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Saturday, September 17, 2011

WEEK OF SEPT 12-18 2ND PART



 FRIDAY--I wanted to just stay in bed today.  It's cloudy, cool and windy and I ached.  But I phoned a friend with whom I share aches and pains together in this kind of weather.  So I got some drive-thru coffee and sat with her in the living room enjoying the action of two small kittens.  Man they are crazy energetic little things and provide a lot of laughs.  By the end of the coffee and nearly two hours of confidential talk back and forth I left with both of us feeling upbeat.  There you go.....kittens and coffee to go make for an uplifting of spirits.  Of course the up lifting of spirits of the other sort would do the same but we stuck to coffee.
Afterwards I went to a local furniture store that also had a flower shop in one corner, to check out their supply of beds and chairs.  I left with a dozen gorgeous roses free gratis from Growers Direct  because, they told me, they could not sell 'last weeks flowers'.  WOW talk about being at the right place at the right time!  My day just gets better all the time!!!  What you see above is all that remains as I went back to my friend's place and gave her and her daughter who had come home for lunch, each a rose and continued around town and the nursing home until I was too tired to deliver any more.  It's amazing how one red rose can perk a person up and you get beautiful rewarding smiles.for your effort.  I got more joy this afternoon doing that tiny little gesture than anything I've done for a long time.  Giving IS better than receiving.
I'm trying to rest before I go out this evening for a special bi-annual meeting--if you notice me nodding off and drooling at some point poke me gently please.

Friday, September 16, 2011

MY WEEK OF SEPT 12-18--A PREVIEW

I've decided to post this today because this week already seems to be a lengthy read and I do not wish to bore you more than necessary.

MONDAY--My visit to the doctor this morning was helpful and I came away with some new ideas and dashed a few old ones as well.  I always learn something from her and it's great to be able to have a trusting relationship with you MD.  However it did lead to a trip to my local pharmacy and then to the ER.
As I was about to check in at the desk a very emaciated looking young woman wandered around the corner from the direction of the ER obviously in some kind of abdominal pain by the moaning and and bent over stature while waiting in between me and the lady who was already seated.  When the seat was vacant she sat down and I overheard her tell the receptionist that she was told by ER that she had to wait until her doctor was contacted before her request for an injection of pain killer could be given.  So she waited across from me in the waiting room with a lot of moaning and rocking while her male companion hid behind a coffee row paper trying to ignore her.  Soon she got up and went into the bathroom making very loud monotone wretching noises.  I've never heard such controlled wretching noises in my whole life.  While that was going on I overheard the desk receive an ambulance call that was 2 minutes away and an elderly man having breathing difficulties nearly ran over my toe with his rolling walker.  Putting all these things together and coming up with a long wait ahead of me I told the desk I'd return in an hour hopefully things would be much quieter by and went home.
It was indeed quieter an hour later, I got in within 10 minutes, received what I went in for and was home in much better time than if I hand hung around for the unfolding events.
TUESDAY--I made cookies--it was a good day.  I started to sort out the summer clothes I won't likely use again this year and replace the with cool weather duds. There is a frost warning tonight and when I went out for a couple of hours this evening I believe it.
WEDNESDAY--It's -3C and I will welcome the warm laundry room this morning.  Three loads and a hundred stairs later and there went the morning.  I had a few things to do downtown and after lunch I went to the post office, had my news glasses readjusted AGAIN..... she said I had a screw loose and after I thought that over I decided she must be talking about the glasses.  Then I ran the car through the automatic car wash and finally to the grocery store, picked out my groceries for delivery and was home before 2:30.  Apples were on sale which only means work!  I peeled and pared and sliced up one bag, threw it into the oven and being very very hungry I went out for an A&W cheeseburger [hold the cheese] because the cheeseburger had the root beer AND the fries where as the other coupon offerings didn't.  So I got what I wanted anyway on the cheap:D.  At home I pulled out the apples-near-sauce and had desert.  Later when it cooled down I pureed them, packaged them and froze all 7 cups.  I'm happy.
THURSDAY--It should be a quieter day........we'll see.
I was to have met a friend for our weekly visit to a friend at 9:40 AM this morning but due to a misunderstanding on BOTH our parts she failed to show.  I went for the visit anyway thinking she had been kidnapped, fallen into a sink hole, had a family crisis or a car accident.  Obviously it was none of those and when we talked later we both had a good laugh over it.  But something interesting did come out of it though.  While I was waiting in the lobby of the apartment for her I joined by a man that we waved at and said hello to every Thursday while he was waiting for his ride to get groceries.  I found out his name is Morley, with an e or without he didn't say.  As we chatted the inevitable subject that comes around is the effects of the aging process we all undergo.  He was more than willing to share and I wished my friend would hurry up!  He talked about the death of his mother in 1982 and stated that he had given her "great send off" because he buried her in a steel casket for $10,000.  I asked why he thought that was necessary and he said and I quote, "To keep her longer."  I thought about that for a minute and I asked the only intelligent question there could be to that statement "Why?" and he said matter-of-factly and without pause, "I don't know".  I'm not sure what I expected the answer might be but I thought it rather sad for him that he may have been duped and led to believe that.  I didn't think he would want me to go into a discourse on just how fast that natural forces occur in a steel box or not.  I excused myself and went to my appointment.
In the afternoon I took my car in for it's 5,000 k service and to deal with a problem I'm having with the brakes in reverse.  When I try to slow down they are as hard as a rock, unresponsive until I pump them hard.  It's happened three times over the last year and a bit scary every time.  They said they couldn't 'see' anything.  Hmmm. Well I made sure the it was fully documented in case I get into an accident sometime.
I had sometime to rest in between taking it in and getting it back before I had to get ready for my Thursday evening friends group.
The whole day was not as quiet as I'd like it to have been but everyone left at 9 PM then it was really, really quiet.

