Mosquitoes aren't just annoying, they spread killer diseases, as well. They are often called one of the most dangerous animals on the planet.
That's right: The most dangerous animals on the planet can be killed with a single swat — but if they've had time to bite, they may have already transmitted a fatal disease.
Illnesses transmitted by mosquitoes and their ilk kill more than a million people each year and infect more than a billion, causing debilitating pain, brain damage, blindness, and other serious effects.
Half of the world population is considered at-risk for diseases transmitted by blood-sucking bugs like ticks, sandflies, and mosquitoes. For World Health Day 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) wanted to highlight that very real risk with a snappy slogan: "small bite, big threat."
Globally, the deadliest of the creatures that carry and cause these diseases is the mosquito. Here are 11 scientifically valid reasons why they are the worst.1. Mosquitoes put 40% of the world at risk for dengue, which causes "the feeling of broken bones."
Dengue fever hurts so much that it's commonly referred to as break bone fever.
It's the most rapidly spreading mosquito-borne disease in the world, with 40% of the world currently at risk. Between 50 and 100 million people get dengue every year, and even though it's not usually fatal, it still is a leading cause of death for children in certain Latin American and Asian countries.
The disease can also develop into severe dengue, a hemorrhagic condition that is much more dangerous, causing bleeding, organ impairment, and persistent vomiting.
There's no medicine or vaccine for dengue. Treatment generally involves just trying to keep patients hydrated.2. Mosquitoes spread yellow fever, which the WHO calls "the original viral haemorrhagic fever."
Yellow fever infects around 200,000 people a year — and kills 30,000. It's a viral hemorrhagic fever that has no treatment. After a period of severe illness, most patients recover, but about 15% enter a toxic phase, when they start to bleed internally and organs begin to fail. About half of patients who enter the toxic phase die.
Cases of yellow fever have been increasing since the 1980s due to declining human immunity, deforestation, climate change, increased air travel, and higher infection rates in cities due to a particular breed of mosquito called the Aedes aegypti.
However, there is an effective vaccine for the fever — one dose provides life-long immunity, and many countries won't permit travelers to enter without proof of vaccination.
Marc AuMarc / flickr3. Mosquitoes are behind the recent outbreaks of chikungunya, which can sometimes lead to agonizing pain.
The painful and potentially debilitating virus chikungunya has been around for centuries, but just appeared in the Americas for the first time at the end of 2013.
The disease's name comes from a word in a Tanzanian language that means "to become contorted," referring to the severe joint pain that it causes, which lasts for weeks, and in some rare cases, even months and years.
"I've been in Africa and seen and heard children just screaming for days on end because of the pain," American Mosquito Control Association technical advisor Joe Conlon told Business Insider last summer.
The first cases were reported on the island of Saint Martin, but since then, cases have occurred in Martinique, Guadeloupe, Saint Barthelemy, the British Virgin Islands, and the Dominican Republic.
Humans have very little natural immunity to chikungunya, which has allowed mosquitoes to spread the virus quickly throughout populations. In 2005, an outbreak sped through the island of La Reunión, sickening 200,000 of 750,000 residents, despite the fact that the only mosquitoes there, the Asian Tiger Mosquitoes, should not have been able to transmit the virus. Experts realized that it had mutated, allowing Asian Tiger mosquitoes to spread the disease.4. Mosquitoes scoff at national borders, turning isolated cases into outbreaks.
Any person infected with a mosquito-borne disease can carry it to a different country, where it can spread if they are bitten by a local mosquito upon arrival — which happens frequently.
In 2007, an older Italian man returned home from a trip to India, unknowingly having been bitten by a mosquito carrying chikungunya. Upon returning home, he visited a cousin — and within 3 months, more than 200 people had been infected with the disease.5. Mosquitoes infect us with nasty bird diseases, like West Nile Virus.
Although West Nile Virus is carried by birds, humans can catch it too — usually from a mosquito that bit the bird first.
Most people don't develop symptoms, but 20% of those infected develop a fever — accompanied by headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash.
About 1 in 150 people infected become seriously ill with West Nile encephalitis or West Nile meningitis, both of which are potentially fatal conditions. Horses can also become ill due to West Nile Virus, but neither horses nor humans can spread the disease. And while there's a vaccine against the illness for horses, there's not one for humans.
Since it arrived in the United States, West Nile may have infected more than 3 million Americans, and cost more than $800 million.6. Mosquitoes don't play fair: They target some people more than others.
Some people really are mosquito magnets. Mosquitoes are drawn to the smell given off by the bacteria that live on everyone's skin, and some people give off an odor that makes them especially attractive to the tiny beasts. And contrary to what a lot of people say, eating garlic and using natural repellent doesn't do much, if anything, though DEET-containing bug repellents are indeed effective.
Shutterstock/Trazos sobre Papel7. Mosquitoes spread Rift Valley fever, which can blind people and bankrupt farmers.
Rift Valley fever mostly affects animals, but mosquitoes can transmit it to humans, too, where it causes some pretty horrific symptoms.
Some people experience no symptoms, but among those who do, the effects seem like a flu at first. Some develop neck stiffness and sensitivity to light as well.
But the small subset of people (fewer than 2%) who get the ocular form of the disease may develop lesions in their eye that cause them to go blind, while others (also fewer than 2%) may develop a potentially fatal brain disease or hemorrhagic fever.
Since Rift Valley fever primarily affects animal populations, its effects can decimate farming industries and economies.8. Mosquitoes cause permanent disability around the world.
