 percent of reported bites were lethal.”

Black widows on grapes or other fruits are becoming more common as food growers are cutting back on insecticides. The black widows’ dark color, even their red marking, make them hard to spot among dark red grapes and thus can easily evade food inspectors.

Besides Michigan and Wisconsin, reports of black widow spiders on grapes have popped up in the past few months in Missouri and Minnesota.

A black widow spider was found in grapes from a Kroger store in Detroit and in early October, two consumers in the St. Louis area reported finding black widow spiders in grapes purchased from different Aldi stores. In September, a black widow was found in a shipment of grapes in the lunchroom of a Twin Cities school.

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Dead baby wakes up crying at funeral home

Dead baby wakes up crying at funeral home

Dead baby wakes up crying at funeral home

dead baby wakes up and cries at the funeral home where he was to be cremated leaving funeral workers startled and shocked. The dead baby woke up two days after he was officially pronounced dead at the Anhui Provincial Children’s Hospital. “The hospital had issued a death certificate for the baby, who was meant to be cremated under standard procedures, according to the Hefei Municipal Funeral Parlor,” reported Shangaiist on Nov. 22, 2013.

The dead baby who woke up and cried before being cremated was discovered to be alive on Wednesday morning by funeral workers in Anhui in eastern China. The funeral workers sent the baby boy who is less than one month old immediately back to the hospital where he had been declared dead.

According to the health department in the Anhui province, the baby boy who unexpectedly woke up two days after he had been pronounced dead suffered from a congenital respiratory system malformation.

After being born, the parents had agreed to stop medical treatment for their baby boy on Nov. 12. However, since the baby boy “still had life signs, we continued to give him transfusions to maintain his life for humanitarian reasons,” said one of the staff members of the Anhui Provincial Children’s Hospital.

On Monday, Nov. 18, however, the baby boy’s health declined, a death certificate was issued, and the baby boy was sent to the funeral home to be cremated. An investigation into the precise circumstances of the incident is ongoing.

However, had the “dead” baby boy not woken up and cried on Wednesday, he would have been cremated alive.

While the baby boy who prevented his cremation by waking up and crying is being treated, the doctor responsible for declaring him dead has been ruled negligent and his license has been revoked.

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Dinosaur Sightings – DOS File Managers

Dinosaur Sightings – DOS File Managers

Dinosaur Sightings - DOS File Managers

The Executive Systems’ DOS File Manager products, XTree (1985) all the way up to XTreeGold (1993) were very popular in their day. Every version of the product offered great features and made managing files a piece of cake. Xtree was so popular that to this day, the product’s most ardent fans maintain a Web site dedicated to the product called XTree Fan Page. While visiting the page I learned that in 1993, XTree was sold to Central Point Software, which in 1994 was acquired by Symantec. By 1995 the XTree product was discontinued. Image created by Greg Shultz for TechRepublic.

About Greg Shultz

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

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Dog’s wife Beth has warrant out for arrest

Dog’s wife Beth has warrant out for arrest

Dog's wife Beth has warrant out for arrest

Dog the bounty hunter‘s wife, Beth, has a warrant out for her arrest in Colorado. This is really out of the norm for this reality TV star, who is usually on the hunt to drag folks in for jumping bail. While Dog and Beth were on a fishing trip in Colorado, they ran into an unruly group of teens, according to MStars on July 28, 2013.

Beth and Dog were fishing when a car sped by with a group of teens inside. Beth allegedly yelled at the kids for their recklessness. Beth called 911 only after she saw that one of this group was carrying a gun and he had his hand on the grip. When police got there, Beth and Dog had left the area, but could you blame them, especially with a gun in the mix?

The teens put in a complaint about Beth yelling at them, saying she called one of the passengers a “tramp” and a “whore.” Under Colorado State law apparently the use of “coarse language” along with “taunting or challenging someone” is a crime, according to the website.

The warrant for this complaint was issued only because the police tried to get a hold of Beth to talk with her about the complaint, but she didn’t call them back. The Chapman’s lawyer has called the Colorado police to say that Beth would be turning herself in.

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Dinosaur – killing space rock was a comet

Dinosaur – killing space rock was a comet

By Paul RinconScience editor, BBC News website, The Woodlands, Texas

Dinosaur - killing space rock was a comet

The impact 65 million years ago killed off 70% of species on Earth – including the dinosaurs.