Hospital Births Saving Babies in China, Study Says

New data show that encouraging Chinese women to give birth in the hospital has contributed to a sharp drop in infant deaths over a 12-year period.
A study released Friday in The Lancet, a British medical journal, says that newborn deaths fell 62 percent between 1996 and 2008 based on analysis of 1.5 million births.
The study, co-authored by researchers from Peking University and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said more babies survived mainly because women were increasingly giving birth in hospitals or clinics.
"In 1988, less than half of all women in China gave birth in hospital, but only 20 years later, hospital births have become almost universal," it said.
"Where you give birth really matters," said one of the authors, Carine Ronsmans, a professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
There were 24.7 deaths of newborns in China per 1,000 live births in 1996 but by 2008 that figure had fallen to 9.3 per 1,000, it said.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

WORLDBANK CALLS AFRICAN FAMINE MAN MADE

World Bank calls Horn of Africa famine manmade............the result of artificially high prices for food and civil conflict, the World Bank' lead economist for Kenya Wolfgang Fengler told Reuters Tuesday.
"This crisis is man made," Fengler said in a telephone interview. "Droughts have occurred over and again, but you need bad policy making for that to lead to a famine."
Some 12.4 million people in the Horn of Africa - including Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti - are affected by the worst drought in decades, according to the United Nations. Tens of thousands of people have already died.
Fengler said the price of maize, or corn, was significantly higher in east Africa than in the rest of the world due to controls on local food markets.
"In Kenya, the price for corn is 60 to 70 percent above the world average at the moment," he said. "A small number of farmers are controlling the market which is keeping prices artificially high."
The World Bank said Monday its Food Price index increased 33 percent in July from a year ago and stayed close to 2008 peak levels, with large rises in the prices for maize and sugar.
High food and energy prices have stoked inflation pressures around the globe, but the problem has been more acute in developing nations.
"Maize is cheaper in the United States and in Germany than it is in eastern Africa," said Fengler.
Somalia's two-decade long war is also seen as exacerbating the famine in the Horn of Africa.
Some 3.7 million Somalis risk starvation in two regions of south Somalia controlled by militant group al Shabaab, which has blamed food aid for creating dependency and blocked humanitarian deliveries in the past.
The group has accused the United Nations of exaggerating the severity of the drought and politicizing the crisis.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

JUST THE HEADLINE IS SUFFICIENT

Strong Activation Of Various Brain Sites Produced By Stimulation Of Female Genital Regions

That's a DUH moment!  When did the great intellectual brain 'disconnect' happen anyway?  This is not news.  The female brain or male brain for that matter has never been severed from sexuality.  The brain has always been known as the biggest 'sex organ' we have.  I don't know anyone who has had sex that would think there is no connection unless it's people who addictively pursue to 'study' what is already known by everyone.... well females anyway.
The following excerpt from the article makes the point: 


Nipple self-stimulation activated not only the chest region of the homunculus as expected, but also surprisingly the genital region of the sensory homunculus.......  Surprisingly???? Get a clue!!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

FROM EUCLID TO TEREX



 Curiosity got the better of me after I posted 'THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD' the other day so I had to check out what was written on the machines.  As I found out indeed the Euclid had now become the TEREX when GM lost the anti-trust suit after an 8 year battle in 1966 and could not sell under the name Euclid so they just changed the name to TEREX.   tThe Euclid line was to a Swedish company in 1978 and then became Euclid Hitachi and orange in color since 2004.  These just haven't worn out yet I guess.



Here's what it looks like as of last evening.  The building in the distance is a public school.


Monday, September 12, 2011

TELEVISION HARMS CHILDREN'S 'EXECUTIVE FUNCTION'--Pediatrics

Watching fast-paced, fantasy television programs like SpongeBob Squarepants may impede children's learning by compromising their "executive function", or their ability to pay attention, problem-solve and control their behavior, according to new research soon to be published in the October issue of Pediatrics.