Lymphatic filariasis, a mostly neglected tropical disease, is a leading cause of permanent disability for people around the world.
More than 120 million people are currently infected, and about one-third of them are disfigured and incapacitated by it.
Mosquitoes spread microscopic parasites between people, which then settle into the lymphatic system to multiply over a period of 6-8 years. They can damage the immune system and the kidneys, and later on in life may cause painful swelling in the arms, legs, and genitals.9. Mosquitoes spread fatal diseases to children.
Japanese encephalitis is another disease that mosquitoes can spread to humans from infected animals, though humans cannot spread the disease themselves. It still kills about 10,000 people a year, mostly children under the age of 5. Although there is no treatment, there is an effective vaccine.10. Mosquitoes spread malaria, which still causes hundreds of thousands of deaths every year.
Between 2000 and 2012, there's been a dramatic reduction in malaria deaths — 42% globally. Even so, an estimated 627,000 people died from malaria in 2012 alone, and there were approximately 207 million cases of the disease.
Female Anopheles mosquitoes transmit Plasmodium parasites in their bites, which then cause high fever, chills, and a serious flu-like illness that can kill if it's not treated. This disease is preventable, with items like bed nets, insect repellent, and long sleeves, and is treatable, yet it still kills that many people.
NRCS SD at www.flickr.com11. Mosquitoes are really hard to get rid of.
Mosquitoes don't need much to survive. Any small water container — or anything that will catch rainwater — is enough to provide a breeding ground. Mosquitoes are also becoming resistant to commonly used insecticides, like pyrethroids, which are used to treat bed nets.
They also travel quickly. The Asian Tiger Mosquito, which is known to carry yellow fever, dengue, and chikungunya, has spread to 36 states since first showing up in the United States in 1985.
Its vehicle of choice? Used tires. Tires commonly hold standing water, which makes them an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes. Worn out tires are sent from rich countries to poor countries, where they are often fitted with new treads, and then sent back to the countries they came from. And on both routes, they may carry six-legged stowaways. This is such a serious problem that entomologists are looking for ways to incorporate insecticides into tire rubber.
More From Business Insider
- 11 Reasons Why Mosquitoes Are The Worst
- These Beautiful Charts Show The Emerging Technologies That Will Change The World
- Here's How Eating Habits Vary Around America
EN Star Style - Rihanna watched a film of herself while getting a tattoo.
The 26-year-old singer famously had a traditional New Zealand inking on her hand while she was in the country, with the Maori design engraved on her using a chisel and mallet. Not long after she decided to add to the piece, asking artist Cally-Jo Pothecary to jet to her mansion in Dominican Republic for the work.
“She put on a film called This Is The End – a comedy she was in [during the tattoo],” Cally-Jo told British magazine Heat.
The job wasn’t quite as glamorous as it sounds because Rihanna was experiencing some difficulties at her home at the time. She was also very uncertain about what she wanted on her hand, with the result a henna-inspired pattern of swirls.
“She had bugs in her bed upstairs, so she was staying on the couch downstairs in the TV room. She was decked out on the couch. We must have done 20 different designs on her hand, rubbing bits off and adding bits until she was happy,” Cally-Jo explained.
Rihanna has many inkings, including guns on her rib cage, some stars and wings under her breasts. She’s chatted about why she loves body art so much in the past.
“I have an addictive personality and I love tattoos. When I was 16, I was curious about them and started hanging out in tattoo shops in downtown New York, watching people get tatted and pierced,” she explained. “I finally grew the balls to get one when I was 17, then started getting more. I still want another now!”
Cover Media© Cover Media
High Gear Media
In certain places around the U.S., it’s illegal to live in your car. Those who do face fines as well as jail time.
But Reddit user BlueMcCrew has had no issues since he started living in his tiny Honda Fit on the streets of New York City — where the practice is legal — in November 2013.
In a recent post on /r/Frugal, the 25-year-old designer described how he’s been living in his car to avoid outrageous rent costs and save enough money to pay back his student loans.
Now, he saves $600 every month out of his $3,500 paycheck (after taxes), and is honest with his coworkers and parents about his living situation. So far, BlueMcCrew says living in his small Honda Fit — outfitted with a memory foam mattress — has been working extremely well.
He answered fellow Reddit users' questions about his lifestyle. We've compiled some here, edited here for clarity and grammar.
How do you stay clean?
"I shower at the gym, it use be Planet Fitness when I was super frugal, but I have just upgraded and it has been a world of difference. So I now have towel service and a locker where I can store some clothes — the rest are in plastic bins in my car, although I'm going to upgrade to a custom dresser that I plan to build soon."
What is your typical day-to-day routine like?
"Wake up, go to work, sign in, go to the bathroom and brush my teeth, or wake up, go to the gym, then go get breakfast, and then work."
What’s your car’s set up?
"I had my windows tinted to the max that I could, which was something like 35%. And then after that I put Walmart cling on tints on in the back, where I sleep.
"If I arrange the seats the right way I fit perfectly. I do find myself a little cramped, but it sure beats rent."
What are the top five things you rely on?
"Top 5 are memory foam bed, adequate blankets, extra cell phone batteries, 6-foot cable to charge phone in the back seat, window visor."
Do you ever feel unsafe?
"I never feel 100% safe, so I’m always kind of on edge, but I sleep pretty soundly and I’m pretty sure I could handle any situation that could arise.
"I don’t really miss not having a room, but I let my buddy borrow my car for a week so I crashed at his place, and it was nice to have a home. It just gives you a sense of security."
