Thursday, January 26, 2012

Quote of the Day

A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him or her.
-- David Brinkley

Saturday, January 21, 2012

My Soapbox Moment: Alert – Cougars are Now Offensive!

Okay, so my husband and I were watching the news the other night when a story came on that made us do a double take.  Did I just hear correctly?  Did they just say what I thought they did?  My husband and I just looked at each other dumbfounded.  Really?  We laughed in disbelief. 
Apparently, a Utah school held a student vote for the name of their future mascot.  And after the votes were tallied a winner emerged, the Cougar.  Sounds simple enough, right?  Wrong.  The school board decided to veto this choice of mascot and instead chose to name their new mascot something more appropriate, the Chargers.  Why you ask?  Get this, it’s because the term cougar might be offensive to older women.  Yes, you heard it right.  Since the modern vernacular for cougar refers to older 40-something women who seek out and have romantic relationships with younger men, this might be too offensive.   Allegedly parents were complaining to the school board about the distasteful connotation the animal now brings.
Now I ask, wouldn’t anyone with half a brain see the animal on the school’s logo and know that the animal is the cougar they are referring to?  Or were they planning on using a picture of a vivacious older woman with her boy toy?
Again, really?  Give me a break people.  Has society really become that uptight and PC?  Why even let the kids vote on their choice of mascot for their school?  Perhaps these folks need to stop watching so many made for TV movies and focus their energies on something a little more important -- say world hunger (since we know it won’t be a campaign to save the cougar!).
Exiting my soapbox now.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Your Health Segment: The Thyroid Guard Controversy

Recently I received an interesting email about thyroid cancer, which has been on the rise in both women and men over the past several years.  Maybe you have been the recipient of this email.  In the email it explains that on the Dr. Oz show (originally aired in September 2010) Dr. Oz mentioned that part of the increase could be due to the exposure we are receiving from dental s-rays and mammograms.  On this show and the follow-up show he did more recently, Dr. Oz explains how a thyroid guard is available during these procedures, but rarely used.  It’s a small inexpensive guard that is simply wrapped around your neck, which he explains could help lessen unnecessary exposure to radiation.
Since his original airing of the show, women have started to go into their doctor’s offices requesting use of this guard during their dental x-rays and mammograms.  Doctors, wondering why their patients were now all of a sudden asking for these guards, have been inquiring of their patients and hearing repeatedly that it’s because of the Dr. Oz show, proving to us once again the power of the media.
Now a heated debate has been ignited.  Experts across the country are weighing in to voice their opinions.  Opponents of Dr. Oz’s recommendation say that the risk to the thyroid is so little that this guard is unnecessary.   Additionally, some suggest that use of the guard during a mammogram can inhibit an accurate result thereby increasing the need for an additional mammogram if the results are skewed. 
So is a thyroid guard helpful or unnecessary?  I think it is up to the individual to decide.  If there is the possibility that an ounce of prevention could potentially ward off or lessen your risk of thyroid cancer, would you use that prevention or take the risk? 
To view the follow-up segment from the Dr. Oz show, visit this link: .  It is part one of a three part video where he discusses the pros and cons with a panel of experts.  Definitely something you may want to think about.  After all, it is your health.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Honor Your Heart - Wear Red on February 3rd

Pull out that red sweater, strap on those red shoes, throw a red scarf around your neck, or jump into those red long johns, because Friday, February 3rd is National Wear Red Day! 
In 2004 the American Heart Association created Go Red For Women to educate women about heart disease and stroke.  There was a great need for this campaign since heart disease was typically viewed as an older man’s disease.  So National Wear Red Day was formed to bring awareness to this number one killer of women.  That’s right; heart disease kills more women than any other disease, including all forms of cancer, a staggering 500,000 lives of American Women are claimed to it each year.
Won’t you mark your calendar and join me to bring awareness to such an important topic?  If you have a mother, sister, wife, female friend or co-worker, or if you yourself are a woman, you should be concerned and informed about this silent killer.
To learn more, check out the American Heart Association website to find out anything and everything about the heart.  This site will give you information about events in your area, recipes, warning signs and ways you can help. 
Please don’t forget to mark your calendars and show your red!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Legal Debate: Should Cute Therapy Dog Have Been Allowed on Witness Stand During Trial?

