Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Extra Day - Extra Post...

By Akindman
(Another email to share with all - hope you enjoy!)

Thank God for what you have, Trust God for what you need.

Earth is the insane asylum of the universe.
Breathe deeply and smile!

'Life isn't about
how to survive the storm,
But how to dance
in the rain.'

Leap Year Day!

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By Diane Forrest

Thirty days hath September,
April, June and November;
February has twenty eight alone
All the rest have thirty-one
Except in Leap Year, that's the time
When February's Days are twenty-nine

Since today is February 29th, I guess that would make this a leap year.  Every 4 years an extra day is added to February for reasons that are too technical to explain.  I have been trying to get through all the calendar stuff for hours, and it is still too complicated.  Apparently when the calendars were changed to the Gregorian calendar something had to be done to correct the summer solstice and to keep the seasons intact.  I have long ago given up on trying to understand the way the calendars work and simply hang a calendar on the wall and check it daily to see what day it is.
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The important fact about leap year is the fact that women have the right to propose to men during a leap year. According to an old Irish legend, or possibly history, St Bridget struck a deal with St Patrick to allow women to propose to men – and not just the other way around – every 4 years. This is believed to have been introduced to balance the traditional roles of men and women in a similar way to how Leap Day balances the calendar.

In some places, Leap Day has been known as “Bachelors’ Day” for the same reason. A man was expected to pay a penalty, such as a gown or money, if he refused a marriage proposal from a woman on Leap Day. In many European countries, especially in the upper classes of society, tradition dictates that any man who refuses a woman's proposal on February 29 has to buy her 12 pairs of gloves. The intention is that the woman can wear the gloves to hide the embarrassment of not having an engagement ring. During the middle ages there were laws governing this tradition.
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Another interesting fact about leap year is the birth of babies.  Since Leap Year occurs once every 4 years, most babies born have to either celebrate on February 28th or March 1st.  Some famous people born on the 29th include:

1468 – Pope Paul III (d. 1549)
1792 – Gioacchino Rossini, Italian composer (William Tell, The Barber of Seville) (d. 1868)
1896 – Morarji Desai, former Indian prime minister (d. 1995)
1916 – Dinah Shore, American singer (d. 1994)
1924 – Al Rosen, American baseball player
1924 – Carlos Humberto Romero, former president of El Salvador
1960 – Anthony (Tony) Robbins, American motivational speaker
1964 – Lyndon Byers, Canadian hockey player
1972 – Antonio Sab├áto Jr, Italian-born actor
1976 – Ja Rule, American rapper and actor
1980 – Chris Conley, American musician and songwriter/composer

Technically, a leaping (someone born on the 29th) will have fewer birthday  than their age in years. This phenomenon is exploited when a person claims to be only a quarter of their actual age, by counting their leap-year birthday anniversaries only. In Gilbert and Sullivan's 1879 comic opera The Pirates of Penance, Frederic the pirate apprentice discovers that he is bound to serve the pirates until his 21st birthday rather than until his 21st year.
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For legal purposes, legal birthdays depend on how local laws count time intervals.

What do you plan to do for your extra day?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Return Shopping Carts Month

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By Akindman


Yes, I am talking to you.  Please return that cart.  Thank you.

No, that shopping cart does not belong to you and taking it home is WRONG.
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Do the RIGHT THING….return the carts.
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Thank you.

Rare Disease Day

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Diane Forrest, RN

As a transfusion was being readied, the baby's grandmother suggested to doctors that he looked like the "blue Fugates of Troublesome Creek." Relatives described the boy's great-grandmother Luna Fugate as "blue all over," and "the bluest woman I ever saw."
This is a very rare condition called methemoglobinemia, the hemoglobin is unable to carry oxygen and it also makes it difficult for unaffected hemoglobin to release oxygen effectively to body tissues. Patients' lips are purple, the skin looks blue and the blood is "chocolate colored" because it is not oxygenated, and it is not painful or life threatening.  You almost never see a patient with it today. It's a disease that one learns about in medical school and it is infrequent enough to be on every exam in hematology.

Click here to read the entire story:

Another story I came across recently is a rare skin condition called Morgellons.  It is a condition characterized by a range of cutaneous (skin) symptoms including crawling, biting, and stinging sensations (formication); finding fibers on or under the skin; and persistent skin lesions (e.g., rashes or sores).  Doctor's and Dermatologists have concluded that this condition is a psychosis, self-inflicted or imagined.  There is still research being done on this condition, and findings are still being reported.
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Today is International Rare Disease Day. 

