Archive for July, 2005

Reading

Sunday, July 31st, 2005

This summer I’ve read these books:

  • Tipping Point (hoping this principle works for my Blog)
  • Blink (idea is other places but Gladwell has a snappy way of writing)
  • Never Eat Alone (interesting idea: how many “refridgerator friends” do you have? Meaning how many people can just come by and grab a cold one from your fridge? Or are you a hermit?)
  • Freakonomics (an economist who likes to be provocative…the way he manipulated some statistics to support a few ideas was off-putting but that’s economics for ya!)
  • The 48 Laws of Power (good bathroom book)

Reading now:

  • Biology of Autism (science stuff…heavy duty biochem, brain drain, I can promise you)
  • Backlash–even when I agree with Faludi I feel like I’m being screeched at
  • In the Company of Women–there is a section titled “When A Colleague’s Self-Esteem is Low”, oh, for the love of pete. I bought this book at a used book store and it comes replete with this inscription: “To Melissa, Hope this has some helpful hints–working with women is not easy! We love you! Merry Christmas, Mom (written by mom) & Daddy.” I had to buy the book. Why, it was written to my namesake! Can you imagine an inscription: “Hope this book helps–working with men can be a royal pain in the ass–their testosterone, their mood swings, their bitchi…scratch that….let’s see what word can we use…hmmm…all the words for jerks of guys actually sound, kinda good and powerful. BUT I DIGRESS!
  • The Confident Child–more fodder for my continual inferiority complex when it comes to child rearing.

Magazines: Fast Company, Fortune (the latest cover is an Unfortunate jumble), Texas Monthly (love the angelic Lance Cover, article is good too), Architectural Digest, Home & Garden, Veranda, House Beautiful, Elle Decor, Business Week, U.S. News & World Report, Readers Digest (I always feel depressed after reading this–so many scary articles), Smithsonian and my new favorite: Utne.

Must read the article called “Transhumanism: World’s Most Dangerous Idea?” or some other interesting features at www.Utne.com.

The home and garden monthlies are my “junk food for the mind”. The business monthlies and weeklies, I read for professional reasons. The rest of them either get sent to me because of the Doctor’s office waiting room thing or I’m on a wacky mailing list. Who knows.

Believe it or not, I read most of these cover to cover. No wonder I’m the female version of Cliff Claven minutiae.



More Stem Cell Stuff

Sunday, July 31st, 2005

Okay, I’m beating a dead horse here. But hear me out. Umbilical chord blood also has stem cells–lots of them.

Scientists believe (there’s that word again) but it’s not proven, that blastocyst stem cells are the most capable of solving health problems because they have the most potential (pluripotent–infinite functions–rather than multi–many potential functions–and uni–one function), but this still doesn’t solve rejection problems (just like rejecting an organ you can reject a cell).

Also, new research has shown that a blood stem cell can be coaxed to develop into a cardiac cell or a neuron (brain cell). Imagine, using your own stem cells and thus no rejection.

Those who believe like me–leave the embryos alone–are being branded “crazy” and “anti-science”. Not so. The 60% of Americans are for “stem cell research” is an oft-quoted rationale for why the federal funding should go forward, but this stat (as so many of them are) is bogus.

Stem cell research is a complicated topic even for those who are given to look into these things. Are the people being polled differentiating between the kinds of stem cell research?

Furthermore, I was reading a liberal dude’s blog about his perspective on stem cell research. He thinks that people who believe like me equate a blastocyst with a live human being. Not so. I’m fully aware that up to 50% of fertilized eggs never make it to babyhood. But this is NATURE’s job not some guy in a lab coat’s. A woman’s body decides which baby to carry and not to.

Fertility treatments work less than 30% of the time. The number one cause of infertility today is PID (pelvic inflammitory disease) which is related most often to genital warts (eww gross, I know) and other STDs. In addition, a woman’s fertility drops precipitously each year after 30. And even more so after 35 especially if this is her first child. The majority of the 30% of those who do get pregnant with infertility help are in their late 20s and early 30s. As women approach 40, their chances with invitro slip to 1 in 10 and less depending on the clinic (and almost all of them lie about their success rates).

The infertility business is an abomination. Men and women hang their hopes on crazy treatments that exhaust them emotionally and financially. Few end up with children. The ones who do and the ones who don’t almost always have “left over” embryos. Left overs, isn’t that nice?

Are these embryos people? Not yet, but they could be as the 30% success rate attests to.

Regulation of this industry is nearly non-existent. The legal ramifications of all the permutations of this “intervention” have yet to be worked out and now we are adding a new wrinkle: donate your embryo to science.

