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Surgeons Successfully Separate Very Rare Conjoined Twins (Source: FOX News)

Surgeons at a British hospital have successfully separated conjoined twin baby girls in a complex and extremely rare operation, the charity that funded the surgery said.

Sudan-born Rital and Ritag Gaboura are craniopagus twins, meaning they were born joined at the head.

Conjoined twins are very rare and only around five percent of them are craniopagus. Experts say around 40 percent of those are stillborn or die during labor, and another third die within 24 hours. So for craniopagus twins to survive even beyond early infancy is a one in 10 million occurrence.

Rital and Ritag, who will celebrate their first birthday next week, were so-called Total Type III Craniopagus twins, meaning that significant blood flowed between their brains—presenting surgeons with a particularly difficult challenge.

These twins were all born conjoined - some were separated by surgery, while others continue to live their lives joined together.

According to doctors who worked on the case, Ritag supplied half her sister's brain with blood, while draining most of it back to her heart, therefore doing most of the work.

This situation was life threatening because large dips in brain blood pressure can cause several neurological damage.

"The incidences of surviving twins with this condition are extremely rare," said David Dunaway, a surgeon in the plastic surgery and craniofacial unit at Great Ormond Street Hospital who led the separation of the girls.

"The task presented innumerable challenges."

The separation of the twins was completed on August 15, and the medical team say the twins do not appear to be suffering any neurological side effects, according to British charity Facing the World, which funded the treatment.

The twins were born in Khartoum, Sudan in September 2010 and their parents, both doctors, asked the charity to organize and fund their separation.

The family flew to London in April, when Ritag's heart was starting to fail, and the twins were admitted to Great Ormond Street, a world-renowned children's hospital in central London.

The separation was carried out in four stages by a surgical team who worked for free. Two operations were carried out in May, then another was undertaken in July to insert tissue expanders, and the final separation was completed on August 15.

"Within days the twins were back on the general ward interacting and playing as before. Their laughter and delight in the world has been an inspiration throughout the months of worry," the charity said in a statement.

"Very soon, their parents will be able to fulfill their dream of taking home two healthy, separate daughters.

The twins' parents, Abdelmajeed and Enas Gaboura, said in a statement: "We are very thankful to be able to look forward to going home with two separate, healthy girls."

This Day in History: Goodfellas Opens (Source: History.com)

On this day in 1990, the Martin Scorsese-directed Mafia film Goodfellas, starring Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Lorraine Bracco and Joe Pesci, opens in theaters around the United States. The movie, which was based on the best-selling 1986 book Wiseguy, by the New York crime reporter Nicholas Pileggi, tells the true story of the mobster-turned-FBI informant Henry Hill (Liotta), from the 1950s to the 1980s. Goodfellas earned six Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director. Pesci won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance as the psychotic mobster Tommy DeVito.

Martin Scorsese, who was born on November 17, 1942, in New York City, received critical acclaim for one of his earliest films, Mean Streets (1973), which marked the first time he worked with Robert De Niro. The two men also collaborated on Taxi Driver (1976), Raging Bull (1980) and The King of Comedy (1982). Following Goodfellas, in which De Niro played the Irish mobster Jimmy Conaway, the actor collaborated with Scorsese on Cape Fear (1991), which co-starred Nick Nolte and Jessica Lange, and Casino (1995), which was co-written by Pileggi and co-starred Pesci and Sharon Stone. Scorsese’s movie credits also include Gangs of New York (2002), The Aviator (2004) and The Departed (2006), which earned him his first Best Director Oscar after five previous nominations in the same category.

Prior to co-starring in Goodfellas, Ray Liotta, who was born on December 18, 1954, appeared in such films as Something Wild (1986), with Melanie Griffith and Jeff Daniels, and Field of Dreams (1989), with Kevin Costner. Liotta’s later credits include Cop Land (1997), with Sylvester Stallone, Hannibal (2001), with Anthony Hopkins, and Narc (2002).

Joe Pesci, who was born on February 9, 1943, appeared in such movies as Raging Bull, Once Upon a Time in America (1984) and Lethal Weapon 2 (1989) before his award-winning performance in Goodfellas. His later film credits include the blockbuster Home Alone (1990), in which he played a bumbling burglar; the comedy My Cousin Vinny (1992), with Marisa Tomei; and A Bronx Tale (1993), which marked Robert De Niro’s directorial debut.