What is a rare disease?
  • Rare disease is life threatening or chronically debilitating diseases with a low prevalence and a high level of complexity
  • 6000 to 8000 rare diseases have been identified
  • 80% are of genetic origin
  • 50% affect children
  • No cure exists for the vast majority.

Any disease affecting fewer than 200,000 Americans is considered rare. There are nearly 7,000 such diseases affecting nearly 30 million Americans.

What is Rare Disease Day?
The main objective of Rare Disease Day is to raise awareness amongst the general public and decision-makers about rare diseases and their impact on patients’ lives.

The campaign targets primarily the general public but it is also designed for patients and patient representatives, as well as politicians, public authorities, policy-makers, industry representatives, researchers, health professionals and anyone who has a genuine interest in rare diseases.

To provide equity in access to care and treatment for everyone in the world by:
  • Strengthen one voice of patients;
  • Give hope and information to patients;
  • Bring stakeholders closer together;
  • Coordinate polity actions in different countries; and
  • Get equity in access to care and treatment.

Ways you can help:
  • Display posters, images or other awareness raising media such as balloons;
  • Distribute stickers and flyers;
  • Organize rare diseases events around topics paramount to patients;
  • Organize a competitive event focused on rare diseases;
  • Coordinate letter writing or email campaigns to local policy or national policy decision makers; and
  • Arrange to meet with local and national authorities.

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Links to check out regarding Rare Diseases are:

Monday, February 27, 2012


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By Akindman

What is Telecommuting?

Telecommuting or telework is a work arrangement in which employees enjoy flexibility in working location and hours. In other words, the daily commute to a central place of work is replaced by telecommunication links. Many work from home, while others, occasionally also referred to as nomad workers or web commuters utilize mobile telecommunications technology to work from coffee shops or other locations. Telework is a broader term, referring to substituting telecommunications for any form of work-related travel, thereby eliminating the distance restrictions of telecommuting. A person who telecommutes is known as a "telecommuter". A frequently repeated motto is that "work is something you do, not something you travel to". (From Wikipedia)
Biggest Drawback
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A successful telecommuting program requires a management style which is based on results and not on close scrutiny of individual employees. This is referred to as management by objectives as opposed to management by observation. The terms telecommuting and telework were coined by Jack Nilles in 1973. (From Wikipedia)

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Interesting Facts:
  • If all Federal employees who are eligible to telework full time were to do so, the Federal Government could realize $13.9 billion savings in commuting costs annually and eliminate 21.5 billion pounds of pollutants from the environment each year.
  • For communities, telecommuting can offer fuller employment (by increasing the employ-ability of proximal or circumstantially marginalized groups, such as Work at home parents and caregivers, the disabled, retirees, and people living in remote areas), reduces traffic congestion and traffic accidents, relieves the strain on transportation infrastructures, reduces greenhouse gases, saves fuel, reduces energy use, improves disaster preparedness, and reduces terrorism targets.
  • Telework centers are offices that are generally set up close to a majority of people who might otherwise drive or take public transit. They usually feature the full complement of office equipment and a high-speed Internet connection for maximum productivity. Some feature support staff such as receptionists. For example, a number of telework centers have been set up around the Washington Metropolitan Area: 7 in Maryland, 8 in Virginia, 3 in Washington, D.C. and 1 in West Virginia.
  • On December 9, 2010 President Obama signed H.R. 1722, the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010, into law
  • The Clinger–Cohen Act (CCA), formerly the Information Technology Management Reform Act of 1996 (ITMRA), is a 1996 United States federal law, designed to improve the way the federal government acquires, uses and disposes information technology (IT). CCA was the first significant government guidance to encourage agencies and organization to begin Telework.

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During the last ten years before I retirement, teleworking was an option for many of the projects I was working – on a part time basis.  There was still a need for me to be in the office – meetings, working on projects that required my presence and the like – but I was still able to work away from my office.
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In the Washington DC Metro area, some progress is being made for telecommuting/
Telework – yet nowhere near the projected 25-40% and the daily rush hours reflect that. 

