Why is it up to the USA to step in and fix the Ukraine situation? Because Europe is too busy worrying about the economic implications of going against Russia.
In the days following the stabbing of fallen Pittsburgh police K-9 Rocco, human K-9 handlers on the force stood vigil at the veterinary hospital that treated him and many rearranged their schedules to attend his Oakland funeral.
Records obtained by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette this week under Pennsylvania's Right-to-Know Law show that acting Chief Regina McDonald gave each officer in the bureau's K-9 unit an extra approved pass day -- or day off -- for their efforts "from the hospital detail to the funeral."
Rocco's handler, Officer Phil Lerza, was given a week off.
The emails also offer a brief glimpses into officers' hopes in the hours after the stabbing that the 8-year-old German Shepherd would survive.
Pittsburgh police have said that John Rush, a 21-year-old homeless fugitive formerly of McKees Rocks, stabbed the dog Jan. 28 while it was trying to help them apprehend Rush.
Early the next morning, acting K-9 Sgt. Danial Tice wrote an email to training academy Lt. Jennifer Ford updating her on the dog's condition. He wrote: "I met Phil and Rocco. He had two surgeries. They stopped the bleeding. Rocco lost a lot of blood and had blood infusions. They removed one kidney. He should recover 100 percent."
Then, the sergeant proposed plans to have Officer Lerza assigned temporarily to bureau's training academy to help prepare the dog for his return to work.
Rocco died the next day.
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Sharks vs. Kings
Sharks Leading Regular Season Scorer: Joe Pavelski, 79 points (41 goals, 38 assists).
Kings Leading Regular Season Scorer: Anze Kopitar, 70 points (29 goals, 41 assists).
Sharks Expected Starting Goaltender: Antti Niemi, 39-17-7, 2.39 GAA, .913 SV%.
Kings Expected Starting Goaltender: Jonathan Quick (below), 27-17-4, 2.07 GAA, .915 SV%.
Sharks Injuries: Right winger Adam Burish (finger) is out. Left winger Raffi Torres (undisclosed) is on injured reserve.
Kings Injuries: Defenseman Drew Doughty (shoulder) is questionable.
Sharks with Stanley Cup bling: Adam Burish, RW; Tyler Kennedy, RW; Antti Niemi, G; Brad Stuart, D.
Kings with Stanley Cup bling: Dustin Brown, RW; Jeff Carter, C; Kyle Clifford, LW; Drew Doughty, D; Matt Greene, D; Dwight King, LW; Anze Kopitar, C; Trevor Lewis, C; Alec Martinez, D; Willie Mitchell; D; Jordan Nolan, C; Jonathan Quick; G; Mike Richards, C; Jarret Stoll, C; Slava Voynov, D; Justin Williams; RW.
Something worthwhile about the Sharks: The Sharks averaged the most shots on net in the NHL this past regular season at 34.8 per game.
Something worthwhile about the Kings: The Kings had a goals against average of 2.05 this past regular season, best in the NHL.
Something useless about the Sharks that is vaguely connected to the Penguins: The first coach to guide the Sharks to a postseason appearance was former Penguins coach Kevin Constantine in 1993-94.
Something useless about the Kings that is vaguely connected to the Penguins: Former Penguins defenseman Marty McSorley is the Kings' all-time leader in postseason penalty minutes with 190.
Former Penguins on the Sharks: Jim Johnson, assistant coach; Tyler Kennedy, RW.
Former Penguins on the Kings: Glen Murray, development consultant; Jake Muzzin, D (Muzzin is a former Penguins draft pick who never played for the organization); Luc Robitaille, president business operations.
Who needs to be the difference for the Sharks: Joe Thornton, Logan Couture, Joe Pavelski, Patrick Marleau, etc. The Sharks are a big puck possession team and they love to shoot the puck. Their star players will need to find a way to overcome the Kings' suffocating defense.
Who needs to be the difference for the Kings: Jonathan Quick. The Kings' success in recent seasons has been primarily due to their defense and Quick. Quick steals has a habit of shutting down opponents in the postseason. If the Kings hope to move past the Sharks, he'll have to do the same.
Best Sharks YouTube Video We Could Find: Sharks center Jamie Baker's eventual game-winning goal against the Red Wings in Game 7 of a 1994 Western Conference quarterfinal series:
Best Kings YouTube Video We Could Find: Kings center Mike Krushelnyski scoring a series-clinching overtime goal in a 4-3 win against the Flames in Game 7 of a 1990 Smythe Division semifinal series:
EN Prediction: This will be the best series in the first round of the playoffs. It will come down to goaltending. With the Sharks on the fence between Niemi and Alex Stalock, we'll take the safe pick and go with Quick. Kings 4-3.