Lorraine Bracco, who was born on October 2, 1954, earned a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her performance in Goodfellas as Henry Hill’s wife, Karen. Bracco, who began her career as a model, later appeared in such movies as Someone to Watch Over Me (1987), Radio Flyer (1992), The Basketball Diaries (1995), with Leonardo DiCaprio, and Riding in Cars with Boys (2001). She is perhaps best known for her role as Tony Soprano’s psychiatrist Dr. Jennifer Melfi on the hit HBO series The Sopranos, which originally aired from 1999 to 2007.
 

5 Work Rules You Should Break (Source: CNN.com)

Most people think they know the keys to career success: Keep your head down and nose to the grindstone. Avoid personal, emotional, or awkward subjects (in fact, any elephant in the room) at all costs. Well, guess again. Here, experts reveal five on-the-job maxims that are worth challenging.

Stay away from emotional topics

In my opinion, you should always bring a problem out into the open, even if it's personal, difficult, or awkward. Say you and a colleague have different work styles or have clashed over a project, and as a result there is serious tension between the two of you. Tiptoeing around the issue may cause your productivity to suffer, so it's crucial that you confront your coworker. You can say, "You seem to dispute every point I make, and I don't understand. Did I do something to upset you?" If you talk about it, the situation won't spiral out of control or become a pattern.

Sean O'Neil is a management consultant based in Pelham, New York, and a coauthor of "Bare Knuckle People Management."

Climb the career ladder

There's pressure in our culture to earn more money and to have important titles. But not everyone wants more responsibility and power. And what we don't hear often enough is that it's OK not to want a promotion. So move laterally, or choose self-employment if you think that will make you happy. It won't hold you back; on the contrary, having a nonlinear career path can make you more intriguing to bosses in the future, not less. They'll view you as having broader experience.

Do what you were hired to do

Your boss has to look at the bigger picture all the time -- she'll admire you for doing the same. If you pay attention to your organization as a whole, you'll better appreciate what other people do -- and you might come up with macro ways to help the company. It's a fine line between offering assistance and stepping on someone's toes. But if you have the best intentions at heart, you can say, "I see an opportunity here that we're not taking advantage of."

Adam Bryant is the deputy national editor of the New York Times and the author of "The Corner Office."

Live at the office

For many of us, our careers are not our life's passions. So it's essential to pursue outside interests -- both for our happiness and to facilitate our creativity at work. Amazing discoveries and insights are often made when people are tinkering in the garage, gardening, or riding a bike. Plus, hobbies help give us a sense of peace. And once we relax for a moment, the answer to a work problem will often reveal itself.

Network 24/7

It's inefficient to walk into a cocktail party or an industry event and start mingling with random people. My suggestion? Throw away every business card tucked away in your wallet and work social-media connections instead. You can get in touch with important people who interest you, whether they're in your industry or not. Retweet messages of theirs, ask them questions, and strike up online relationships. From there, it can be easy to get them to meet you for lunch or coffee -- where you'll connect in a real, personal way that will ultimately help your career.

 
September 19th Is National talk Like a Pirate Day (Source: Holiday Insights)

Ahoy, Matey! Did you know that today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day? It's a day just for fun, a day to let out the pirate in each of us. We like "just for fun" days and we know you do, too.

Practice up your "pirate-speak" in anticipation of this day. The conversation will be lively, and you don't want to be left behind. Today, everyone will be talking the talk, if not walking the walk. It is not a requirement to dress like a pirate today. Just talk like one.  

Best Cities for “Foodies” (Source: Yahoo! Travel)

When you travel by your stomach, the challenge may now be following the latest trends — literally.

Anna Brones, a food columnist at EcoSalon.com, recalls sitting in a San Francisco bar when she saw a woman walk in, dragging a cooler on wheels. “A crowd immediately surrounded her,” she says, “and my friend said, matter-of-factly, ‘Oh yeah, that’s the Tamale Lady.’ I figured I better buy one of the tamales from her cooler — and what an excellent choice.”

Such ever-changing culinary buzz secured San Francisco’s status near the top of America’s best cities for foodies, as chosen by Travel + Leisure readers. Within the important food and drink category of T+L's America’s Favorite Cities survey, readers weighed in on which major cities had the best big-name eateries, neighborhood cafés, ethnic cuisine, and farmers’ markets.

Indeed, today’s most enthusiastic foodies seek out indulgences well beyond the white-tablecloth variety. Markets are a key enticement for those wanting to experience the nationwide farm-to-table trend. Among the top 20 foodie cities, restaurant communities focused on fresh ingredients.

We found nearly as many fresh takes on comfort food — such as craft beer–infused mac ‘n’ cheese in Minneapolis — and the unstoppable recent trend of food trucks and pop-up restaurants. With more than 200 restaurants-on-wheels patrolling the city daily, Portland, OR, has food trucks for any craving, even Korean-Hawaiian fusion.

