:Random thoughts from a Renegade Mom:
Saturday, January 28, 2006
The "little" guy strikes back
Gina froze in time on 8:10 PM
You may have missed this grand story
about how the "little guy" in scotland was able to stop a powerful developer right in his tracks. Alway routing on the underdog, here's the story:
Villagers of the small town of St. Fillans, Perthshire stopped construction of a new housing development. They protested that a large rock protruding from the ground, slated to be dug up and removed was the home to a colony of fairies...no that wasn't a typo. Believing he was dealing with a small bunch of wackos from the town, the company met with the community council, they not only supported the group but threatend to lodge a complaint with the planning authority.
The Planning Inspectorate has no specific guidelines on fairies but a spokesman said: "Planning guidance states that local customs and beliefs must be taken into account when a developer applies for planning permission."
Mr Salter said: "We had to redesign the entire thing from scratch."
The new estate will now have a small park, the center piece will be the fairies home, the big rock.
Friday, January 27, 2006
25 Signs You've Grown UP
Gina froze in time on 8:12 AM
25 Signs You've Grown UP
1. Your houseplants are alive, and you can't smoke any of them.
2. Having sex in a twin bed is out of the question.
3. You keep more food than beer in the fridge.
4. 6:00 AM is when you get up, not when you go to bed.
5. You hear your favorite song in an elevator.
6. You watch the Weather Channel.
7. Your friends marry and divorce instead of "hook up" and "break up."
8. You go from 130 days of vacation time to 14.
9. Jeans and a sweater no longer qualify as "dressed up."
10. You're the one calling the police because those % kids next door won't turn down the stereo.
11. Older relatives feel comfortable telling sex jokes around you.
12. You don't know what time Taco Bell closes anymore.
13. Your car insurance goes down and your car payments go up.
14. You feed your dog Science Diet instead of McDonald's leftovers.
15. Sleeping on the couch makes your back hurt.
16. You take naps.
17. Dinner and a movie is the whole date instead of the beginning of one.
18. Eating a basket of chicken wings at 3 AM would severely upset rather than settle, your stomach.
19. You go to the drug store for ibuprofen and antacid, not condoms and pregnancy tests.
20. A $4.00 bottle of wine is no longer "pretty good stuff."
21. You actually eat breakfast food at breakfast time.
22. "I just can't drink the way I used to" replaces "I'm never going to drink that much again."
23. 90% of the time you spend in front of a computer is for real work.
24. You drink at home to save money before going to a bar.
25. When you find out your friend is pregnant you congratulate them instead of asking "Oh S*$# what the hell happened?"
You read this entire list looking desperately for one sign that doesn't
apply to you and can't find one to save your sorry old butt.
Bonus (Renegade mom):
27: Your roommates are immature, selfish, loud and very untidy...but now they are your children, instead of college buddies.
Tanks Guppy man
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Gina froze in time on 10:10 AM
New research sheds light on the relationships your children build at early ages and what affect those relationships may play on thier development.
While it may look like child's play, the relationships kids form with their peers from the young age of six months through adolescence exert enormous influence on their lives - whether fostering positive feelings through friendship, or contributing to school-adjustment and later-life problems through bullying and rejection.
In his book, "Children's Peer Relations and Social Competence: A Century of Progress," Gary Ladd, Arizona State University professor of psychology and human development, examines the role of peer relationships in child and adolescent development by tracking major research findings from the 1900s to the present.
Among the many topics considered are peer acceptance and rejection, friendship development, school adjustment, bullying, self-esteem, loneliness, and the roles that sex differences, emotions, and culture play in peer relations.
"Children begin their lives in the social world of their families, however, as they mature they are introduced to the social world of peers and spend increasing amounts of time with kids their own age," Ladd says. "The types of relationships they form differ from those they have with parents and siblings and teach them unique skills that impact their development. Peer relationships are more balanced and the partners tend to bring similar levels of ability, reasoning and skill to their interactions."
As early as preschool, children face such challenges as making a new friend, maintaining existing friendships, fitting into peer groups and avoiding bullies, and all of these interpersonal skills require both complex thinking and behavioral skills, he says.
Some of the skills children learn through their peer relationships include assertiveness, conflict management, how to earn respect and control aggression. Research also indicates that play with peers provides children with important opportunities to discuss feelings, expand thought processes and knowledge, and experiment with language and social roles.