The space rock that hit Earth 65m years ago and is widely implicated in the end of the dinosaurs was probably a speeding comet, US scientists say.

Researchers in New Hampshire suggest the 180km-wide Chicxulub crater in Mexico was carved out by a smaller object than previously thought.

Many scientists consider a large and relatively slow moving asteroid to have been the likely culprit.

Details were outlined at the 44th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.

But other researchers were more cautious about the results.

“The overall aim of our project is to better characterise the impactor that produced the crater in the Yucatan peninsula [in Mexico],” Jason Moore, from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, told BBC News.

The space rock gave rise to a global layer of sediments enriched in the chemical element iridium, in concentrations much higher than naturally occurs; it must have come from outer space.

Extra-terrestrial chemistry

However, in the first part of their work, the team suggests that frequently quoted iridium values are incorrect. Using a comparison with another extraterrestrial element deposited in the impact – osmium – they were able to deduce that the collision deposited less debris than has previously been supposed.

The recalculated iridium value suggests a smaller body hit the Earth. So for the second part of their work, the researchers took the new figure and attempted to reconcile it with the known physical properties of the Chicxulub impact.

For this smaller space rock to have produced a 180km-wide crater, it must have been travelling relatively quickly. The team found that a long-period comet fitted the bill much better than other possible candidates.

“You’d need an asteroid of about 5km diameter to contribute that much iridium and osmium. But an asteroid that size would not make a 200km-diameter crater,” said Dr Moore.

“So we said: how do we get something that has enough energy to generate that size of crater, but has much less rocky material? That brings us to comets.”

Dr Moore’s colleague Prof Mukul Sharma, also from Dartmouth College, told BBC News: “You would need some special pleading for an asteroid moving very rapidly – although it is possible. But of the comets and asteroids we have looked at in the skies, the comets are the ones that are moving very rapidly.”

Long-period comets are balls of dust, rock and ice that are on highly eccentric trajectories around the Sun. They may take hundreds, thousands or in some cases even millions of years to complete one orbit.

The extinction event 65 million years ago is now widely associated with the space impact at Chicxulub. It killed off about 70% of all species on Earth in just a short period of time, most notably the non-avian dinosaurs.

The enormous collision would have triggered fires, earthquakes and huge tsunamis. The dust and gas thrown up into the atmosphere would have depressed global temperatures for several years. Read more…

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Ali Campbell Biography

Ali Campbell Biography

Ali Campbell Biography

Ali Campbell was born February 15 1959 in Birmingham, UK. After leaving school he and some friends decided to form a band. In humorous reference to their unemployed status, they named themselves after the unemployment benefit claim form (UB40). The band’s instruments were all purchased thanks to a £4,000 compensation award that Ali received after a bar fight, and the band played their first gig at the Hare & Hounds pub in Birmingham.

Ali grew up in an area of Birmingham with a predominantly afro-Caribbean population, which heavily influenced his musical tastes. Although a huge fan of Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder, (he modelled his singing style on both their voices), his biggest love was reggae, and so UB40 became the first all-white reggae band. This prompted many Ali Campbell tour tickets to be sold, initially for the novelty value alone.

Soon afterward, the boys were spotted by Pretenders’ lead singer Chrissie Hyndes, who invited them to support her band on their upcoming tour. This led to a recording contract, Ali Campbell tickets for promotional gigs, and their debut single, King/Food for Thought. In 1980, their first album, Signing Off, reached number two in the UK, remaining in the charts for seventy-two weeks. Now the best UB40 tickets were hard to get – and more expensive!

In 1983, they released a covers album, Labour of Love, which topped the UK charts, gave them their first US hit and increased demand for UB40 tour tickets. Their most successful singles were (I Can’t Help) Falling In Love With You, and Red, Red Wine and even new fans purchasing Ali Campbell tickets clamoured to hear these old classics.

UB40 were still going strong twenty years after the band formed; UB40 tour tickets continued to sell-out, and they even won an Ivor Novello Award for International Achievement. In 2007, the band headlined the Live Earth concert in Johannesburg, performing a 54-minute set – these were some of the best UB40 tickets to get your hands on.