What do you do for internet?
"I have data on my phone and spare batteries that can last me through the night."
What have you found you can live without?
"Mostly just 'stuff.' Every item I own now has a lot of value to it. It has helped me in my path of becoming a minimalist and made me really appreciate 'space.'"
What’s your wardrobe like?
"I have 6 t-shirts, 2 long sleeve shirts, 5 pants, 7 pairs of socks and underwear. 1 jacket."
Have you had any trouble with cops or parking?
"The car is super discreet I have only ran into slight problems 3 times so far. Luckily none dealing with moving my car in the middle of the night, but when the day comes, I’m going to [be respectful]. Being polite, and clean makes all the difference.
"I definitely have freaked out a couple of cops when they were writing me a ticket in the mornings I have overslept."
How do you “get lucky”?
"If I get lucky I can normally get a hotel room, which is still cheaper than what rent would be for a week and makes you look pretty ballin’."
How long do you plan to live in your car?
"I think so far the winter is going to be easier, as you can always get an extra blanket for warmth, but there isn't much I can do to cool down. and there are no bugs in the winter. I don't know how long, as long as I can or if I find the perfect spot. My current plan is to stay in NYC for 3 years so maybe that long.
"I’m kind of addicted to having two paychecks a month, and seeing my loans go down. So maybe until I move out of the city, or find the perfect situation, aka awesome roommates, cheap rent, close to work, and an amazing roof to chill on."
Read the full Reddit thread here.
More From Business Insider
- Jarring Photos Show The Homelessness Crisis Silicon Valley Is Afraid To Confront
- The Internet Gave This Homeless Man $32,000 For Being Incredibly Selfless
- We Went Out To Count All Of The Homeless In New York City, And It Was Devastating
Oooops! Sorry we couldn't find the requested page...now searching for your results!
If your browser doesn't automatically redirect you, please click here.
A former potash mine is providing a test bed for technologies that can be used in the search for life on Mars.
Boulby mine on the North East coast, which is 0.8 miles deep, offers an environment similar to that on the surface of the Red Planet.
A team of 20 European scientists will use it to test instruments that might be able to detect living or long-dead Martian microbial life hidden underground.
Professor Charles Cockell, scientific co-ordinator of the Mars Analogue Sites on Earth (Mase) project, said: "If we want to successfully explore Mars, we need to go to Mars-like places on Earth.
"The deep, dark environment of Boulby mine is the ideal place to understand underground life and test space technologies for the exploration of Mars. In the process, we hope to aid the transfer of high technology from space exploration to safe, effective mining."
The mine's ecosystem has particular features and micro-organisms that are of special interest to astrobiologists.
The research programme aims to isolate and characterise non-oxygen-breathing microbes, study their responses to stresses they might have encountered on Mars, and investigate the potential for finding fossilised bugs on the planet.
Boulby mine, at the edge of the North York Moors National Park, houses the Boulby Underground Laboratory, a deep underground facility where studies can be conducted without interference from natural background radiation.
Work conducted at Boulby ranges from the search for dark matter, the mysterious invisible substance that makes up most of the universe, to studies of cosmic rays, extraterrestrial organisms, and life in extreme environments.
Rockstar Games has been constantly patching up numerous glitches and bugs as part of regular title updates while players are trying to exploit these bugs for quick money and Reputation Points (RP) in GTA 5.
It seems, despite Rockstar's efforts at controlling the game's economy; discerning gamers have found new avenues to make quick money in just a matter of minutes.
One such GTA 5 gamer, PrestigeIsKey, has shared his experience in exploiting the stock market shares for making billions of $GTA in a short time.
For those who are still wondering, here is how you become a quick billionaire using some known exploits with the stock market and Lester's assassination missions:
For further assistance, watch the video below:
GTA 5: Gamers Investigate Weird Explosions in Sandy Shores
GTA 5: Online Heists Coming in Spring, High-Life DLC Confirmed
What's the wildest dream for your team this NCAA tournament? What's the darkest nightmare? We plot out best-case scenarios and worst-case scenarios for every team in the Big Dance.
More best/worst-case scenarios from Pat Forde: Midwest | South | West
VirginiaRecord: 28-6 (16-2 ACC)Last 10 games: 9-1
Best wins: Duke, 'Cuse, UNC
Key losses: VCU, Wisconsin, Duke
Leading scorer: Malcolm Brogdon (12.3)
No 1. VIRGINIA
Best Case: Tony Bennett assumes his place in the vanguard of his profession, going two steps farther than his father, Dick, did in taking Wisconsin to the 2000 Final Four. In a triumph of teamwork, Tony goes all the way without a single player averaging 13 points per game, winning 21 of the last 22 games along the way. Joe Harris leads the way in the early rounds and Malcolm Brogdon takes over later. The two lead Virginia past Coastal Carolina, George Washington, Cincinnati and Iowa State, with defense and deliberate tempo the predictable common denominators along the way. The Cavaliers win the battle of uber-balanced teams in the semifinals, beating Florida, and ultimately frustrate Louisville into submission in the national title game. They are the least sexy national champion in years, possibly decades, and could not care less. Thirty years after Ralph came and went without a title, the unfinished quest is fulfilled. The Tobacco Road elitist preppie prigs finally must pay their respects north toward the Charlottesville elitist preppie prigs. In the ultimate sign that BennettBall is a menace, the basketball rules committee approves legislation to shorten the shot clock to 30 seconds in an effort to speed up the game. Suitably inspired, lacrosse team also wins it all.
