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Ben Sherwood
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Blog Entries by Ben Sherwood

Rock Stars: How the Story of the 33 Chilean Miners Breaks All the Rules

Posted October 14, 2010 | 13:01:25 (EST)

When US Air 1549 splash landed on the Hudson River last year, the entire drama took only six minutes from initial impact with a flock of geese to touchdown on the water. All 150 passengers survived thanks to Capt. Sully Sullenberger and his crew. It was plane crash with a...

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Happy Rebirth Day: What's Next for the 33 Chilean Miners?

Posted October 12, 2010 | 14:56:54 (EST)

Every year on December 22, the survivors of the infamous Andes plane crash gather to remember their agonizing 72 day ordeal on a glacier. "We celebrate this date as our common birthday," writes one of the survivors, Nando Parrado, "because on this day all of us were...

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Heaven Help Us: Should You Pray for Christopher Hitchens Today?

Posted September 20, 2010 | 16:12:08 (EST)

In case you didn't realize, today is officially "Everybody Pray for Christopher Hitchens Day." It's a small movement -- if you can even call it that -- that began on the Web to support the 62-year-old author afflicted with esophageal cancer and undergoing chemotherapy.

In 2007, Hitchens...

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Falling Man: How a New Yorker Plunges 39 Stories and Survives

Posted September 1, 2010 | 17:13:00 (EST)

It sounds utterly impossible: A New York City man jumps 39 stories from the roof of an Upper West Side apartment building, slams into a parked car and survives.

"Miracle!" proclaims the New York Daily News.

On Tuesday morning, Thomas Magill, 22, plunged from a West 63rd Street...

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The Great Wait: Survival Secrets of the 33 Miners Trapped in Chile

Posted August 30, 2010 | 13:54:33 (EST)

The miners call it Hell. The only thing missing is the fire and brimstone. Half-a-mile underground in northern Chile, 33 men are trapped in a cramped shelter where the temperature is a constant 85 degrees. Journalists across the planet have descended on the Atacama desert to report on the so-called...

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Miracle Boy: How a 4-Year-Old Boy Survives Falling from a Miami High-Rise

Posted June 7, 2010 | 13:39:57 (EST)

In Miami, a 4-year-old boy is in the hospital after falling from the 17th floor of a downtown high-rise, according to news reports.

The pre-schooler -- Joey Williams -- jumped over the railing of his apartment and fell seven stories to a pool area on the 10th floor....

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Sole Survivor: How Often Does Only One Person Survive a Plane Crash?

Posted May 12, 2010 | 13:41:35 (EST)

A ten-year-old Dutch boy appears to have been the sole survivor of a deadly plane crash this morning at Tripoli Airport in Libya. Some 103 people are believed to have lost their lives when a relatively new Airbus 330 crashed while landing a little after 6 in the morning.

"The...

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Buried Alive: How Long Can You Live without Food or Water?

Posted January 27, 2010 | 14:26:28 (EST)

It's the hardest question for rescue and recovery teams: When to stop searching after a natural disaster and let the bulldozers go to work. In Haiti, the answer came 11 days after the ground shook. On Jan. 23, the Haitian government declared the search and rescue phase was over because...

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The Sky Is Falling: How Safe Is Flying in the US vs. Abroad?

Posted January 25, 2010 | 14:27:54 (EST)

It hasn't been a good 48 hours for international air travelers. First, a Russian-made passenger plane crashed in heavy fog in Mashhad, Iran with 170 people on board, injuring at least 46. Then an Ethiopian 737 with 90 on board went missing after taking off from Beirut, Lebanon. There appear...

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Haiti's Tiny Miracles: How Babies Survive for So Many Days Buried in the Ruins

Posted January 22, 2010 | 15:09:52 (EST)

Amidst so much death and destruction in Haiti, tiny Elisabeth Joassaint has been hailed as the greatest miracle.

Just 23 days old, Elisabeth was asleep in her crib when the earth shook in Jacmel, a town on Haiti's southern coast. After the ceiling collapsed, Elisabeth was lost in the rubble...