Links to review for more information:

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Tooth Fairy

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By Diane Forrest

Today we want to recognize someone who needs no introduction, but is rarely celebrated.  The reason is, this person has no specific "day" or holiday....just shows up when the need arises.  To remain on standby, and show up at a moment's notice.  They complete their work in the dark of night, or wee hours of the morning, and receive no payment for efforts, not even a cookie or glass of milk.  Not only to they show up during your time of need, but make repeated visits without complaints.

I’m not talking about your Obstetrician, but the Tooth Fairy.  So who is the tooth fairy exactly?  The tooth fairy is a fantasy figure that belongs in the group of other famous people.  In the movie, the Santa Clause, There are quite a few prestigious members of that club.  There is Mother Nature and Father Time, Santa, the Easter Bunny, The tooth fairy, cupid, the sandman, and Jack Frost, a fantasy want to be.
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The earliest mention of the tooth fairy started in Europe.  It was the custom to bury the child's baby teeth, and then after the 6th tooth fell out, a gift of money was placed under the pillow.  Some even sprinkled glitter on the floor to depict a trail of fairy dust.  No one knows exactly what the tooth fairy looks like.  There is no standard picture as there is of Santa, or the Bunny.  Reports from Wikipedia states that a 1984 study conducted by Rosemary Wells revealed that most, 74 percent of those surveyed, believed the tooth fairy to be female, while 12 percent believed the tooth fairy to be neither male nor female and 8 percent believed the tooth fairy could be either male or female. One review of published children's books and popular artwork found the tooth fairy to also be depicted as a child with wings, a pixie, a dragon, a blue mother-figure, a flying ballerina, two little old men, a dental hygienist, a potbellied flying man smoking a cigar, a bat, a bear and others. Unlike the well-established imagining of Santa Claus, differences in renderings of the tooth fairy are not as upsetting to children.

After interviewing several people, the findings of the amount the tooth fairy left usually average out depending on each generation.  My father's generation usually got nothin, or maybe a nickel.  My generation got a quarter, while my son's generation got a dollar.  When asking my cousin what the tooth fairy brought her kids I was surprised.  The fairy brought $10.00 for the first tooth, and $3.00 to $5.00 for the remaining teeth.  I guess inflation hits everyone.  The reported average for teeth these days is around $2.70 per tooth.

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Today is National Tooth Fairy Day.  If you have already lost all your baby teeth, why not rent the movie The Tooth Fairy, and relive some of your fond childhood memories.

Celebrating International Polar Bear Day

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By Diane Forrest

Coca Cola has been using polar bears in their print ads since 1922; however, in 1993 a change in advertising resulted in a new star.  A computer designed what would become one of the most popular symbols of Coca-Cola advertising, the animated polar bear.  I met and married my husband 2 years after the bear's debut, and he was a big fan.  He was also employed by coke, so he had already started a collection of the bears.
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Today is International Polar Bear Day.  They are being recognized because they are the first species to become endangered because of climate change. The summer ice loss in the Arctic is now equal to an area the size of Alaska, Texas, and the state of Washington combined.
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According to, here are some Ways to Celebrate Polar Bear Day:
  • Speak up for America's polar bears;
  • Read all about it;
  • Bake "cubcakes";
  • Adopt a polar bear;
  • Get crafty with this polar bear snow gauge;
  • Plant a tree;
  • Immerse yourself in an intimate portrayal of one polar bear's life;
  • Send an eCard; and
  • Make a donation to NWF.

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Some Facts from about Polar Bears that you may not know:
  • The polar bear rivals the Alaska brown bear as the world’s largest land predator;
  • Polar bears are closely related to brown bears;
  • Brown and polar bears can interbreed and produce fertile young;
  • You can sometimes tell male polar bears from female by the hair on the males’ front legs;
  • Polar bear hair is transparent; the way it reflects light makes it look white. It can turn yellowish with age;
  • Polar bears are so adapted to cold that they can’t take temperatures above 50 degrees;
  • Wild polar bears probably live more than 25 years only rarely, but in captivity they have lasted up to 43 years;
  • Only females about to give birth hibernate;
  • Most land animals are too fast for the bear to catch;  
  • Polar bears prey mostly on marine mammals;
  • Although polar bears eat everything from crabs to kelp to muskoxen, they are adapted to feeding on calorie-rich blubber;
  • Found in Arctic reaches in both hemispheres, the polar bear maintains a foothold on more of its native range than any other large meat-eating animal;
  • The polar bear has been protected for many years under the Endangered Species Act in 2008; and
  • About 25,000 polar bears survive worldwide.