(Photos: Marianne Helm/Getty Images and Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Avalanche vs. Wild
Avalanche Leading Regular Season Scorer: Matt Duchesne, 70 points (23 goals, 47 assists).
Wild Leading Regular Season Scorer: Jason Pominville, 60 points (30 goals, 30 assists).
Avalanche Expected Starting Goaltender: Semyon Varlamov (right), 41-14-6, 2.41 GAA, .927 SV%.
Wild Expected Starting Goaltender: Ilya Bryzgalov, 12-9-8, 2.68 GAA, .909 SV%.
Avalanche Injuries: Defenseman Tyson Barrie ("upper body") is probable. Defensemen Jan Hejda ("upper body"), Cory Sarich (back), left winger Cody McLeod (ankle/knee) and center John Mitchell (concussion) are questionable. Center Matt Duchene (knee) is out. Left winger Alex Tanguay (hip) is on injured reserve.
Wild Injuries: Centers Kyle Brodziak (undisclosed), Mikael Granlund ("upper body") and goaltender Darcy Kuemper ("lower body") are questionable. Goaltender Nicklas Backstrom (abdomininal) and defenseman Keith Ballard (groin) are out. Goaltender Josh Harding (multiple sclerosis) and left winger Jason Zucker (knee/quadicreps) are on injured reserve.
Avalanche with Stanley Cup bling: Jean-Sebastien Giguere, G; Maxime Talbot, C; Alex Tanguay, RW.
Wild with Stanley Cup bling: Ilya Bryzgalov, G; Matt Cooke, LW; Mike Rupp, LW.
Something worthwhile about the Avalanche: The Avalanche led the league in one-goal wins with 28.
Something worthwhile about the Wild: The Wild's penalty kill had a success rate of 78.8 percent in the regular season, worst among any team in the postseason.
Something useless about the Avalanche/Nordiques that is vaguely connected to the Penguins: Former Penguins left winger Wilf Paiement holds the Avalanche/Noridques franchise record for fastest goal at the start of the playoff game. He scored 29 seconds into an 8-4 loss against the Bruins in a 1982 Adams Division semifinal series.
Something useless about the Wild that is vaguely connected to the Penguins: Former Penguins right winger Richard Park scored the Wild's first postseason overtime goal in a 3-2 win against the Avalanche in a 2003 Western Conference quarterfinal series.
Former Penguins on the Avalanche: Nate Guenin, D; Maxime Talbot, C.
Former Penguins on the Wild: Matt Cooke, LW; John Curry, G; Chuck Fletcher, general manager; Matt Moulson, LW (Moulson is a former Penguins draft pick who never played for the Penguins); Mike Rupp, LW; Darryl Sydor, assistant coach; Mike Yeo, head coach.
Who needs to be the difference for the Avalanche: Semyon Varlamov. With the team's already thin defense, Semyon Varlamov needs to steal goals against a pretty impressive collection of offensive skill up front for the Wild.
Who needs to be the difference for the Wild: Zach Parise (above) and Ryan Suter. The prizes of the 2012 free agent crop, Parise and Suter were brought to Minnesota to win. This is when they need to earn their pay.
Best Avalanche/Nordiques YouTube Video We Could Find: Nordiques center Dale Hunter scoring a series-clinching overtime goal in a 3-2 win against the Canadiens in Game 5 of a 1982 Adams Division semifinal:
Best Wild YouTube Video We Could Find: Wild left winger Andrew Brunette scoring a series-clinching overtime goal in a xx win against the Avalanche in Game 7 of a 2003 Western Conference quarterfinal:
EN Prediction: Neither teams enters this series completely healthy. That said, the Avalanche's injuries on defense are more crucial than any injuries the Wild is dealing with. Minnesota's talented forwards can take advantage of Colorado's issues on defense and pull off the upset. Wild, 4-2.
(Photos: Paul Bereswill/Getty Images and Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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The warmth of the spring sun shining on a patch of 'Pickwick' crocuses unfurled their blossoms inviting a host of insects to feast on pollen and nectar.
There were European honeybees, native bees, flies, hoverflies and things I couldn't identify. Some would enter from the side, pushing through the purple striped petals. Others flew into the center, crawling around inside covering themselves with pollen. The tiny flowers vibrated until the insect flew off with its bounty.
It was amazing to see how many different insects were lured to the flowers.
It's a good lesson for us gardeners, to spend some time observing the garden. You might be surprised at what you see, I was.