[Get a chance at $1 billion: Register to play the Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge now!]
Worst Case: It's been a while, but this is a team that scored 38 points in one game and lost another by 35. So there is an offensive unraveling mechanism in there somewhere – and George Washington activates it in the round of 32. Virginia flails for baskets, and the pressure of the school's highest seeding in 30 years makes a sketchy free-throw shooting team even worse. The Colonials pull the upset and Virginia's most successful season in a long time is over early. Tobacco Road elitist preppie prigs curl their stiff upper lips at another flameout by the Charlottesville elitist preppie prigs, then watch Duke and North Carolina both make the Final Four. Lacrosse team bombs as well.
Coastal CarolinaRecord: 21-12 (11-5 Big South)Last 10 games: 6-4
Best win: Radford, Winthrop
Key losses: Mississippi, Minnesota, Clemson
Leading scorer: Elijah Wilson (16.1)
No. 16 COASTAL CAROLINA
Best Case: Thirty-five years after he took his first team to the Big Dance, certified relic Cliff Ellis is back with his fourth different school. That provides some nice nostalgia and story-telling for Ellis, who previously took South Alabama, Clemson and Auburn to the NCAAs. It doesn't provide much in the way of a competitive advantage for the Chanticleers against No. 1 seed Virginia, but Ellis has a few tricks up his sleeve to keep the fighting roosters in it for 15 minutes before going claws up. Coastal fans make the reasonable commute to Raleigh and make most of their first NCAA trip in 21 years. No animals are harmed in the making of this basketball mismatch.
Worst Case: A 9:25 p.m. ET tipoff is late for a certified relic, and Ellis has nothing up his sleeve to counteract the suffocating defense of the Cavaliers. Coastal Carolina, the No. 232 team in the nation with the No. 298 offense according to Ken Pomeroy, brings a pea shooter to a gun fight with predictable results. Ellis is ready for bed by halftime.
MemphisRecord: 23-9 (12-6 AAC)Last 10 games: 6-4
Best wins: Louisville x2, OK State, Gonzaga
Key losses: Florida, Cincy x2, UConn x3
Leading scorer: Joe Jackson (14.3)
No. 8 MEMPHIS
Best Case: In a master motivational stroke, Josh Pastner convinces his players that every four-minute segment of every NCAA tournament game is the last four minutes against Louisville – the team Memphis outscored 29-4 down the stretch for their two biggest victories of the season. That Memphis team runs George Washington off the floor, then springs the upset on No. 1 Virginia in the round of 32. Ultra-quick Tigers guards strip the Cavaliers and score in transition, taking the game out of BennettBall tempo. Even after being eliminated in the Sweet 16 by Michigan State, the always moving Pastner Pendulum swings back to positive. Tennessee's flameout in the play-in round is another source of joy in the city, as is the early exit by hero-turned-villain John Calipari and Kentucky.
Worst Case: Josh Pastner has no master motivational strokes. His spastic collection of loosely affiliated talents throws the ball away in bulk, clangs free throws, clangs 3-pointers and gets smoked by George Washington in the Tigers' first game. This looks like the team that was blown out in its own building by Connecticut and lost to Houston, not the last-magicians who swept Louisville. Pastner's NCAA tourney record drops to 1-4, and the pendulum swings even further to the negative. Fans take to the airwaves and message boards to fire him by proxy. Anger is exacerbated by Tennessee's surprising Sweet 16 run and another Calipari national title at Kentucky. Even Conference USA champion Tulsa chirps after advancing farther than the Tigers.
George WashingtonRecord: 24-8 (11-5 A10)Last 10 games: 6-4
Best wins: Creighton, St. Joseph's
Key losses: K-State, St. Louis, VCU x2
Leading scorer: Maurice Creek (14.3)
No. 9 GEORGE WASHINGTON
Best Case: With a rousing run to the Sweet 16 that includes an upset of top seed Virginia, people inside the Beltway finally stop mistaking Mike Lonergan for an insurance adjuster. The D.C. product and third-year coach makes a name for himself by leading the Colonials past Memphis in the round of 64, with Isaiah Armwood controlling the middle and outplaying Shaq Goodwin. Then Maurice Creek, the injury-prone Indiana transfer, continues his torrid recent 3-point shooting (18 of 35 over the last five games) to take out the Cavaliers. With the rest of the area teams out of the picture, GW has a rare moment in the sports spotlight of the nation's capital. After GW makes its first Sweet 16 in 21 years, the Lonergan love is spreading nationwide – but he turns down overtures from elsewhere to stay home.
Worst Case: Lonergan remains as anonymous and uncelebrated as a local insurance guy when the Colonials are heated up and turned over by a focused Memphis team. Thin team wears down against the Tigers' tempo and pressure. GW's NCAA tourney record falls to 4-11, allowing Georgetown to continue to look down on the neighboring school it refuses to schedule. Tournament moves on with scant evidence that the Colonials participated.
CincinnatiRecord: 27-6 (15-3 AAC)Last 10 games: 6-4
Best wins: Memphis x2, L'ville, UConn
Key losses: New Mexico, L'ville, UConn x2
Leading scorer: Sean Kilpatrick (20.7)
No. 5 CINCINNATI
Best Case: Bearcats give the Ivy Leaguers from Harvard a proper education in full-contact basketball, muscling their way past the Crimson. Then their barbed-wire defense locks up Michigan State and Sean Kilpatrick makes all the big shots, ruining a lot of brackets nationwide. In the Sweet 16, coach Mick Cronin's enraged sideline elf persona motivates his team and terrifies officials in an upset of Virginia. In a fourth meeting with AAC rival Connecticut in the regional final, the Bearcats even the score at 2-2 as Jumpin' Justin Jackson throws down dunk after dunk. Cincy advances to its first Final Four in 22 years. Loss there to Florida is no shame. Hometown hero Cronin signs lifetime contract. Xavier lost so long ago, nobody even remembers the Musketeers were in the tournament.