Some of children's behavior with their peers is influenced by what they learn from their parents and siblings. If parents engage in coercive behavior, Ladd says, children are also more likely to do so. If parents teach their children empathy, they are more likely to take their friends' feelings into consideration.
Some of children's "social competence," however, is innate. Some kids are motivated to have a few good friends, some like being a part of large groups. Some are naturally aggressive and some are passive.
Despite what parents may think, making friends is not always easy. It is difficult for kids to enter ongoing playgroups and research reveals that even toddlers are rejected by their peers 50 to 70 percent of the time. Some children know how to successfully enter the group, and others do not.
Ladd's book reveals that many children have problems relating to peers, and not all influences peers have on each other are positive.
"Children who are very shy or anxious or overly aggressive often get caught up in bully-victim relationships that have negative impact on both children," Ladd says. "It is also common for children with social difficulties to be excluded from everyday peer activities and experience feelings of discomfort, sadness and alienation. Adverse peer experiences can be stressful for children and, if persistent, can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression and loneliness."
By surveying a century of research, Ladd's book reveals that there are substantial differences in how children approach interpersonal tasks such as making a friend and establishing a social reputation among peers. While he does not "lay out a formula" for parents to help their children improve their social skills and peer relationships, he does note that studies suggest some interventions, such as teaching children prosocial peer interaction skills and those intended to reduce such behaviors as aggression can improve peer acceptance.
"To effectively change children's peer relationships - especially undesirable relationships or reputations that have been entrenched for many years - it may not be sufficient to increase children's social competence without also altering their peer and family environments," Ladd adds. "Children must be taught forgiveness and empathy, and must learn to be accepting of individual differences."
For more than 20 years, Ladd has conducted research on peers and peer relations. He directs the Pathways Project, a long-term investigation of children's social, psychological and scholastic development that has generated substantial research findings about children's peer relations and social competence. His work is supported by the National Institutes of Health.
I have always know how important peer relationships were for children, I never knew that those relationships started so early.
Gina froze in time on 9:35 AM
The gifts, drugs and classes that makers of pharmaceuticals
and medical devices routinely give doctors undermine medical care, hurt patients and should be banned, a group of influential doctors say in today's issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.
They are recommending that doctors should be "shut off" from drug makers to insure that doctors aren't influenced to make medical decisions based solely on "marketing".
I have mixed feeling about this. I do think that drug makers are incarnatly evil. They market to an unsuspecting public, that knows little about their own health, let alone have the ability to make complex choices like what medication may be right for their medical conditions. I feel that drug marketers do take time away from doctors practice. They also spend tens of BILLIONS a year to convice doctors to prescribe their medications...and despite what they may say, it's far more then they spend on research and development. There are even those doctors out there that get a very healthy boost to their income "consulting".
But, having family who works in the health care industry, and moving in that direction myself, I do see some of the good that comes from drug "marketing.
part of the drug marketing plays a big role in continuing education for doctors. Big Drug makers donate a lot of money for schools to put on seminars and classes. Many schools have become dependent on that money and those programs may end if the drug makers don't sponsor them. There is also the fact that when a new drug comes out doctors should be informed about it's effects and side effects. Now, I do have my miss givings about how unbias these "educational classes" can be, while being backed by drug companies, especially with drug makers being OUTED for leaving out results from their human tests.
There is also the "free" samples. I know that many low income people rely on their doctors ability to give them "samples" of medication. But there is the argument against that.
The article also argues that "no strings attached" consulting arrangements should be banned, and that all other consulting agreements should be posted on Web sites. Doctors should refuse free drug samples, the article states, because they are "a powerful inducement for physicians and patients to rely on medications that are expensive but not more effective."
Such a refusal would also eliminate one of the principal reasons for which drug salespeople are routinely allowed to enter doctors' offices, the article states. While the article does not suggest that salespeople be refused entry into offices, it states that such visits have few useful functions.
So, I do think that there needs to be a hard look at not only how drug compnies market to doctors but also to patients. I feel there needs to be a change!
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?
Gina froze in time on 2:39 PM
Possessing a rare combination of wisdom and humility, while serenely dominating
your environment you selflessly use your powers to care for others.
Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.
Galadriel is a character in the Middle-Earth universe. You can read more about
her at the Galadriel Worshippers
Via Melly @ all kinds of writing
I have been in such a blog slump since the holidays.