The schpiel? “At least SOME GOOD could come out of this difficulty.” It’s like donating an organ. Somebody, like Christopher Reeve could walk again. Wouldn’t that be great? And it would be because you gave your embryos. Why, it’s downright noble!

Blech!

My heart goes out to childless couples. Children are the best gift in the world, I’ll be the first to attest to that and worthy of pursuing.

But I have a big problem with an unregulated industry creating all of these morally questionable situations: parents with slim to no chance of having a kid thus creating surplus embryos, people so self-absorbed that they believe it is their “right” to have a child at “all costs”. The child seems like the cherry on top of a narcisstic ice cream sundae.

So out of this mess…embryonic stem cells. Now to the stem cell side: there are no regulations, no standardized procedure, no ethical guidelines at all as to how to handle these. There aren’t at the fertility clinic either. Some have rituals associated with “disposal” some just throw them out.

In the labs, how are they dealt with? Well, we know the nuclei is sucked from them, we know that the constituants of the blastocyst are necessarily teased apart to “see how they work”. Then what?

Do you see how this whole process is as clear as week-old pea soup? It is in grey areas like this this, where people have the “best intentions” that really bad things happen. It’s called the law of unintended consequences. And there are already layers and layers of those before the embryo ever reaches the high-minded scientist ready to save the world.

I stand by my opinion. Embryos should not be used for research. Excess embryos shouldn’t be sitting around to begin with.

The ethical problem began way before a sperm ever was injected into an egg. Way before.



Breast Milk Has Stem Cells, Too

Sunday, July 31st, 2005

It does. Say it with me: JUST SAY NO TO EMBRYOS.



Stem Cell Research: What’s All the Fuss?

Sunday, July 31st, 2005

Do you understand what stem cells are? Does Nancy Reagan? Maybe. Does REPUBLICAN leader William Frist, MD? Yes, he most certainly does. He most certainly understands the difference between EMBRYONIC stem cells and the stem cells you can harvest from the fat or bone marrow of ADULT, CONSENTING PEOPLE. Must we create future people and then destroy, also known as murder, in the name of science? And the moronic parents who have fifteen embryos frozen in the bank: you’re okay with a potential child being sliced and diced for unlikely cures?

If you are, not fine, but I don’t have anything to say about it. (Ever heard “there ought to be a law”?) But whats really galling is using taxes to fund this crap. Use your own money Dr. Frankenstein or scrounge it up the old-fashioned way–Venture Capital. Ahhhh, but no one will give you money. Why? That’s right because its MORALLY REPREHENSIBLE!

Btw, please don’t bore me with pleas for Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson-addled brain or your grandma with Alzheimers. These terrible diseases will be cured, I believe, in my lifetime, but not this way. See my previous post: Alzheimers: Beliefs Create Reality

Have we lost all moral sense here? Is there even a line with some people? Will someone, anyone, please tell me where the line is, if we don’t adhere to a few basic moral absolutes. I know, they are so uncomfortable. Shhh! There are even some athiest ethicists (is this an oxymoron)who think embryonic stem cell search might be wrong.



Paris & Nicole Re-Unite

Sunday, July 31st, 2005

Now I can sleep tonight. And sleep has eluded me recently due to a pox on our house. Thank you, all you people who believe that quarantines are quaint health ideas from the past and WON’T STAY IN BED when you’re sick. Oy vey!



Awesome link

Saturday, July 30th, 2005

Amazing Americans to be!



Doing for the Sake of Doing

Saturday, July 30th, 2005

What consumes you that really doesn’t matter? Are you wasting time doing things just to be busy?

One trait unites every business I’ve worked with: spending time doing meaningless tasks just for the sake of doing or being seen doing.

Why? Well, “productivity” and “busyness” often get mixed up. Being busy is highly valued. It is equated with a strong work ethic which may or may not be true.

The managers at one Fortune 10 company pride themselves on how early they arrive at work and how late they go home. When questioning them individually, all admitting wasting probably what added to hours of time each day so to look impressive.

To add to this is the “Earlier than the Boss” phenomenon. Workers must arrive at least 15-30 minutes earlier than the boss and leave probably 5 minutes after she/he leaves. This practice is especially rampant in Japan, I’m told by a friend who works there, because it is tradition to stay longer than the boss. The result? Commuters in Tokyo going home at 9:00p.m.

I have one word for this: Stupid.

No workers can maintain productivity consistently for 12-14 hour days, day after day. The occasional week, month or even year for an over-the-top assignment that requires dedication that the employee loves may elicit this high-powered productivity. But for the average tasks, it will result in frustration, fatigue and apathy.