Soon after, blaming disputes with management, Ali quit the band but demand for the best UB40 tickets remained high, prompting Campbell to release a solo album later that year, Running Free, featuring such guest artists as Smoky Robinson and Mick Hucknall, prompting sales of Ali Campbell tickets to rival UB40’s in popularity. In 2008, after forming a new band called Dep with fellow ex-UB40 member Mickey Virtue, he embarked on an international tour, launched with a sell-out concert at the Albert Hall. The demand for Ali Campbell tickets were at this point at an all time high, and would tour tickets often sold out in no time. While in South Africa, Ali helped record the single Many Rivers to Cross on behalf of Nelson Mandela’s Goal4Africa campaign, to fund education for children in rural Africa, again rejuvenating sales of Ali Campbell tickets.

In 2009, Ali’s single Out From Under was released, and in 2010, his follow-up album Flying High had a mix of covers and self-penned tracks, featuring Craig David and Shaggy. This received some of the most favourable reviews of Ali’s career to date, and caused a resurgence in Ali Campbell tour tickets sales; one reviewer raved that it captured the authentic contemporary sound of Jamaica.

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Imagine Dragons Dedicate Demons clip to Tyler Robinson

Imagine Dragons Dedicate Demons clip to Tyler Robinson

Imagine Dragons Dedicate Demons clip to Tyler Robinson

Breakout band Imagine Dragons has released an emotional music video for new single “Demons.” They dedicate the clip to 17-year-old fan Tyler Robinson, who recently succumbed to cancer.

The video depicts images of Imagine Dragons performing the song at a hometown show in Las Vegas. Their stage performance clips are juxtaposed with scenes of audience members thinking about their own personal demons; an American soldier recalls harrowing moments on the battlefield; another person deals with the secrets of domestic violence.

At the video’s conclusion, director Isaac Halasima has added a snippet from a clip created by Tyler Robinson’s brother Jesse, showing the band dedicating their hit “It’s Time” to Tyler in concert. Frontman Dan Reynolds gives the microphone to the elated fan to sing along with him.

“This video is a memory of the great man that he is,” Jesse Robinson commented about Reynolds on his YouTube post of the special moment between his brother and the Imagine Dragons singer.

The “Demons” clip comes with a link for fans who want to donate to the Tyler Robinson Foundation, which “is dedicated to providing financial assistance to families with children battling cancer.”

Imagine Dragons has a slew of tour dates throughout the spring and summer supporting their Night Visions album, including stops at such U.S. music festivals as KROQ’s Weenie Roast in Los Angeles on May 19, the Milwaukee Summerfest on June 19 and Chicago’sLollapalooza on August 2.

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Dinosaurs impact also destroyed bees – says study

Dinosaurs impact also destroyed bees –  says study

Dinosaurs impact also destroyed bees -  says study

The team found the signal of a mass extinction in the DNA of carpenter bees.

Scientists say there was a widespread extinction of bees 66 million years ago, at the same time as the event that killed off the dinosaurs.

The demise of the dinosaurs was almost certainly the result of an asteroid or comet hitting Earth.

Dinosaurs impact also destroyed bees -  says study

But the extinction event was selective, affecting some groups more than others.

Writing in Plos One journal, the team used fossils and DNA analysis to show that one bee group suffered a serious decline at the time of this collision.

The researchers chose to study bees within the subfamily known as Xylocopinae – which included the carpenter bees.

This was because the evolutionary history of this group could be traced back to the Cretaceous Period, when the dinosaurs still walked the Earth.

Previous studies had suggested a widespread extinction among flowering plants during the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) extinction event 66 million years ago.

And it had long been assumed that the bees that depended upon these plants would have met the same fate.

Yet, unlike the dinosaurs, “there is a relatively poor fossil record of bees,” said the paper’s lead author Sandra Rehan, a biologist at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, US. This has made the confirmation of such an extinction difficult.

The impact that wiped out the dinosaurs created opportunities for other animals.

However, the researchers were able to use an extinct group of Xylocopinae as a calibration point for timing the dispersal of these bees.

They were also able to study flower fossils that had evolved traits that allowed them to be pollinated by bee relatives of the Xylocopinae.

“The data told us something major was happening in four different groups of bees at the same time,” said Dr Rehan.

“And it happened to be the same time as the dinosaurs went extinct.”

The findings of this study could have implications for today’s concern about the loss in diversity of bees, a pivotal species for agriculture and biodiversity.

“Understanding extinctions and the effects of declines in the past can help us understand the pollinator decline and the global crisis in pollinators today,” Dr Rehan explained.

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Find out if dinosaurs actually went extinct

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