For more information about polar bears, click here:

National Eating Disorder Awareness Week

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By Diane Forrest, RN

Yesterday we talked about eating right, making healthy choices and the recommended daily requirements.  Today is the start of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.  When I think of eating disorders, the first person I think of is Karen Carpenter.  I was shocked when I learned of her death in 1983.  It was reported that she died from Anorexia Nervosa, a condition I knew nothing about.  Anorexia Nervosa is characterized by an obsessive fear of gaining weight.  It usually begins in high school; they become thin by not eating, from a distorted body image.
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People who have anorexia:
  • Weigh much less than is healthy or normal;
  • Are very afraid of gaining weight;
  • Refuse to stay at a normal weight; and
  • Think they are overweight even when they are very thin.

Their lives become focused on controlling their weight. They may:
  • Obsess about food, weight, and dieting;
  • Strictly limit how much they eat;
  • Exercise a lot, even when they are sick; and
  • Vomit or use laxatives or water pills (diuretics) to avoid weight gain.

Some physical signs include:
  • Low body weight;
  • Low blood pressure;
  • Low body temperature;
  • Constipation;
  • Thin dry hair and nails;
  • Decreased or stopped menstrual cycle;
  • Obsession with food; and
  • Thoughts of suicide.

You can help these people by offering to talk, listen, and if you suspect thoughts of suicide, encourage them to seek help, or call the suicide prevention hotline. (1-800-273-TALK)
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Bulimia is another eating disorder; some people who suffer from bulimia also have anorexia.  Bulimia is an illness in which a person binges on food or has regular episodes of overeating and feels a loss of control. The affected person then uses various methods -- such as vomiting or laxative abuse -- to prevent weight gain.  I remember watching a movie about this woman who would eat so much food.  She would go to different drive thru windows around town.  Then take this food to a secluded place, eat it then induce vomiting.  Back at her home, she had dozens of jars in her closet, full of vomit, to hide this problem from her family.

There are no answers to the cause of bulimia; Genetic, psychological, trauma, family, society, or cultural factors may play a role. Bulimia is likely due to more than one factor.
In bulimia, eating binges may occur as often as several times a day for many months. People with bulimia often eat large amounts of high-calorie foods, usually in secret. People can feel a lack of control over their eating during these episodes.

Binges lead to self-disgust, which causes purging to prevent weight gain. Purging may include:
  • Forcing oneself to vomit;
  • Excessive exercise; and
  • Use of laxatives, enemas, or diuretics (water pills).

Symptoms can include:
  • Compulsive exercise;
  • Throwing away packages of laxatives, diet pills, emetics (drugs that cause vomiting), or diuretics;
  • Regularly going to the bathroom right after meals; and
  • Suddenly eating large amounts of food or buying large amounts of food that disappear right away.

There is really no treatments for bulimia, people who suffer from it rarely seek treatment because there is no real health problems.  Support groups and psychotherapy groups may help.  If you suspect someone has an eating disorder, please encourage them to seek help.

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For more information about eating disorders, please visit this site:

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Odds and Ends for Today

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By Akindman

The phrase is simply a polite version of a common and profane expression involving the name of Christ.
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Biblical origins. Think of St Peter. Think of the omnipresent medieval church and think of hitting your thumb with a hammer. You can't swear, else the local priests will have you up before the Bishop and the Lord alone knows what the outcome of that will be, so you exclaim, in appropriate tone of voice, "For Saint Peter's sake" and carry on erecting the shelves. This phrase was amended to "For Pete's Sake" in later, less religiously oppressive, times.

Levi Strauss
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(February 26, 1829 – September 26, 1902) was a German-Jewish immigrant to the United States who founded the first company to manufacture blue jeans. His firm, Levi Strauss & Co., began in 1853 in San Francisco, California. (From Wikipedia)
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In late 1872 Jacob Davis, a Reno, Nevada tailor, started making men's work pants with metal points of strain for greater strength. He wanted to patent the process but needed a business helper, so he turned to Levi Strauss, from whom he purchased some of his fabric. On May 20, 1873, Strauss and Davis received United States patent for using copper rivets to strengthen the pockets of denim work pants. Levi Strauss & Co. began manufacturing the famous Levi's brand of jeans, using fabric from the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company in Manchester, New Hampshire. (From Wikipedia)
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