Have you met CHANEL KENNEBREW?

February 29, 2008

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I want to introduce you to CHANEL KENNEBREW. An up and coming fashion designer/photo illustrator/graphic designer. I came across her work, which varies from colorful, urban punk clothing/accessories to magazine spreads and website collaborations. She runs a blog: Dooky Blog and maintains an online store for her designs: Store

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Parents as Protectors

February 29, 2008

America is obsessed with medical autonomy. Everyone feels entitled to make decisions about their own health. While I agree everyone should have control over their own bodies, there is a gray area. Children. The current standard gives parents great range in what they can have done or what they can decide to withhold in terms of health care. Vaccines always come up as a hot topic. While the majority of parents adhere to the accepted standards of immunization there is a small, but vocal minority who objects to vaccination.

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An advisory panel on Wednesday recommended all kids up to age 18 get the flu vaccine. Though the vaccine is already recommended for those 6 months to 5 years old, this new proposal is a huge expansion, affecting nearly 60 million kids. The expanded recommendation is an initiative by the CDC to protect the entire population. Children are one of the major sources of flu in the community. School aged children pick it up, pass it around, and then bring it home. Everyone has had the flu, and while it may have been terrible it was transient, so it is hard for people to take it seriously. But in reality, people die from the flu every year, children and the elderly are particularly susceptible. Vaccines, like all things, have risks. But they are very minimal and less severe than the flu. Obviously people with reactions to a previous flu vaccine, those with contraindicated disease state (GB syndrome), or certain allergies (for example eggs since the vaccine is grown in eggs) should not get the vaccine but in general it is a harmless vaccine.

With all the fear mongering of pseudo scientific studies (like the joke of a paper that tainted MMR by suggesting a correlation with autism), old world views of medicine, and popular misconceptions it can be tough for a parent to find the truth about a particular vaccine. So who really is better qualified to determine if your child needs a certain vaccine? The doctors that have years of training to understand the risks/benefits and wade through the abundance of misinformation or parents who may or may not be fully informed on the topic or who may be prejudiced by misinformation? To me the choice is obvious. I don’t want your 9 year old little Johnny vaccinated because I care if he gets sick, I want him vaccinated to protect the newborn he saw, the grandparent he hugged, the kid who’s toy he shared, and community he lives in.

When you decide to not vaccinate your child, you put everyone’s children at risk.

 


Cute and Good For Your Heart!!

February 27, 2008

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Came across this cute little article today on abc.com.

Owning a pet cat may help your heart

If you’re not allergic to them, having a cat might be great for your heart.

According to researchers at the University of Minnesota, people who don’t own a cat have about a 40 percent higher risk of dying from heart disease.

Scientists don’t know why, but say their best guess is that having a pet relieves stress and anxiety.

Sorry dog owners — researchers found no protective relationship between man and his so called “best friend.” However, that could be due to the limitations of the study, and not a conclusion about dogs specifically.


Cosmo Confessions

February 25, 2008
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Like almost every girl in America, I find myself unable to resist the terrible “confessions” and “bloopers” sections of magazines like Cosmo. Usually they involve being caught in the bedroom by parents, a missing article of clothing in public, awkward sexual moments, or just plan bad luck. But I can across one tonight I wanted to share:

“I’m a professional nanny who works for a family with two kids. One night, the parents were out late at an event. I put the kids to bed and went downstairs to watch television. The material on my thong was really itchy, and it finally got to the point where I couldn’t stop scratching down there. I was so grateful when the parents got home because I could go to my place and change. The next day when I got to work, the mother handed me anti-itch cream and told me I should see a doctor. She informed me that they had a nanny cam and had seen me itching all night long. I tried to explain but could barely get out the words. I was so humiliated.” -Tracy, 26

Cosmo.com’s Confessions


Politcal Inspiration

February 25, 2008

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I thought I was politically motivated:

FEBRUARY 25–Meet Jose Antonio Ortiz. The Pennsylvania man allegedly stabbed his brother-in-law in the stomach after the pair quarreled about their respective support of Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. According to cops, Ortiz, 28, stabbed Sean Shurelds last Thursday night in the kitchen of an Upper Providence Township home. According to a criminal complaint, a copy of which you’ll find here, the 41-year-old Shurelds, an Obama supporter, told Ortiz that the Illinois senator was “trashing” Clinton (apparently in regard to recent primary and caucus results). Ortiz, a Clinton supporter, replied that “Obama was not a realist.” While not exactly fighting words, the verbal political tiff led to some mutual choking and punching. And, allegedly, a stabbing in the abdomen. Shurelds was flown to Hahnemann University Hospital, where he was admitted in critical condition. (2 pages) Source

While violence is never a good thing, and the two men involved in the story were probably not the brightest, it is refreshing to see people care.  Pennsylvania rarely gets to make a difference in the primary season and I hope people don’t waste their opportunity.  Obviously I hope everyone gets out and votes for the most qualified candidate (Hint: Hillary Clinton).   But even if you are voting for another candidate, or worse yet, another party, take advantages of this opportunity.  Research the candidates stances and histories, evaluate what is important to you, and vote!

PS.  Politics are great but stabbing someone isn’t the answer.  I know it can be frustrating when a friend or relative admits to supporting Obama in spite of his lack of experience, already broken promises, and his inability to provide details about any of the “change” he plans to bring.


Breast Cancer Drug Approved

February 23, 2008

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In a controversial move, the FDA has approved Avastin for breast cancer.  The drug is already used in lung and colon cancer.  For the FDA to approve a late stage cancer drug it needs to either extend patient’s lives or import the quality of life.  Avastin has shown neither and so the advisory committe recommended against its use in breast cancer.  The FDA went against the recommendation of its advisory committee.  The drug does shrink tumors effectively, but there is a debate if that alone is reason to approve a drug.

If you still die in the same amount of time in the same painful way was having smaller tumors  worth whatever adverse effects or side effects come from the medicine?  There are pros and cons to the decision.  The pros are the approval will stimulate even more research and development into tumor shrinking medicines.  The decision will also be good for business, stimulating development and growth.  But there are also cons.  First there is the obvious problem if a drug does not extend life or improve quality of life what is the purpose.  Tumor shrinking is important, but only as a part of the overall picture of improving health.  But what I find to be a more glaring problem is, the advisory committees are designed to have more knowledge and to have looked at a topic more carefully to give the FDA an intelligent recommendation.  Why have them if you don’t listen to the recommendation?  I think that sets bad precedent.

Hopefully the next large study of Avastin will show marked improvement in combination with  other drugs in the treatment of breast cancer.


Definitely, Maybe a Pedophile

February 23, 2008

This is an unaired Soup skit about Definitely, Maybe.  The movie is adorable, sweet, funny, and a great chick flick.  I rushed out to see it on Valentines day.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a spoof.  Particularlly a wildly inappropriate one.   Check it out!