[Slideshow: Check out all of the East region matchups right here]
Worst Case: Fouled on a put-back attempt with a second left and the Bearcats down one, Jackson must go to the line to beat Harvard. Horrified Cincinnati fans avert their eyes as the beloved senior who has missed 10 straight free throws, and 14 of his last 15, bricks them both. Cronin had previously been ejected when his enraged elf sideline act spills over into a Jeff Van Gundy leg grab of Harvard's center. Sean Kilpatrick's Cincy career ends on a 6-for-22 brickfest as the offensively laborious Bearcats bog down without him hitting enough shots. Meanwhile, Xavier executes a surprising dash from Dayton to the Sweet 16, reveling in Cincinnati's early ouster along the way. And there still is no other conference eyeing the Bearcats for expansion.
HarvardRecord: 26-4 (13-1 Ivy)Last 10 games: 9-1
Best win: Green Bay
Key losses: Colorado, UConn
Leading scorer: Wesley Saunders (14.0)
No. 12 HARVARD
Best Case: As the dangerous Crimson make an unprecedented encroachment into Bracketville, the basketball bandwagon again fills with faux fans who never attended a game while in school. Beating Cincinnati and Michigan State in a 48-hour span will do that, as the program continues its stair-step progression – earn first bid in 2012, got first win in '13, makes first Sweet 16 this year. Software savants laud Tommy Amaker's assiduous man-to-man defense. Policymakers marvel at the sublime athleticism of wingman Wesley Saunders. Nuclear physicists delight in the proficiency of 3-point specialist Laurent Rivard. 'Twas a well-spent weekend in Spokane, rubbing elbows with the Little People who cheer for players studying criminal justice.
Worst Case: Bandwagon empties as fast as it filled up. Harvard gets bullied inside by the Bearcats, Rivard is covered on the catch, and the help defense keeps Saunders from having space to work. Crimson meet the same fate as the vast majority of Ivy champions, being abruptly dismissed in their first game. Amaker considers a return to high-major coaching and checks out the vacancies. Crimson cognoscenti return to running the country and worrying about having Harvard man Obama replaced by Yalie Hillary Clinton.
Michigan StateRecord: 26-8 (12-6 Big Ten)Last 10 games: 6-4
Best wins: Wisconsin, OSU, Michigan
Key losses: UNC, Michigan x2, Wisconsin
Leading scorer: Gary Harris (17.2)
No. 4 MICHIGAN STATE
Best Case: Finally of sound mind and body, this is the Michigan State we thought we'd get this season. Strongman Branden Dawson continues his out-of-body jump shooting from the Big Ten tournament. Adreian Payne is an inside-outside stud. Gary Harris is swishing big shots. Keith Appling is running the show. The role players play roles. Tom Izzo maintains his streak of getting every four-year player he's ever coached to a Final Four – and then some. Sparty isn't done until it wins it all. Michigan State handcuffs the Cincinnati and Virginia offenses, then outscores Iowa State in a 2000 regional final re-enactment to cut down the nets in Madison Square Garden. In Arlington, the Spartans wear down Florida in the semifinals and outfight Louisville in a ferocious title game. Couch fires erupt in East Lansing. Fresh off the Rose Bowl victory and now this, athletic director Mark Hollis proclaims it the Year of the Spartan and announces plans for a football-basketball doubleheader in Ford Field against the Lions and Pistons. High-level recruits rediscover the Joy of Izzo and start committing to the Spartans again. Michigan is upset early, and Big Blue fans reach for the antacids watching Michigan State win everything.
Worst Case: Appling falls and re-injures his wrist in victory over Delaware. Dawson hurts his thumb again in practice the next day. Random anvil falls from the sky, Bugs Bunny-style, on Payne's foot. Izzo gets the flu. The plague returns and short-handed Sparty is bounced in the round of 32 by Cincinnati. A pall sets in as Izzo's Final Four streak is snapped. The pall intensifies as Michigan wins the national title. Fed up with losing all his top recruiting targets to Duke, Kansas and Kentucky, Izzo finally scratches his NBA itch and jumps to the Pistons. Program begins painful regression to the Gus Ganakas Era level of competitiveness.
DelawareRecord: 25-9 (14-2 CAA)Last 10 games: 8-2
Best win: Towson, William & Mary's x3
Key losses: 'Nova, NDSU, Ohio State
Leading scorer: Devon Saddler (19.7)
No. 13 DELAWARE
Best Case: Exile in Spokane is fine with the Blue Hens, who don't have that many fans anyway. It's less fine with Michigan State, which is lacking its usual fan support and comes out flat. Savvy, perimeter-based Delaware refuses to turn the ball over and makes tough shots. It's a game right down to the end. Michigan State pulls it out, but the tough little chickens nearly earn their first NCAA victory – and do earn a new level of respect in their first tournament game since 1999. Ross' incremental program building is rewarded with a new contract that keeps him there and happy.
