Early Grateful Dead keyboardist Tom Constanten is in stable condition today, following a major fall that required immediate surgery last week. According to Constanten, he was getting out his car when he tripped on some uneven, wet pavement and fell into the concrete. Fortunately, 911 was called immediately, and an excellent team of doctors were able to perform a quick and life-saving surgery.Constanten tells the story in the public Facebook post below:Fell down and broke my neck last Wednesday. Just like they warned me about as a kid. I’d driven up to the Post Office at the top of the hill to mail off a bill, and, knowing there was heavy rain in the forecast, figured it would be better to mail it off inside. I parked the car, and on the way in a bit of uneven pavement tripped me up. I fell, face first, onto the concrete. I am so very grateful for the woman who spotted me right away and called 911; for the ambulance crew, who got there so fast; for their professionalism and teamwork; for the uniformly excellent care at Novant Presbyterian Hospital; for the skill of Dr. Healy, the neurosurgeon who performed the procedure that pulled me out of the darkness and into the light, for Dr. Guignard, for the anæsthesiologist, Dr….well, I’m spacing on his name, maybe because he did such a good job. For the surgeon who stitched up my forehead. For the nurses, Beverly, Brooke, Brittany, Iseta, Julio, Cliff, Ali, Amelia… I get back to the house, and the first thing I’m aware of is a forest of wonderful friends near and far showing such unbelievably warm support. I’ve experienced it before and, even though I have no idea what I might have done to deserve it, I felt the lift and reassurance. There have been rough patches in my life these past fifteen years, and it’s helped me get through it. Many times I thought of checking out, but my heart won’t buy it. The attitude of gratitude is in full bloom in this garden.[H/T Jambands]
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Germany have won the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup for a record-equalling third time after a hard-fought 1-0 win over Nigeria at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium.Lena Petermann scored the title-winning goal eight minutes into extra time to settle a match that, like the semi-final against France, had seen the Germans outplayed for long stretches. For the second match in succession, though, the Europeans’ will to win shone through, as did the quality of goalkeeper Meike Kamper – again named player of the match.This clash of styles and football cultures was always expected to produce an open, engaging final, and so it proved. Nigeria quickly gained a foothold and went on to dominate the first half, creating the better and more numerous chances. An inability to convert those chances was their only failing, and the most guilty party was tournament top scorer Asisat Oshoala.The in-form striker, who had scored four times in the semi-final win over Korea DPR, was lively throughout but missed her first golden opportunity after 22 minutes. In fairness, she created the opening out of nothing, robbing Margarita Gidion, outpacing the German defence and rounding Kamper in a stunning display of speed and strength. She could not, however, find the finishing touch, managing only to shoot into the side-netting from an acute angle.With Nigeria’s superior physical attributes a telling factor on the big Olympic Stadium pitch, it wasn’t long before more chances arrived, with Oshoala again given a sight of goal seven minutes before the break. Again, though, her sights were out, with the ball flashing wide after Chiwendo Ihezuo had done well to snatch possession from Rebecca Knaak at the byline and cut the ball back.These were nonetheless worrying times for Germany, whose best effort had come from a Lina Magull free-kick comfortably saved by Sandra Chiichii. But Maren Meinert’s side began the second half brightly, with Theresa Panfil and Lena Petermann combining to tee up Sara Daebritz for a powerful left-foot shot that skidded into the arms of Chiichii. Oshoala remained a constant source of danger, though, and she again came to life three minutes later, jinking in from the left wing past two German defenders. All that was lacking was the final touch, with the No4’s first effort striking a team-mate before the rebound was sliced high and wide.However, missing chances wasn’t restricted to Oshoala and Nigeria. Germany also spurned their opportunities, with Pauline Bremer stealing in unmarked on a Sara Dabritz free-kick only to head wastefully wide. The Super Falconets then had to call on the bravery of their keeper, with Chiichii racing from her line to dive at the feet of Lena Petermann, picking up a bruised jaw in the process.Play still tended to rage towards the other end, though, and with five minutes remaining Nigeria had the ball in the net only for their celebrations to be cut short by the assistant referee’s flag. That left extra time to settle this pulsating affair and, after Oshoala had again gone close for Nigeria, it was Germany who found a breakthrough.Petermann scored it, slotting home from six yards, but the plaudits went to the energetic Bremer, who had robbed left-back Gladys Abasi before driving towards the byline and delivering the perfect cutback.Nigeria, who had given so much to the match, proved unable to respond. Germany saw out the remaining minutes with a degree of comfort and can now savour the familiar feeling of being crowned champions of the world.