Monday, May 11, 2009


Jim & Karen
on Spirit FM


Today is National Nonsense Day.

On this day in 1984, South African prisoner Nelson Mandela saw his wife for the first time in 22 years. Without missing a beat, he said "Is that a new outfit?"

National Police Week

International Nurses Day - go celebrate with a couple of inoculations.
Florence Nightingale, the mother of modern nursing, was born on this date in 1820. Florence taught her students the three basic rules of nursing: keep the patient clean, keep the patient comfortable, and don't laugh when the patient's gown gaps open.

Florence revolutionized the medical profession. She proved that more lives could be saved if the nurses took care of the patients and the doctors played golf.

Bike To Work Week - anybody raised in a large family who ended up getting a bike made out of parts from your brothers and sisters bikes? No matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t make it look cool.

Limerick Day - celebrates the birthday of Writer Edward Lear (1812-1888). It also, of course, celebrates Limerick poems.

There once was a guy named Matt
Who had an overly large cat
When it chased a mouse
It shook the whole house
So Matt got rid of the cat.

There once was a lady named Lynn
Who was so uncommonly thin,
that when she assayed
to drink lemonade,
she slipped through the straw and fell in!
1888 - Casey at the Bat was published


Healthcare Cuts
The good news is the healthcare industry is promising to cut patient costs by $2 trillion over the next 10 years. The bad news is that the waiting period to see your doctor is now 10 years.

The crown on the top of the Statue of Liberty will reopen on July 4 for the first time since 9/11. Visitors will now be able to touch Air Force One as it passes by.

Dippin’ Dots Has a New Product - PADUCAH, Ky. — The guy who reinvented ice cream is desperately trying to reinvent his company — before it melts.

More than two decades ago, microbiologist Curt Jones devised a way to flash-freeze ice cream into colorful pellets about the size of BB’s. Now in a tough economy, the outside-the-box company he founded, Dippin’ Dots, is searching for a new concoction to take it beyond the quirky-but-costly ice cream’s seasonal popularity in amusement parks and stadiums. The new concoction is “coffee dots - the coffee of the future.” He’s thinking of naming the new coffee dots Smokin’ Joe. Other new products include: Dots ‘n Cream, an ice cream with Dippin’ Dots mix-ins that can be sold at supermarkets and kept in conventional freezers. “Frappe dots” that, when mixed with milk, would mimic the taste of Frappuccinos. And Fridgets, which are Dippin’ Dots clustered with candy or cookie pieces.

You Can Be a Nurse in a Year! - A Florida nursing school is giving people a chance to change careers and enter a “recession-proof” field, even if they already have established careers. The Remington College of Nursing in Lake Mary offers an intensive one-year program for people who already have bachelor’s degrees. People from a variety of fields have chosen to enroll at the school in search of a recession-proof career. The Florida Center for Nursing projects there will be a shortage of more than 18,000 nurses in Florida by 2010, and a shortage of 52,000 by 2020. When Tom Hutchinson, 54, saw the construction industry falling victim to the current economic downturn, he left his career as a general contractor to become a nurse. Visit Remington’s Web site for more information about the program. I can’t help but think, would you want a nurse who had a year long, crash course at your bedside? I would just advice the nurse not to tell the patient anything about their academic road.

Wild Story - HEPPNER, Ore. — Two baby girls switched at birth 56 years ago have finally found out about the mistake.

DeeAnn Angell of Fossil and Kay Rene Reed of Condon learned about the mistake from an 86-year-old woman who was a former neighbor. The former neighbor said that one of the girls’ mothers, Marjorie Angell, insisted back in 1953 that she had been given the wrong baby after nurses returned from bathing them.

But her concerns were brushed off.

With both sets of parents passed away, the Reed and Angell siblings compared notes and family stories, learning that rumors of a mix-up had been around for years. Kay Rene Reed decided to get some DNA testing done, and that confirmed the mistake. But she and DeeAnn say there just have to move forward with their lives now, and they celebrated their latest birthday together earlier this month.

Word-of-Mouth Cures That Really Work! (MSN)

Calm insect bites with aspirin
Why: “Aspirin is made of salicylic acid, a potent anti-inflammatory that can reduce pain and itching,” says Dr. Hirsch.
Crush three aspirin and add a few drops of water—enough to make a paste, Dr. Hirsch says. Apply mixture to the bite. Leave on for two minutes, then rinse with cool water. Repeat twice daily until pain and itching stop.
Remove warts with duct tape
Why: Experts at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Wash., found this remedy could clear warts in two months. There are a few theories about how it works. One is that duct tape irritates warts, causing an immune system reaction that attacks them. “Another is that the tape removes the virus-laden skin cells,” says Anthony Mancini, M.D., professor of dermatology at Northwestern University.
How: Apply a piece of tape that’s the same size as the wart and leave on for six days. (If tape falls off, replace ASAP.) Remove tape after the six days and clean area with soap and water; leave tape off overnight. In the morning, reapply tape, keep on for five days and repeat until wart disappears. It may take up to two months, says Dr. Mancini, but it’s less painful and less expensive than repeated doctor visits.
Nix dandruff with apple cider vinegar
Why: “The vinegar’s acidity reduces the natural pH of the scalp,” explains Dr. Fusco. “And this creates an unfriendly environment for yeast that tend to overpopulate the head and cause dandruff.”
How: Mix 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar with one quart of water and use as a final rinse after shampooing, twice weekly.
Soothe burns with tomato
Why: “The tomato contains lycopene, which is a natural anti-inflammatory, so it calms inflamed skin. And the wetness of the tomato juice helps draw some of the liquid out of the burn, reducing swelling,” says Dr. Fusco.
How: Slice a large tomato and apply pieces to damaged skin. Leave on for five minutes, then remove, letting the remaining juices fully dry on skin. Once dry, rinse skin with cool water. Repeat twice daily until discomfort ends.