Executive function is a concept that psychologists and neuroscientists use to describe a set of brain processes that helps people connect experience to action, and includes skills such as planning, organizing, paying attention, remembering details, and inhibiting inappropriate behavior.

Executive function helps us in many ways in our day to day lives, whether at school, at work, at home or in social settings. For instance it helps us make plans, keep track of activity and finish on time, "multi-task", reflect on what we try to accomplish and evaluate it, correct ourselves as we go along, take part in group and written discussions using past knowledge meaningfully, and modify our behavior according to social norms (for instance wait for our turn, not interrupt, show respect).

In a randomized, controlled study, psychologists from the University of Virginia in the US tested 4-year-olds just after they watched nine minutes of television shows or sat drawing for nine minutes. The children watched two types of show: SpongeBob Squarepants a fast-paced cartoon fantasy show, and Caillou, a slower-paced, more realistic public television educational cartoon about a pre-school boy.

The tests measured their ability to solve problems, follow rules, remember what they had been told, and how well they were able to delay gratification.

Lead investigator Angeline Lillard, a psychology professor in the University of Virginia's College of Arts & Sciences, wrote the paper with her graduate student Jennifer Peterson. Lillard told the press that:

"There was little difference on the tests between the drawing group and the group that watched Caillou."

She suggests two reasons why a show like SpongeBob Squarepants might interfere with young children's ability to learn and modify their behavior:

"It is possible that the fast pacing, where characters are constantly in motion from one thing to the next, and extreme fantasy, where the characters do things that make no sense in the real world, may disrupt the child's ability to concentrate immediately afterward," said Lillard.

"Another possibility is that children identify with unfocused and frenetic characters, and then adopt their characteristics," she added.

Although Lillard and Peterson express concern that watching such shows at the age of 4, where young children are at an important developmental stage, may damage lifelong learning and behavior, their study did not look at this, it measured only the immediate effects, and the children did not watch a complete show.

This, and the small sample size of only 60 children are "notable weaknesses" of the study, says Dimitri Christakis of the University of Washington in Seattle, in an accompanying editorial. He says the study raises questions, such as whether the effects it found are permanent, and whether the age of the children matters, but does not answer them.

Another point he raises is that the amount of exposure may also be an issue: does watching an incomplete show have an effect? And how might the other programs children watch influence this?

However, Lillard urges parents to bear their findings in mind when they allow their young children to watch television.

"Parents should know that children who have just watched SpongeBob Squarepants, or shows like it, might become compromised in their ability to learn and behave with self-control," said Lillard.

"Young children are beginning to learn how to behave as well as how to learn. At school, they have to behave properly, they need to sit at a table and eat properly, they need to be respectful, and all of that requires executive functions. If a child has just watched a television show that has handicapped these abilities, we cannot expect the child to behave at their normal level in everyday situations," she added.

Lillard suggests parents help their young children to develop sound behaviors and learning skills by encouraging creative activity, such as drawing, playing with building blocks and board games, and playing outdoors.

"Executive function is extremely important to children's success in school and in everyday life. It's important to their psychological and physical well-being," said Lillard.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

ANOTHER WEEK

MONDAY--Thank goodness it's a holiday so I can stay home!~!
TUESDAY--Grocery trip this morning and my friend and I arrived in the parking lot just in time for her help me carry them in.  That'll teach her to holler hello from the other end of the building!!  I was a bit under the weather since Sunday evening so I welcomed the help and another day of not doing very much else.  Tomorrow is another day.
WEDNESDAY--I had a list by this middle week day and it started with laundering towels and some reading while I waited for that but also some stores do not open until 9:30 AM which always irritates the heck out of me.  The morning is half gone by then as far as I'm concerned.  Because we are having a late summer heat wave I watered my flowers and went off to a number of sales in various places and got some good bargains today particularly bacon.  I went for the $4.99 offering and came home with 2 pkg of another brand for 2.49 each and perfect for the intended purpose of rendering it all down to use the lard for my next cornbread adventure.  Another place had Campbell's Tomato Soup for .57 each.  Off to the health food store for quinoa, couscous and low sodium chicken and beef stock.  I came home and carried in my own groceries this time.  It was time before supper to do another load so decided to do my bedding.  Isn't it wonderful to climb into a fresh bed?
THURSDAY--the morning went well and had a nice visit with a friend but the rest of the day and Friday and Saturday not so much.
SUNDAY--I was out for this morning and a stop at the grocery store is about all the excitement for me today unless the football game says otherwise.  It has been so crazy hot this week and it's still 31C near to 5 PM.  I can't seem to get myself out for a walk but by tomorrow they say it will be only be 16C and a very fast end to summer so I won't have any excuses anymore.  I do love the fall because it will be cool enough to use the oven and whittle down  a pile of recipes waiting for me on the counter.