When talking about work-place motivation, being realistic about schedules would be a start. Note to executives: you may have sacrificed all to achieve your lofty position, but there are many people who have families and a life outside your beloved institution. At the very least give permission to your employees to take off at a reasonable time. And, don’t penalize them for it later. At best, get a life outside of work, read something new, and you’ll be surprised about the benefits you reap professionally due to this refreshed perspective.

Doing for the sake of doing ends up dragging you down and ultimately losing productivity not gaining it.



Fire

Friday, July 29th, 2005


Summer means heat. And this summer, especially, burns hotter than most. In Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, this season relates to the organ system called the Triple Warmer.

The Triple Warmer includes these organs: the endocrine system including the Thyroid, Adrenals, Prostate, Testicles, Ovaries, Uterus and Pituitary; the Heart; and the Small Intestine. If you think about it, these systems regulate the immune system and stress-modulation system which is really two parts of the same whole.

An unbalanced Triple-Warmer (too much or too little energy–Chi–flowing) person can be “dis-heartened” with chronic health problems oozing everywhere. Bouncing between hyperactivity and depletion, then finally just being chronically tired, this person is often anxious, indecisive, unstable, weirdly “over happy” (those people who make you feel uncomfortable just to be around because they seem kind of manic), sometimes paranoid and just “off”.

Disorders in the above named organs means problems originating with the Fire Element. If you are taking medication for heart problems, thyroid problems or reproductive problems, you might want to consider this element.

EMOTIONAL APPLICATION

Unresolved emotions attached to stressors cause problems in this element, too:

  • Anxiety
  • Lost
  • Vulnerable
  • Muddled instability
  • Blocking emotions totally (if this doesn’t sound like an emotion, let me give you an example: when at a funeral, those often “broken hearted” by the loss, don’t cry at all, some report not feeling anything they are so overwhelmed–this is non-thinking, non-emotive)

Secondary emotions can be:

  • Abandoned, deserted, absent minded, insecure and experiencing profound deep unrequited love
  • Abnormal (inappropriate) laughing, lack of emotion, rapid mannerisms and speech, talkative
  • Paranoia, muddled thinking, emotional instability, up and down, can’t figure it out
  • Depleted, suppressed, sluggish memory and vivid dreaming

HOME APPLICATION

The art of Feng Shui (the art of placement) relates to how your environment can affect your health and everything else in your life. In your house, the fireplace, the oven and stove, the electricity and lightbulbs should all be functioning well. If your electrical system is overloaded, that will stress your health. Anything emiting EMFs (electromagnetic fields) falls in the fire element: TVs, computers, cordless phones, cellular phones, the microwave, etc.

In our modern electrical society, our bodies are overwhelmed with electricity. This stresses our body. Make sure everything electric in your house is in perfect working order. DO NOT have a TV or computer in your bedroom. In fact, current research has found that small digital clocks next to the bed emit enough EMFs to cause cellular change! Your bedroom and your children’s bedrooms should be fortresses of peace and low energy. Some Feng Shui experts recommend that you remove mirrors as well as it multiplies light (a form of pure energy).

Remember, too, that just because appliances are off does not mean that electricity is not flowing through the circuit. It is. To completely remove the flow, the device must be UNPLUGGED. Pediatricians recommend this for TV’s anyway, as the EMF’s radiating out of a plugged in TV cause problems for the baby’s developing system. This is another reason small children should not be watching TV before the age of three. Forget Baby Einstein. Remember the sand box.

BUSINESS APPLICATION

Another manifestation of disturbance in the Fire Element can be reputation problems. Specifically managing your image or “fame”. If you are a “hothead” you may have found your reputation tarnished. A seldom thought of problem can be no one knowing you exist at all! Perhaps you don’t like “tooting your own horn”. I’ve seen business people who HATE giving out their business card, don’t like a promotional picture, fearful of public speaking or unwilling to advertise their product (often themselves). This is a problem. If you want to excel in your field, extend your influence and generally help the world, the world must know you and/or your product. Change the offending items so you can feel confident.

Certain Herbs and Nutritional Supplementation as well as Homeopathic remedies help support the Fire Element. If you always feel tired, have difficulty expressing yourself, feel overwhelmed and indecisive, please connect with an Applied Kinesiologist, Acupuncturist or Doctor certified in Neuroemotional Technique or click on the link.



Poll

Thursday, July 28th, 2005




First Audio Post

Thursday, July 28th, 2005

this is an audio post - click to play