==Fewer Americans taking vacations this summer -according to a new AP-Gfk Poll, and a third of Americans surveyed said they have already canceled at least one trip this year because of financial concerns. Perfect time to put together that list of fun affordable and/or free local things to do this summer.

I’m taking my family to WalMart this summer. Money’s tight. Here’s a list of things we’ll do when we get there:

-Drag a lounge chair over to the magazine rack and make a day of it.
-Set all the alarm clocks to go off at ten-minute intervals throughout the day.
-Set up a tent in the camping department and invite other shoppers to join us, but ONLY if they bring pillows from the bed department.
-Let our kids re-dress the mannequins as they see fit. Should be a great vacation!

Coffee is on the “Good For You” list once again! The heavenly brew, once deemed harmful to health, is turning out to be, if not quite a health food, at least a low-risk drink, and in many ways a beneficial one. It could protect against diabetes, liver cancer, cirrhosis, and Parkinson’s disease.

What happened? New research - lots of it - and the recognition that older, negative studies often failed to tease apart the effects of coffee and those of smoking because so many coffee drinkers were also smokers.

“Coffee was seen as very unhealthy,” said Rob van Dam, a coffee researcher and epidemiologist at the Harvard School of Public Health. “Now we have a more balanced view. We’re not telling people to drink it for health. But it is a good beverage choice.”

As you digest the news on coffee, keep in mind that coffee and caffeine are not the same thing. In fact, “they are vastly different,” said coffee researcher Terry Graham, chair of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. One can be good for you; the other, less so.

“Coffee is a complex beverage with hundreds, if not thousands, of bioactive ingredients,” he said. “A cup of coffee is 2 percent caffeine, 98 percent other stuff.” For both heart disease and stroke, recent studies are reassuring that frequent coffee consumption does not increase risk. In fact, coffee may - repeat, may - slightly reduce the risk of stroke. For cardiovascular disease other than stroke, there doesn’t appear to be a preventive benefit from drinking coffee, but there is also no clearly documented harm; the studies looked at the effect of drinking up to six cups of regular coffee a day.

As for affecting cancer risk, coffee research has come up empty - with one big exception: liver cancer. Research consistently shows a reduction in liver cancer risk with coffee consumption, and there is some, albeit weaker, evidence that it may lower colon cancer risk as well.

7th Graders Create iPhone App! - Sam Kaplan and Louie Harboe’s company, Tapware, is one of the more promising technology startups in Chicago.

Based in Hyde Park with guidance and a bit of seed funding from one of the University of Chicago’ s top business school professors, Tapware recently released its first iPhone application called “The Mathmaster” and has a second app in the works. For the two seventh-graders at the University of Chicago Laboratory School, Tapware has significantly more upside than opening up a lemonade stand.

“Since the fifth grade, we’ve had this idea of working together and becoming successful with our Web site ideas,” said Harboe, also a professional designer who publishes his portfolio of images and icons at “We’ve thought of a lot of strange and different ideas.” The Mathmaster is pretty straightforward. For 99 cents per download, the application is marketed to parents as a fun tool to get their children more enthusiastic about things like square roots and multiplication tables. The application took about a month to develop and then a week to get approved by Apple’ s App Store. The two hope to launch a second, quirkier advertising-based application around their site sipthat in the coming months. I once made a rubber band gun with wood and a clothespin. Really, I’m not kidding.

Dress Code Rebellion! (AP) — Fourteen-year-old Justin Wright of Yuma, Arizona, is taking on his middle school and apparently making a splash. The Yuma Sun says he’s gotten 250 kids behind his effort to get the school’s dress code repealed.

Currently, kids at Centennial Middle School must wear solid navy, red or white shirts and bottoms in khaki, navy or denim. Wright argues that the policy violates students’ free speech rights, and costs families more money to buy special clothing. The school district disputes that, and says research shows uniforms are less expensive than street clothes. No word how many signatures Justin needs to tip things his way. There may not be that many students in the school. What do you think? Which benefits the kids more? After a while I got used to wearing a school uniform and enjoyed the benefits of not having to worry or labor over what to wear or how I could afford the cool name brand clothing. But get this, since we couldn’t be unique with our clothes we ended up doing it with cologne. That was the fresh fashion statement we could make; enter Aqua Velva back then; AXE today.

Peanut Butter Taste Test - Skippy came out on top followed by Lowe’s Foods house brand, and then Peter Pan. Jif came in 5th behind some organic peanut butter. So Skippy is the winner by a nose over the Lowe’s Foods house brand. But at roughly half the price, the house brand is the clear choice as best buy. Come on, can you really taste the difference? I wonder if kids could? Taste Test Time
SUBTOPIC - Reminds me of the season when my youngest boy was 3. I’m pretty sure he smelled like peanut butter at least every other day; mostly because the majority of what was on his spoon would end up on his face or hair somewhere. My neighbor’s kid smells like ketchup. Ever run across that wily kid who always smells like pancake syrup? Yup, that’s my grandson Brody!

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