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Swine Flu Smackdown: How to Avoid Infection (and a Fistfight)

Posted November 5, 2009 | 10:45:43 (EST)

The tall woman with dyed reddish blond hair coughed loudly without covering her mouth. The shorter woman with a slicked-back bun wasn't happy about it. They were riding the southbound D train near Rockefeller Center during morning rush hour in New York City this week. A single cough quickly turned...

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Swine Flu Vaccine: Why You Should Stop Worrying and Roll Up Your Sleeve

Posted November 3, 2009 | 17:20:54 (EST)

As the nurse poked the needle into my son's thigh, I expected to feel some kind of fear or worry. After all, I had heard alarm bells about the new swine flu vaccine. Supposedly, it hasn't been properly tested. It doesn't really work. It contains mercury. And there's a video...

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"Miracle" Plane Crash Survivor: Six Questions and Answers About Your Next Flight

Posted July 3, 2009 | 09:32:56 (EST)

The sole survivor of Yemenia Flight 626 could barely swim and didn't have a life jacket. When Bahia Bakari's airplane crashed into the stormy Indian Ocean this week, killing 152 other passengers and crew, the 12-year-old girl suddenly found herself in the watery darkness. She could hear the voices of...

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Michael Jackson RIP: Does Anyone Survive Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Posted June 25, 2009 | 21:23:56 (EST)

Every twenty seconds, a heart attack strikes someone in America, killing five hundred thousand a year. That's fifty-seven deaths every hour, almost one per minute. In the United States and many nations, it's the leading cause of death among adults over age forty.

The most lethal kind of heart...

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Just a Kid: A Ten-Year-Old Battles Breast Cancer

Posted May 17, 2009 | 01:31:08 (EST)

On May 7th, Hannah Powell-Auslam of La Mirada, Calif. had a mastectomy to remove her left breast, the kind of surgery that takes place around 137 times per day in the US. Some 185,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and around 50,000 will have mastectomies. But...

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Wing and a Prayer: How Safe is My Next Regional Plane Flight?

Posted May 15, 2009 | 17:58:44 (EST)

I just flew on a regional jet from Los Angeles to Monterey, California. After watching the National Transportation Safety Board hearings in Washington this week investigating the crash of the Continental commuter plane near Buffalo, I confess that I was very focused on the pilots and the airplane.

When I...

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Lost & Found: How a Three-Year-Old Survived 52 Hours in the Woods (and How You Can Too)

Posted May 7, 2009 | 11:57:56 (EST)

Earlier this week, three-year-old Joshua Childers wandered away from his home in southeast Missouri wearing only a T-shirt, sneakers and a pull-up diaper. After intensive searching for more than 52 agonizing hours, the 35-pound toddler was found alive three miles from his home in the wet, chilly and rough terrain...

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Hogwash Alert: How to Survive the Pandemic of Swine Flu Scams and Swindle

Posted May 2, 2009 | 19:55:28 (EST)

Long before you'll ever come down with swine flu, you'll be exposed to another kind of virus sweeping the world: A global outbreak of online scams and swindles preying on your fears of the so-called aporkalypse. In coming days when you receive emails offering a variety of ways to ward...

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Swine Flu Crib Sheet: The Five Things You Need to Know

Posted April 29, 2009 | 20:33:42 (EST)

In this 76th hour of the swine flu emergency, President Obama urges that we take "the utmost precautions." And the World Health Organization (WHO) has raised the pandemic flu alert level to 5 out of 6, warning that this international outbreak will pose a prolonged threat.

What do "utmost precautions"...

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Thinking the Unthinkable: Six (Uncomfortable) Questions about the Swine Flu Outbreak

Posted April 28, 2009 | 01:09:55 (EST)

1. Is History Repeating Itself?

The word pandemic comes from Greek roots meaning "all the people." Not surprisingly, the first known medical reporter to file a story about a flu epidemic was Hippocrates around 412 BC. For centuries, flu disasters have struck just as naturally and inevitably...

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