Worst Case: Team that was all but beaten in CAA final by William & Mary is perfectly capable of being blown out by Michigan State, and it happens. Blue Hens stick to their M.O. and try to run, playing right into the Spartans' hands. Delaware surrenders 91 points and loses by 25. Monte Ross bails on the diminished CAA for a better job. The world goes back to ignoring Delaware – the basketball program, the university and the state.
North CarolinaRecord: 23-9 (13-5 ACC)Last 10 games: 8-2
Best wins: L'ville, Michigan St., Duke
Key losses: 'Cuse, Virginia, Duke
Leading scorer: Marcus Paige (17.4)
No. 6 NORTH CAROLINA
Best Case: Having succeeded in once again lowering expectations with back-to-back losses, the Tar Heels are due for another jarring change of course. They provide it by making a spirited sprint to the Final Four. Marcus Paige plays like the best point guard in the tournament, scoring and distributing and making steals. James Michael McAdoo stays out of foul trouble and delivers consistently inside. Leslie McDonald's wandering shooting eye returns, and the Heels even make key free throws when they have to. Ol' Roy enjoys this dadgum ride as much as any of 'em, even if it ends in the national semifinals against Florida. Then he gets busy again on the recruiting trail and closes the widening talent gap between Chapel Hill and Durham. Speaking of Durham: Duke flames out against Mercer. Meanwhile, the PackPride vigilantes find another hobby and stop the proctology exam of the Tar Heels.
Worst Case: Carolina goes 2-for-9 down the stretch from the foul line and loses its opener to Providence. After all the heavy breathing late in the regular season about the Tar Heel resurgence, it's only fitting that a team this unpredictable goes out with a whimper on a three-game losing streak. Ol' Roy doesn't even bother to summon the annual season-ending tears on behalf of a group as loco as this one. Williams spends more time at Pinehurst and Peach Jam, and Duke keeps winning the recruiting battles – after the Blue Devils win yet another national title in North Texas. Meanwhile, the PackPride vigilantes have no other hobbies and vow to retrace every step P.J. Hairston took while at North Carolina.
ProvidenceRecord: 23-11 (10-8 Big East)Last 10 games: 7-3
Best wins: St. Joe's x2, Creighton
Key losses: UK, Villanova x2, Creighton
Leading scorer: Bryce Cotton (21.4)
No. 11 PROVIDENCE
Best Case: Every once in a while, a senior guard does something magical and carries the Friars to the Final Four. In 1973 it was Ernie DiGregorio. In 1987 it was Billy Donovan. In 2014 it is the least likely of all, Bryce Cotton. A complete afterthought recruit from Arizona, Cotton has literally become irreplaceable – he is averaging 39.9 minutes per game. Cotton gets the best of Marcus Paige in an upset of North Carolina, then the Friars catch consecutive breaks in an upset-littered bracket. They beat North Carolina Central in the round of 32 and St. Joseph's in the round of 16, setting up a third meeting with Villanova. This time Providence beats its Big East rival with a 3-point barrage and waltzes into Arlington. The run ends there against Donovan's Florida Gators, but coach Ed Cooley puts his name alongside Dave Gavitt and Rick Pitino in the PC history books. Dominicans, always overshadowed by the Jesuits when it comes to Catholic education, grab temporary bragging rights. Eternally overlooked state of Rhode Island puffs up its chest for three weeks, throws a welcome-home clambake for the team.
Worst Case: There are no clambakes for first-round losers, and the Dominicans remain overshadowed. The volume-shooting Cotton (526 hoists on the season) is not as good as North Carolina's Marcus Paige, who outplays him as the Tar Heels send the Friars packing. Never terribly good around the basket offensively, Providence can't make anything against the Carolina interior length. Game gets away and becomes a blowout in the second half. Cooley's name may eventually be mentioned alongside Gavitt and Pitino, but not this year.
Iowa StateRecord: 26-7 (11-7 Big 12)Last 10 games: 8-2
Best wins: Michigan, Baylor x2, Kansas
Key losses: Kansas x2, Baylor
Leading scorer: Melvin Ejim (18.1)
No. 3 IOWA STATE
Best Case: Contrary to old-school axioms, offense tends to win championships in modern-day college basketball. And few teams are better offensively than the Cyclones, who have shooters and drivers and ball handlers all over the floor. In Melvin Ejim, DeAndre Kane, Georges "The Bleeder" Niang, Dustin Hogue & Co., coach Fred Hoiberg has one of the toughest teams to guard in the nation. The Clones blaze through North Carolina Central and North Carolina, dispatch interloper Connecticut in the Sweet 16 and then bust out the long ball to shoot down Michigan State in the regional final. Iowa State doesn't stop there, upsetting Florida in the national semifinals and Louisville in the title game. It's officially the greatest moment in Iowa State athletic history, made all the more enjoyable by the first-game flameout by rival Iowa. Hoiberg resists the temptation of coaching the Chicago Bulls to stay in Ames. City is so grateful it devotes millions to making itself less dismal.
Worst Case: Pretty little jump shooters have the bad fortune of drawing the best MEAC team in years, maybe decades. N.C. Central harasses Iowa State into an uncharacteristic proliferation of turnovers, and turns them into points. Cyclones can't get enough stops to mount one of their patented comebacks, and start to feel the weight of their high seeding and high expectations. The Eagles pull off the biggest shocker of the first round, plunging Iowa State fans into gloom. That gloom is compounded by a deep Iowa run, the loss of Hoiberg to the NBA and the realization that Ames will remain dismal for the foreseeable future.