There is currently a case in the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York regarding a therapy dog who took the witness stand with an underage abuse victim.  Apparently the 15 year old girl had been raped and impregnated by the defendant, her own father.  Her dog, Rosie, is a cute golden retriever therapy dog trained to recognize and comfort a person who is under stress.  Rosie was allowed to sit next to the child on the witness stand as she bravely testified against her father.  When the child became distressed during moments of difficult testimony, Rosie recognized this and would nuzzle or lean into the child.  Thus allowing her to calm down and continue testifying.  The trial ended with a 25 year to life conviction against the father.
After the conviction, the defense filed an appeal which is currently pending.  One of their chief objections is that a therapy dog responds to the testifier’s stress, whether that stress is a result of telling the truth or from telling a lie.  The jury in turn sees the dog comforting the victim and assumes that it is because the victim is telling the truth.  Therefore the defense feels that the jury was unfairly impacted by observing this unconscious message portrayed by the “cute” dog.
Now, permitting a service dog into court is not new.  Many states have allowed service dogs into court with impaired victims.  There is some debate however, about whether a therapy dog, which is there to comfort a traumatized victim, falls into the same category as a service dog under the law.
Many are following this important appellate case due to the legal implications in cases such as these.
So what do you think?  Should a therapy dog or service dog be allowed in court?  Do you feel that the cuteness of a dog can sway a jury?  And if so, does that mean that a cute witness of any type, animal or human, will prejudice a jury?  What does that say about a jury or juror if they are swayed by cuteness?  Think about what a ruling on this case could possibly mean to future cases and the precedent it will leave. 

Quote of the Day

Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness.
 -- Seneca

Monday, January 9, 2012

Today's Mindless Trivia - Nature's Nightlight

Last night my husband and I were sitting in the living room watching TV, when we noticed a stunning sliver of light coming in from the sliding door and casting a gentle glow on the tile floor – nature’s nightlight was in full bloom.  I got up and walked over to the door and looked out.  The full moon was large and rising over the eastern mountain range.  It would soon appear to get smaller as it rose, so we both took a moment to marvel at its beauty and awesomeness.  I know there are some people who find a full moon eerie, but on the contrary I find it and the glow it casts gorgeous and even comforting.   Occurring once a month, nature’s nightlight always amazes me.  Something I once never gave much thought to, I now welcome, like an old friend.
Now there are negative stories of the moon’s effect on people and animals, and likewise there are positive stories as well.  You might even hear a bit of folklore including everything from migratory patterns of animals, to lunacy and birthing rates.  There is also folklore regarding a crescent moon:  seen over the right shoulder it is lucky, but the opposite is true if seen over the left shoulder.
Following are some fun facts about the moon that you can save for your next Jeopardy appearance.  (I’m just going to give you some of the English names for each of these moons.  The Native Americans had other names for some and there are other variations for all.) 
January – Old Moon
February – Wolf Moon (when wolf packs howled because they were hungry)
March – Lenten Moon
April – Egg Moon
May – Milk Moon
June – Flower Moon (because in most areas flowers are abundant now)
July – Hay Moon
August – Grain Moon
September – Fruit Moon (time to harvest the fruit)
October – Harvest Moon
November – Hunter’s Moon
December – Oak Moon

What about the Blue Moon you ask?  Well there is quite a bit of misinformation about a blue moon, but the version that appears correct states that a blue moon occurs an average of every 2.7 years.  We usually have 12 full moons per year, but every once in a while there is an extra moon, which we call the Blue Moon.  This occurs because the solar calendar differs from our own. 

And now that you have all of this loony information (yes, pun intended), go ahead and dazzle your trivia buff friends at your next party!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012