Gina froze in time on 11:43 AM
Mikal is back at school today, so maybe with a little more free time I can get over this hump.
But please keep coming back, I'll get back to my usual self soon!
Sunday, January 22, 2006
Food and Health
Here is some food related health news from my favorite health news site
Gina froze in time on 7:30 PM
New study gives us yet another reason to wash those salad veggies.
SLUGS MAY SPREAD E. COLI TO SALAD VEGETABLES!
"This study provides evidence that slugs can act as vectors of E. coli O157 from an environmental source to fruit or vegetables," say the researchers. "The research demonstrates that E. coli in D. reticulatum has a relatively long external and internal survival time and also shows that ability of E. coli to persist at length in excreted slug feces."
After seeing a Good Eats where he showed what comes out of store bought lettace (let's just say I think we could plant another head in all the dirt) I always soak my lettace b/f eating. So now I have another reason to wash, E. coli is mortality rate of 3 to 5 percent. And come on, let's face it, the term "Excreted slug feces" is in it's self a reason!!!!
People Who Buy Wine Have Healthier Diets Than People Who Buy Beer
Studies have shown that drinking wine is associated with lower mortality than drinking beer or spirits. Some studies have also suggested that wine drinkers have healthier diets than beer or spirits drinkers, and this may explain wine's beneficial effect on health.
They found that wine buyers bought more olives, fruit and vegetables, poultry, cooking oil, and low fat cheese, milk, and meat than beer buyers. Beer buyers bought more ready cooked dishes, sugar, cold cuts, chips, pork, butter or margarine, sausages, lamb, and soft drinks than wine buyers.
The thing that really throws me off is that the Beer Buyers bought more LAMB?? Lamb never struck me as a Billy Bob dish. I think more of the dinner party for Lamb. I myself buy a lot of lamb, but then again I'm the wine drinker.
Schizophrenia, Cat Faeces And Undercooked Meat Link - Evidence Grows
Researchers have found stronger evidence for a link between a parasite in cat faeces and undercooked meat and an increased risk of schizophrenia
Research published today in Procedings of the Royal Society B, shows how the invasion or replication of the parasite Toxoplasma gondii in rats may be inhibited by using anti-psychotic or mood stabilising drugs.
Dr Joanne Webster from Imperial College London, and lead researcher said: "Although we are certainly not saying that exposure to this parasite does definitely lead to the development of schizophrenia, this and previous studies do show there may be a link in a few individuals, providing new clues for how we treat toxoplasmosis and schizophrenia."
All the more reason to cook that meat!
Much Overeating Caused By Eating Too Many Flavors All At Once
A major cause of overeating is eating too many flavors all at once, triggering the hypothalamus in the brain to ask for more food, according to David Katz, M.D., of the Prevention Research Center and the Rudd Food Center for Food Policy Obesity at Yale University.
"We stay hungry longer the more diverse the flavors in a meal or snack," said Katz, a professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale School of Medicine. "If flavors are thoughtfully distributed, we fill up on fewer calories. This explains why, for instance, people can eat a holiday meal to the point of feeling unpleasantly full, yet still have room for dessert. No, that's not because you have a 'hollow leg!' It's because of sensory specific satiety; the hypothalamus is hard-wired to respond to flavors."
I guess they are saying we should slow down and enjoy our food. Foods such as Italian and Indian are good examples of "thematic" eating. Cooks plan meals around Homogeneous flavors. Processed foods are also a major culprit. Producers often mix flavors (sweet with salty) and as consumers we are so use to these flavors that we don't even notice. So to loss weight, tone down the flavor!
Esophageal Cancer And Soft Drinks Link Unfounded, In Fact Opposite May Be True
Carbonated soft drink consumption was previously suggested to be linked to the 350 percent increase of adenocarcinoma of the esophagus since the mid-1970s, but researchers at Yale School of Medicine report that the link is unfounded and that there may, in fact, be a decreased risk of this cancer for diet soda drinkers.
"Our team analyzed that data as the first direct test of the hypothesis that soft drinks might have contributed to the increase in this cancer," said Mayne. "We found that contrary to the hypothesis put forth by other researchers, carbonated soft drink consumption was inversely associated with esophageal adenocarcinoma risk, mainly attributable to diet soda, and that high intake did not increase risk of any esophageal or gastric cancer subtype in men or women."
So go ahead and drink your soda, your esophagus is safe.
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