Archive for August, 2005

New Concerns About Another Flu Vaccine Shortage

Although it’s really too early to tell, Jon Brodkin, of the Daily News Tribune, reports that some officials fear there will be another flu vaccine shortage.

(Massachusetts) State health officials are warning the influenza vaccine supply could be similar to last year’s, when an early shortage of flu shots caused widespread public concern and forced regulators to place strict limits on who could be vaccinated…

…”It is possible that the total supply of influenza vaccine in the U.S. will be similar to last year,” the DPH wrote. “Because the status of the national supply of influenza vaccine is not known yet, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health is not yet able to inform providers about their allocation of state-supplied influenza vaccine.”

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Posted in Health, Cold and Flu Remedies | No Comments »

Well-Being Of Breast Cancer Survivors Improved By Educational And Nutritional Programs

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Emory University, have released a new study about educational and nutritional programs, and how they improve the well-being of breast cancer survivors.

The researchers followed the experiences of 252 women beginning two months after the completion of their treatment. The women were divided into three groups. One group received no interventions. The second attended four educational sessions that covered topics including talking to children about cancer; maintaining a healthy relationship with their partners; the impact their treatment has on their reproductive health; and the genetics of cancer. The third group received information about maintaining a healthy diet, including shopping and cooking tips.

Based on surveys of the study participants, the women who received either the educational or nutritional intervention were less likely to be depressed and were more optimistic about their overall health and their ability to cope with their illness than the women who had received no intervention. The nutritional intervention had a greater impact than the educational intervention.

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My Parents Can Now Find FamilyResource.com

When I first purchased the familyresource.com domain back in 1996, it was the only domain name I could afford. I was fresh out of college and poor. I had thought about buying familyresources.com, but didn’t think I could afford it, and I didn’t think it would matter.

When I first told my parents about my website, they would always refer to it as FamilyResources.com instead of FamilyResource.com. This irked me enough that I thought it would be a good idea to go ahead and buy that domain too. Unfortunately, it was bought about a month before I had decided to buy it.

For the next 9 years my parents would always refer to my website as FamilyResources.com, and would also tell their friends the same thing. I had nightmares thinking about all of the people who could have visited my site, but didn’t because of that stupid s on the end of resource. I knew then that I would have to acquire the domain if I were going to find any peace.

My first attempt to purchase the domain was futile. It was being used by an author to promote their new book, so there was no hope of acquiring it. After their book faded away from the spotlight, and their site started to become neglected, I inquired again. I was told that I would have to fork over $30,000 for the domain. No thank you!

Years and years went by. About every 6 to 12 months, I would inquire about purchasing the domain, but the price was always way out of my league. It wasn’t until about a month ago, the domain went up for auction. For the first time, the price was actually affordable, and I quickly snatched it up.

Now, for the first time in several years, I can rest soundly in the fact that my parents can now find my website, even if they spell it with that notorious s.

Posted in Websites | No Comments »

Being Sleepy During The Day May Indicate Depression

Everyone knows that lack of sleep can contribute to long tiring days. However, what happens when a person is getting plenty of sleep, but they still feel excessively tired all day? New research suggests that there’s a good chance it might be depression.

After crunching the numbers, depression was the No. 1 risk factor for excessive daytime sleepiness. BMI (body mass index) came second. Typical sleep duration was third, followed by diabetes, smoking, and, finally, sleep apnea.

The researchers suggest that doctors start to consider depression as a factor for excessive sleepiness, and that they do a thorough assessment for depression and obesity/diabetes.

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Will The Jerk-O-Meter Help Relationships?

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed what they call the Jerk-O-Meter. It’s software intended for mobile phones that tells the caller if the person on the other line is paying attention to their conversation.

Anmol Madan, the project lead for the Jerk-O-Meter, claims that the software is intended to improve relationships, not end them. The researchers see it as a way to keep people truly engaged.

I have serious reservations about this technology. If implemented, this software may override simple human intuition, and decide through it’s computer calculations that the person on the other line is a jerk - even if they aren’t.

I can’t help but remember the airplane scene in the movie Anger Management. Adam Sandler’s character was being verbally accused by an airline stewardess, because she thought he was being unruly, even though he wasn’t. Eventually, there came a point where he started to get verbally defensive, and was then attacked by a federal marshal and arrested.

The Jerk-O-Meter will create defensiveness for defensiveness’ sake. If the software tells Caller 1 that Caller 2 is being a jerk, Caller 1 may say something to Caller 2 about it. How should Caller 2 react? If most people were Caller 2, they would react defensively, especially if they don’t think they’re being a jerk - as the computer suggests they are.

Anmol Madan and the researchers at M.I.T. have a dream of bringing people closer together. Unfortunately, their Jerk-O-Meter dream is a pipe dream.

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Biggest Bathroom Pet Peeves Among Newlyweds

Getting married and sharing a bathroom is a big deal for many newlyweds (those married for two years or less). A recent survey conducted on behalf of Roto-Rooter Plumbing and Drain Service (yes, a plumbing company), came up with the top 5 bathroom pet peeves among newlyweds.

  1. Leaves dirty clothes on the floor (47 percent)
  2. Leaves sink a mess (44 percent)
  3. Never cleans the toilet bowl (37 percent)
  4. Never replaces the toilet paper (37 percent)
  5. Tries to have conversations while I’m using the toilet (30 percent)

I qualify for at least a few of these things, or at least I did during my first years of marriage. However, I was surprised to see leaving the toilet seat up missing from the top ten.

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Posted in Relationships, Marriage | No Comments »

Fertility LifeLines Offers Free Fertility Planning Guide

When my wife and I experienced infertility while trying to conceive our first child, we didn’t know what to expect. The only thing we knew was that we couldn’t get pregnant. It would have been very helpful if we had had some sort of guide that could have shown us a realistic view of what our infertility treatment would have looked like.

Fortunately, Fertility LifeLines now provides a free guide, called My Fertility Planning Guide. The guide helps couples become aware of, and plan for the following:

Not only is the guide helpful for planning possible treatments, it also provides talking points for couples regarding financial and emotional considerations. It puts everything out in the open, and encourages couples to discuss and decide the fertility path they want to follow.

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Trip To Dermatologist Spawns New Skin Care Articles

I went to my dermatologist today for my annual skin checkup. Two good things happened while I was there. First and foremost, I didn’t have any problems. Second, I got permission to reprint several of their clinic’s handouts. Here’s a list of the new articles that are located in the new Skin Care category.

Posted in Health, Skin Care | No Comments »

Fertility Expert Doubts Link Between Chlamydia And Infertility

“I think the evidence that chlamydia affects fertility is very dubious,” Lord Winston said. I haven’t seen any figures that demonstrate that it is causing infertility.”

Lord Winston said the link between chlamydia and damage to the fallopian tubes was based on two papers written in Sweden in the 1960s, and it had never been checked.

But experts said the link between untreated chlamydia and infertility did exist.

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Use Of Folic Acid Increases Birth Rate

As reported in the British Journal of Nutrition, the research team discovered a strong link between low levels of folic acid in the women’s blood and a correspondingly low birth weight in their newborn. It was noted that for each increasing unit of folic acid accounted for in the blood samples, the child’s birth weight also increased by 14%.

Smoking has been known to inhibit the developing fetus for some time now. The Newcastle study has shown a strong link between women smokers and low folate levels. Researchers presume smoking inhibits the body’s ability to metabolize the vitamin completely, thus leading to a potentially underweight baby.

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