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Saturday, June 18, 2011

THE NIGHT I SLEPT IN THE PANTRY


We had 4 inches of rain yesterday in less than 24 hours.  This is just outside my window, the flower bed about 2 1/2 feet from the building and the plants are nearly covered with water.


This is a very large, noisy oil field truck pumping out the basement of a nursing home across the street as I look out my bedroom window.  They started at about 11 AM and never quit.  The noise was awful, and unrelenting it near drove me crazy.  If you ever heard one like it for 12 hours you'd understand that the sound was constantly undulating and whiny.  Much like me today.  I tried earplugs and blasting the TV or music on my laptop which only helped somewhat and I even set up shop with a little TV and my laptop in the room farthest away but nothing helped at all. 
 The picture below shows where I slept last night with the help of a little fan sitting on my kitchen table to get a little air movement. The only 'room' that the noise did not get into........my pantry. 


The truck disappeared sometime after midnight and has not come back as of yet.  We had one brief heavy downpour this afternoon.  Many, many basements were flooded in this fourth rain event of June, many manholes were spouting water pretty high this morning and some had sandbags on them and some didn't when we went by.  One of my friends who lives in an apartment says when she got home from work yesterday there was 3 feet of water in the basement so they had no heat and no flushing for everyone there.  In another part of town, condo basements are flooded and another friend's sewer backed up and she had nearly a foot of water which killed her freezer and sent everything down there afloat.  The last I saw here she was taking her 'floating' laundry piles to a friends place to wash.  There are two centers set up for evacuees now.  The highways are closed again as there is water over them, all traffic is diverted through town and 70% of that traffic are semis which made for a lot of sitting at stop signs today as the long lines wound their way through.  There also is a boil water advisory.  Construction, farming and oil field activities have ground to a halt.  They predict that road bans will be on until the middle of July.....unheard of.

Who could have ever predicted that the prairies would become disaster area due to water?  Strange and never-before-happenings are going on everyday around the world.


Friday, June 17, 2011

45 Years Ago On a Bright Sunny Day

JUNE 17th 1966


Once upon a time these two people got married and had two beautiful children.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

eTomb

I don't have a 'ridiculist' but I'm seriously thinking that I should have one.  I thought I had awakened in an alternate world and that I would soon be jumping into to my enterprising space ship and go straight home.
It's creepy, questionably appropriate and not even within the realm of possibility.
That aside it would cause more heartache than comfort, it would be unaffordable and impractical for so many reasons. The cost of security alone would make it elitist. EVERYONE has enemies.
In this day and age of techno-vandalism it's naive to think that this would not become a target if not just for the sheer joy of destroying something which is common among those who have no self control or common sense.
How could each site be physically protected from vandalism in a graveyard? Wouldn't it be more practical to set up your own shrine at home and then you wouldn't even have to get in your car to go and see it and instead you could have an eTomb party and have pizza.
I also can see all sorts of electrical problems connected with this idea. Could signals get mixed up and what you hear coming out of your dear husband's tomb is Mr. Brown's wife in the next plot discussing their therapy sessions or that trip to Bulgaria? Just where would you take your eTomb for repair? Can you even find an eTomb technician? And would he email you his bill?

Designers have conceived a tombstone that stores the deceased's "digital remains" so that a mourner could access their Facebook page and Twitter feed
Keeping a loved one's memories alive after their death isn't easy. That's why a group of designers has conceived the eTomb, a tombstone that would hold digital information about the deceased on a built-in server. Could this be an appropriate way for a generation that lives most of its life online to honor its dead, or is the idea just tasteless? Here's an instant guide to this hypothetical techno tombstone:

How exactly would an eTomb work?
The traditional-looking slab of stone would contain a server storing the departed's online "remains" (i.e., his or her Facebook page, blog or Twitter feed). When relatives or friends pay their respects, they'd be able to use their smartphones to access the information via Bluetooth. The device could also "act as a perpetual chat room,"
writes Stuart Fox at HYPERLINK "http://www.technewsdaily.com/etomb-tweets-from-beyond-the-grave-1649/"TechNewsDaily, "where loved ones and well-wishers could post reminiscences about the deceased."