N.C. CentralRecord: 28-5 (15-1 MEAC)Last 10 games: 10-0
Best win: NC State
Key losses: Cincy, Wichita St., Maryland
Leading scorer: Jeremy Ingram (20.6)
No. 14 NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL
Best Case: Overlooked team that has forgotten how to lose wins its 21st straight, catching Iowa State flat in a late-night tipoff. Tenacious defensive team then takes down No. 11 Providence in a bracket-collapse round of 32 game, thanks to 35 points from dynamic guard Jeremy Ingram. The Eagles are into the Sweet 16 in their first NCAA tourney experience. It ends there but the run renews pride in HBCU basketball nationwide – and garners the respect of N.C. Central's Tobacco Road neighbors in the ACC. Coach LaVelle Moton is suddenly in demand but opts to stay at his alma mater.
Worst Case: Arguably jobbed in the seeding process, N.C. Central lands on the 14 line and draws an Iowa State team that is on a torrid roll. Bad luck and a bad matchup lead to a bad result, as the Cyclones scorch the nets and run out a first-time Bracketville visitor suffering some Big Dance stage fright. HBCU pride is pre-empted. Moton loves his alma mater but is seen on the RiverWalk in San Antonio after the game talking to an athletic director with an opening at a bigger school.
ConnecticutRecord: 26-8 (12-6 AAC)Last 10 games: 7-3
Best wins: Florida, Memphis x3, Cincy x2
Key losses: Louisville x3, Cincy, SMU x2
Leading scorer: Shabazz Napier (17.4)
No. 7 CONNECTICUT
Best Case: Sprung from APR jail, the Huskies are back in the Big Dance after a one-year forced absence and have something to say about how it will unfold. Shabazz Napier plays brilliantly in his final run at UConn, averaging 25 points, six rebounds and six assists over four games to lead a surprising Final Four surge. In a nostalgic old Big East brawl against Villanova in the round of 32, Amida Brimah blocks a late shot to secure the win. Napier, Ryan Boatright and the resurgent DeAndre Daniels blitz North Carolina in the Sweet 16. Niels Giffey hits a 3 at the buzzer to upset Michigan State in the regional final. Run ends against Florida in the Final Four, but second-year coach Kevin Ollie convinces the nation he can adequately succeed Jim Calhoun – and do so with less anger and confrontation. For a school stuck in the American Athletic Conference, this is making the best of it.
Worst Case: Bad seeding – a familiar refrain for AAC teams – leads to tough opening matchup against St. Joseph's. Napier and Boatright revert to not trusting the UConn big men, jacking up one contested shot after another. Most of them miss. Ollie has another go-ballistic moment on a no-call, like he did against Louisville in January, and gets hit with an ill-timed technical. Hawks score the upset. UConn fans question whether Ollie is the right guy for the job, and continue questioning whether the AAC is the right league for the program. But there's nothing to be done about that. After losing to Louisville three times and watching the school swipe their spot in the ACC, Huskies endure the final indignity when the Cardinals cut down the nets in Arlington.
Saint Joseph'sRecord: 24-9 (11-5 A10)Last 10 games: 8-2
Best wins: UMass, Dayton x3, VCU
Key losses: Creighton, 'Nova, St. Louis
Leading scorer: Langston Galloway (17.5)
No. 10 ST. JOSEPH'S
Best Case: The Hawk will never die, and apparently neither will Phil Martelli. After a six-year absence from the Dance, Martelli's Atlantic 10 tournament champions stay hot and advance to the regional final. Beating UConn behind a hot shooting game from Langston Galloway is nice, but reversing a 30-point December blowout against hated rival Villanova in the round of 32 is ecstasy. After a Sweet 16 victory over North Carolina, St. Joe's finally maxes out in a close loss to Michigan State. It's the best run in a decade, since the legendary team of 2004, and the Hawk mascots bulks up in the shoulders with the extended two weeks of tournament flapping.
Worst Case: Hawk is accidentally run over by UConn big man Amida Brimah during warm-ups, tearing a rotator cuff. He cannot flap. Disastrous omen throws the whole team off and dooms St. Joe's to a horrible showing in a blowout loss. Martelli streak without an NCAA tourney win now reaches a decade, and he decides to retire. Already depressed, Hawks fans must sit back and watch Villanova win it all.
VillanovaRecord: 28-4 (16-2 Big East)Last 10 games: 8-2
Best wins: Kansas, Iowa, St. Joe's x2
Key losses: 'Cuse, Creighton x2
Leading scorer: James Bell (14.5)
No. 2 VILLANOVA
Best Case: The most uncelebrated 28-4 team from a major conference in recent memory wants to earn your respect, America. Motivated and rejuvenated after early ouster in the Big East tournament, Jay Wright's super-solid squad rolls easily past Milwaukee and has the pleasure of pounding hated Big Five rival St. Joseph's for a second time this season in the round of 32. North Carolina does 'Nova a favor by taking out Iowa State, and the Wildcats avenge losses in the 2005 and '09 tourneys to the Tar Heels. In an evenly matched regional final against Virginia, Villanova runs its overtime record to 5-0 on a Ryan Arcidiacono jumper at the buzzer. Moving on to Arlington, Villanova beats Kansas for the second time this season and then wins a Big East flashback game over Louisville for the national title with Harold Jensen, Ed Pinckney and Rollie Massimino in the house. Wright is no longer simply America's foremost metrosexual basketball coach; he's a national champion.