No. 10 San Antonio, TX

People say they come here for the historic Alamo, but it could very well be the queso- and chile-sauce-slathered Tex-Mex: San Antonio ranked in the top 10 for both ethnic fare and barbecue. If you want to get off the tourist grid, head to Southtown, south of downtown, to try the gastropub The Monterey or The Friendly Spot, an ice house with tamales, tostadas, and a dizzying long list of microbrews.

No. 9 Charleston, SC

This South Carolina city embraces its traditional low-country cuisine — southern cooking with a heavy dose of coastal oysters, crab, and shrimp. Stroll around the historic district and you’ll see (and smell) plenty of foodie magnets like the new HUSK, helmed by James Beard Award–winner Sean Brock. It’s another charming side to Charleston, which readers voted No. 1 for quaint neighborhoods, B&Bs, and friendly, attractive locals.

No. 8 Savannah, GA

This Georgian city may be known for its coastal-themed fine dining, but AFC voters love it best for its small cafés — home-cooking “neighborhood diners” with a local-ingredients bent. One popular spot: the Green Truck Pub, which offers appetizers such as spiced Georgia nuts and a pimento cheese plate. Readers also find the city nicely unpretentious, with a relaxing vibe, good cocktails, and entertaining people-watching.

No. 7 Seattle

The Pike Place Market is perhaps the most photographed farmers’ market in the country — and it’s right across the street from the original Starbucks (here coffee is practically its own food group). A hot neighborhood for new restaurants is nearby South Lake Union, where homegrown chef Tom Douglas recently opened three restaurants, including Tibetan-themed Ting Momo.

No. 6 Portland, OR

Super-green Portland has earned a reputation for its farm-to-table dining, well-crafted microbrews, and 200-odd food trucks. To get a sampling of the most popular — including Namu, excellent Korean-Hawaiian fusion — check out the food truck “pods” at Pioneer Courthouse Square or at SE Hawthorne and 12th Avenue. And don’t be fooled by the notion that these Oregonians are totally health-conscious: another culinary must-stop is Voodoo Doughnuts for its bacon-topped maple bar and the breakfast-cereal-crusted “Captain My Captain.”

No. 5 Chicago

The Windy City clearly makes people hungry: it ranked in the top 10 for burgers, big-name restaurants, and ethnic cuisine and — perhaps no surprise — took the top prize for pizza. But thanks to places such as Lillie’s Q and Pork Shoppe, Chicago may soon boost its middle-of-the-road standing in the barbecue category. There are also a number of Japanese barbecue-style robata restaurants, such as Roka Akor and Tokio Pub.

No. 4 New York

While the Big Apple may be a nerve center for big-name restaurants, luxury hotels, and diversity, New Yorkers can eat well at any price point and have embraced the food trucks and comfort-dining crazes. Evidence includes long lines at midtown street vendors, SoHo’s newcomer The Dutch, and the expanding Shake Shack franchise. Foodies are also increasingly heading to the outer boroughs for authentic, affordable fare, such as Chinese in Flushing, Queens.

No. 3 Providence, RI

For Rhode Island foodies, farm-to-table is just the beginning. Some great restaurants in Providence — such as Chez Pascal on Hope Street, or Nick’s on Broadway, in the West End — offer “boat-to-table” seafood that comes direct from local fishermen. AFC voters also love the homey vibe of this New England city: they ranked it third for its hole-in-the-wall cafés, burgers, and pizza (which some locals like grilled).

No. 2 San Francisco

The Bay Area’s Chez Panisse is still the mothership for foodies, but there are plenty more restaurants serving sustainable, seasonal cuisine, among them Baker and Banker in Pacific Heights. You have to keep moving to find the next hotspots, and food-truck lovers follow Off the Grid, a weekly circling of food wagons in different parts of town. San Francisco also scored in the top 5 for ethnic fare, coffee bars, and farmers’ markets. One hot trend: gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches.

No. 1 New Orleans

If you’re going to keep up with the nonstop party in the Crescent City, you’ll need a full stomach. New Orleans won the survey for neighborhood cafés, and came in No. 2 for its zesty ethnic fare. The post-Katrina rebuilding has extended deep into its restaurant scene, with chefs updating classic Creole cuisine at spots such as Meson 923 in the up-and-coming Warehouse District, and Sylvain in the French Quarter. While you’re waiting for a table, you can engage in one of the town’s great sports: people-watching.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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