Would it be connected to an electricity supply?
No. The eTomb would be powered by a solar battery embedded on the top of the grave. That ought to ensure the "dead remain eco-friendly in the afterlife,"
says Hans HYPERLINK "http://newsfeed.time.com/2010/11/22/facebook-forever-etomb-offers-immortality-via-social-networks/"VillaricaHYPERLINK "http://newsfeed.time.com/2010/11/22/facebook-forever-etomb-offers-immortality-via-social-networks/" at HYPERLINK "http://newsfeed.time.com/2010/11/22/facebook-forever-etomb-offers-immortality-via-social-networks/"Time.

Couldn't people leave abusive messages about the deceased?
A Bluetooth key would be embedded into a cross engraved on the front of the tomb, so that only family members would be able to edit content on the server and erase unwanted memorials.

Is this really an appropriate memorial for the dead?
It satisfies both traditionalists and futurists,
says Aaron Saenz at HYPERLINK "http://singularityhub.com/2010/11/16/the-e-tomb-let-your-grave-join-the-social-network/"Singularity Hub, in that it acts both as a "well recognized physical symbol" and an "online memorial." That said, it would be weird to see a "weeping widow whip out her phone so she can text her dearly departed: Sry Ur ded. GWHTLC. Kthx bai." But in an age where worshiping your ancestors is "largely passé," says HYPERLINK "http://www.technewsdaily.com/etomb-tweets-from-beyond-the-grave-1649/"TechNewsDailyHYPERLINK "http://www.technewsdaily.com/etomb-tweets-from-beyond-the-grave-1649/"'sHYPERLINK "http://www.technewsdaily.com/etomb-tweets-from-beyond-the-grave-1649/" Fox, "this kind of memorial may be the best way to remind future generations about your mighty deeds, epic life, and that one time in college you got so wasted."

Is this the only technological way to upgrade your tombstone?
No. One company is already selling
data tags you can affix to your beloved's tombstone, which allow iPhone users to post up to 1,000 words of prose about the deceased. While the eTomb is still a concept design, the granite data tags can be bought for just $225 each.




Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Smoking Raises Peripheral Artery Disease Risk 10-Fold In Women








Most people would not take a drug ordered by a physician that would result in a 10-fold risk of disease.  Yet millions continue to start smoking at a young age and refuse to listen to such warnings.  It shows the strong addictive and I dare say, delusional nature tobacco has on the brain. 
I was once one of those who was in denial that I was addicted and adopted the usual mantra "I can quit anytime I want to....I just don't want to."  No matter what the addiction the brain is controlled by false reasoning and that makes breaking the cycle extremely difficult.  So it doesn't really matter how dire the risk because that in itself will not convince any addict to quit.  Statistically the best and most successful method of quitting smoking still remains going 'cold turkey'.  Give yourself some time and pick a date about two weeks ahead, the day that will be the first day of the rest of whatever life you have left....... it takes 5 years for your lungs to heal themselves compared to lungs of someone who has never smoked.  So now would be a good time to plan your future. 

Smoking raises a females risk of developing PAD (peripheral artery disease) 10-fold, researchers from Harvard Medical School revealed in the medical journal Annals of Internal Medicine. They added that even short-term smoking appears to elevate the risk significantly for women.

Peripheral artery diseases, also known as PAD, is a type of peripheral vascular disease in which an artery is either partially or totally blocked, often one leading to a limb. It is not the same as leg artery disease (usually due to atherosclerosis) or arm artery disease (usually due to repetitive motion, autoimmune disease, radiation therapy, Raynaud's disease, a blood clot, radiation therapy, and trauma). PAD is a serious and debilitating disease.

PAD signs and symptoms include painful legs with normal activity, as well as tiredness in the leg muscles.

Eruna Pradhan, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and team carried out a study involving 38,825 women aged at least 45 years for an average of 12.7 years. They wanted to see whether smoking raised PAD risk, and also whether giving up smoking might reduce the risk, and by how much.<BR.
They questioned the participants regarding their smoking status and history, including how many cigarettes were smoked each day. During the 12.7 years updating questionnaires were filled in every year, which also included details on PAD symptoms.

They found that smoking is definitely a major risk factor for symptomatic peripheral artery disease. Regular smoking appears to raise a woman's risk of developing PAD tenfold, compared to lifetime non-smoking females.

Although giving up smoking definitely brings down the risk of developing PAD considerably, it was found never to reach the same low level risk of lifetime non-smoking women.

Eruna Pradhan said:







"This study showed that-as has been previously shown for heart attacks and for lung cancer-that smoking is actually very harmful for the development PAD. This is significant because PAD is a disease that not only causes a lot of pain and discomfort with usual, daily activities but it also increases the risk of heart attack."