Worst Case: That Big East tourney upset loss to Seton Hall wasn't a blip; it was a warning sign. Villanova wheezes past Milwaukee in the opener but then is ambushed by a St. Joe's team that has improved drastically since the 'Nova beatdown in December. Losing to the Hawks is always intolerable, but especially in March. JayVaughn Pinkston, a 75-percent foul shooter who inexplicably went 3-for-10 at the line against Seton Hall, stays shaky and misses two big ones down the stretch as St. Joe's wins. Villanova fans like Jay Wright and all, but wonder if he'll ever be anything more than America's foremost metrosexual basketball coach.
MilwaukeeRecord: 21-13 (7-9 Horizon)Last 10 games: 6-4
Best wins: Green Bay x2, Davidson
Key losses: Wisconsin, Green Bay
Leading scorer: Jordan Aaron (15)
No. 15 MILWAUKEE
Best Case: Panthers were sub-.500 in the Horizon League before catching fire at the end, winning their last five games and unexpectedly capturing the automatic bid. Good feelings continue into Buffalo, where Rob Jeter's team gets a big game from streak-shooting guard Jordan Aaron against Villanova. No, it's not enough to win – but the Panthers at least keep it close all game and uphold the honor of a league diminished by the departure of Butler. A sightseeing trip to Niagara Falls and the original Buffalo wing restaurant makes it all worth it.
Worst Case: League champion Green Bay activated its gag reflex in the Horizon tournament semifinals, and the result is having the No. 163 Ken Pomeroy team in the NCAAs instead of No. 61 – but that's tournament basketball. Nevertheless, the Panthers are no match for 'Nova and take their eighth loss of the year by 15 points or more. Too many turnovers and too little paint defense lead to an early blowout. Bad weather cancels Niagara Falls visit. And once you've had one Buffalo wing, you've had them all.
Check out more NCAA tournament coverage on Yahoo Sports:
An senior citizen in St. John's is living with a problem that seems to be cropping up more and more in the capital city — bedbugs.
George Pearce lives alone in his apartment building, Mount Pleasant Manor, where bedbugs have been reported.
Property managers Martek brought in exterminators to get rid of the bugs, but Pearce, 74, can't seem to shake the annoying pests.
Orkin Canada was called in again this week to exterminate, but left without doing so because Pearce's apartment wasn't ready.
"They have to wash and dry all their laundry, they have to vacuum off their bed, wash and dry the linens on their bed," Tom Furey of Orkin said.
Having survived a heart attack and a brain aneurysm, these simple tasks aren't easy for Pearce. His family isn't around to help him and his friends are worried about contamination.
Friend, Pearl Clancey, said she has been assisting Pearce, but the bed bugs ended up in her car.
"I feel so sorry and scared and I can't go in to help him," Clancey said, "I am devastated and somebody needs to do something."
"Right up to last night they were crawling up the chesterfield. Nobody should have to live like that."
Because of his lack of compliance, Pearce faces possible eviction.
"If we have to go back a second time to do the treatment because the prep work wasn't completed fully, the bugs are resilient to it so its more difficult for us and the tenants," Furey told CBC.
The seniors resource centre says it can help people like George Pearce if they contact them.
Two Ahuntsic-Cartierville apartment buildings with hundreds of violations are in such advanced states of disrepair and uncleanliness that tenants of 12 units had to be removed last month for public safety reasons.
Come March 5, the residents of 12 more apartments will find themselves out on the curb as well.
Bed bugs, cockroaches, vermin, mould, leaking water, lack of heating, holes in ceilings and walls — the tenants of 11750 and 11760 Ranger Street have had a lot to contend with.
Many of them are new immigrants who settled in the area near the intersection of Laurentian and Henri-Bourassa boulevards because of its low rents.
But then they were evacuated from their homes in early February, and it seems the landlord isn’t doing much to remedy the situation.
One long-time tenant told community newspaper Courrier Ahuntsic-Cartierville last month that the condition of the apartments really went downhill when the current owner took possession in 2006.
Since then, the tenant said, the owner has altered the apartments to create more rooms and thus, house more people — making for overcrowding.
Another tenant told CBC News that he fixed a missing pane of glass in one of his apartment's windows with cushions and blankets.
City councillor Harout Chitilian said he’s doing everything he can to improve the conditions at the apartment buildings.
Chitilian said the landlord has hundreds of violations against him and that hopefully not receiving tenants' rent cheques will propel him to make the necessary repairs to the buildings.
He also said the local housing committee is helping those evacuated relocate.
The mayor of St. John's is urging the general public to report slum landlords to the city so it can investigate housing.
CBC News has reported recent horror stories of boarding houses, highlighting issues ranging from bed bugs to mould, electrical issues and holes in walls.
Mayor Dennis O'Keefe said it's the city's responsibility to make sure licensed rental properties are safe and healthy places for people to live..
However, he said, city staff can't act to make housing any better if they don't know about the problems.
"Give us the address and tell us what kind of conditions exist where you live, and we'll take it from there," O'Keefe said.
"If you're not comfortable leaving your name, you don't have to leave your name, but we need to know. Otherwise, we can't deal with the problem."
Deputy Mayor Ron Ellsworth said the conditions some people were living in shocked him.
"What really concerned me was the fear, or underlying current, of individuals living in substandard housing … they feel trapped," he said.
O'Keefe said the city will act quickly on complaints once they're received, but if a landlord refuses to allow an inspector into the unit, the city then has to go to court.
If an order to clean up a property is then ignored, they would have to go to court again.
But O'Keefe said there was one trump card the city had up its sleeve to get landlords into action.
"Well b'y, if you're not going to do it then we're going to name you at a public meeting," he said. "
Amazing how quick that results in remedial action."