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

ARTHRITIS OF THE BIZARRE KIND

This is the most bizarre experience I've ever heard about 'arthritis' if indeed it really is.  This 47-year old cardiologist from France tells about her life after the sudden onset of these mysterious symptoms.

Dr. Sue Zieman can almost set her watch by her disease: Twice a day, she gets a fever and the already arthritic joints in her arms and hands, legs and feet abruptly, painfully swell even more. During the evening flare, even the tendons in her feet puff up, rope-like worms just under her skin. The rest of the day, her joints are so stiff that the once robust Maryland physician frequently uses a scooter to get around. Just shaking hands hurts the 47-year-old.

Inflammatory arthritis is disabling Zieman but exactly what kind and what caused it to attack suddenly is a mystery. Nor do her fellow doctors know what treatment to suggest next. She's tried all of today's arthritis medications with little relief.

Say arthritis, and people tend to shrug it off as a rite of passage of aging. The reality is much more complicated. Arthritis encompasses 100 different conditions and affects about 46 million people in the U.S. Osteoarthritis — where cartilage gradually erodes with the wear-and-tear of aging — is by far the most common type.

But inflammatory types — such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, lupus — occur when something makes the immune system run amok and attack the body's own tissues, eating away cartilage and eventually harming bone. It can strike at far younger ages. Zieman's saga highlights not just how much doctors still have to learn about arthritis, but how devastating a severe case can be. "It totally stripped my identity," says Zieman, whose illness cost her career as a cardiologist and her love of sailing. "I just don't think people realize how debilitated you can be, and young." She uses humor to help cope, nicknaming her scooter Bella and joking that "I know I'm going to turn into a pumpkin each night" when that 7 p.m. flare sends her to bed.

Infections sometimes trigger inflammatory arthritis, and that's what probably happened with Zieman. She'd just returned from a business trip to India in December 2008 when she came down with a fever, fatigue and pain in her shoulder and knee. Antibiotics didn't help. A month later, Zieman became short of breath and both legs swelled. An emergency hospital admission prompted a battery of tests for infections, even super-rare ones she might have encountered abroad. Again, nothing. Maybe it was cancer? Nope. Then the joints in her wrists and hands began swelling. Soon she couldn't lift a glass. Swelling and pain moved to her ankles and toes. Her joints had the classic look of rheumatoid arthritis, a disease that affects 1.3 million Americans and that can begin with a low fever and fatigue.

But it wasn't a slam-dunk diagnosis. Blood tests check for specific markers of the disease, such as a substance called rheumatoid factor, and Zieman's results were negative, something that occurs occasionally. More important, a variety of drugs hit the market in the last 15 years that can rein in the disease and target some of the immune cells doing the damage. But drug after drug failed, and the illness was spreading to her elbows, knees, hips, even her jaw.

Within a few months, she was on leave from her cardiology job. She couldn't walk up the stairs at home and moved to a one-floor apartment that's walking — or scootering — distance from her new job in aging research at the disability-friendly National Institutes of Health.

She even had episodes of an irregular heartbeat, as inflammation struck part of the heart. Then six months ago, she started having those bizarre twice-a-day flare-ups. When she joined some friends for a vacation in France recently, the flares just switched time zones.

That's not typical rheumatoid arthritis, leaving in question Zieman's diagnosis and what to do next. While Zieman's case is extreme, it's not unusual for inflammatory arthritis to become debilitating so quickly, especially in young or middle-aged women, says Dr. Assil Saleh, a Washington rheumatologist and internist who, along with doctors at Johns Hopkins University and the NIH, treats Zieman.

When an infection is the suspected trigger, patients desperately want to know which bug even though it's usually long gone by the time joints swell, leaving rogue immune cells in its wake. "Now we're left with a forest fire, and we try to extinguish it," Saleh explains. Most cases of inflammatory arthritis "are not curable but they are treatable in this day and age."

Zieman gets modest relief from very high doses of the steroid prednisone, along with injections of the drug Kineret that targets an inflammation-causing protein named interleukin-1.

Monday, June 13, 2011

MAKING MILK


On a quite little road I found this little herd of contented bovines enjoying the sunshine and solitude until I came along.




Sunday, June 12, 2011

PURPLE IS TODAY'S FLOWER THEME




No matter what you call it, purple, lavender, mauve or lilac it's all very pretty.

IT'S PUNDAY!

Muhatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet.  He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath.  This made him (oh, man, this is so good, it's bad).....A super-calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.