Thursday, May 28, 2009

Climate Change and Health effect Diseases

Throughout the world, the prevalence of some diseases and other threats to human health depend largely on local climate. Extreme temperatures can lead directly to loss of life, while climate-related disturbances in ecological systems, such as changes in the range of infective parasites, can indirectly impact the incidence of serious infectious diseases. In addition, warm temperatures can increase air and water pollution, which in turn harm human health.

Human health is strongly affected by social, political, economic, environmental and technological factors, including urbanization, affluence, scientific developments, individual behavior and individual vulnerability (e.g., genetic makeup, nutritional status, emotional well-being, age, gender and economic status). The extent and nature of climate change impacts on human health vary by region, by relative vulnerability of population groups, by the extent and duration of exposure to climate change itself and by society’s ability to adapt to or cope with the change.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded:

Human beings are exposed to climate change through changing weather patterns (for example, more intense and frequent extreme events) and indirectly through changes in water, air, food quality and quantity, ecosystems, agriculture, and economy. At this early stage the effects are small but are projected to progressively increase in all countries and regions.

Given the complexity of factors that influence human health, assessing health impacts related to climate change poses a difficult challenge. Furthermore, climate change is expected to bring a few benefits to health, including fewer deaths due to exposure to cold. Nonetheless, the IPCC has concluded that, overall (globally), negative climate-related health impacts are expected to outweigh positive health impacts during this century. At the same time, the quality of medical care and public health systems in the United States may lessen climate impacts on human health within the U.S.

Direct Temperature Effects

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has produced the Excessive Heat Events Guidebook with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Municipal officials in both the U.S. and Canada provided useful information that can be used to help the public cope with excessive heat.

Designed to help community officials, emergency managers, meteorologists, and others plan for and respond to excessive heat events, the guidebook highlights best practices that have been employed to save lives during excessive heat events in different urban areas and provides a menu of options that officials can use to respond to these events in their communities.

Climate change may directly affect human health through increases in average temperature. Such increases may lead to more extreme heat waves during the summer while producing less extreme cold spells during the winter. Rising average temperatures are predicted to increase the incidence of heat waves and hot extremes. In the United States, Chicago is projected to experience 25 percent more frequent heat waves and Los Angeles a four-to-eight-fold increase in heat wave days by the end of the century. Particular segments of the population such as those with heart problems, asthma, the elderly, the very young and the homeless can be especially vulnerable to extreme heat.

Extreme Events

Extreme weather events can be destructive to human health and well-being. The extent to which climate change may affect the frequency and severity of these events, such as hurricanes and extreme heat and floods, is being investigated by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program. An increase in the frequency of extreme events may result in more event-related deaths, injuries, infectious diseases, and stress-related disorders.

Climate-Sensitive Diseases

Climate change may increase the risk of some infectious diseases, particularly those diseases that appear in warm areas and are spread by mosquitoes and other insects. These "vector-borne" diseases include malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, and encephalitis. Also, algal blooms could occur more frequently as temperatures warm — particularly in areas with polluted waters — in which case diseases (such as cholera) that tend to accompany algal blooms could become more frequent.

Higher temperatures, in combination with favorable rainfall patterns, could prolong disease transmission seasons in some locations where certain diseases already exist. In other locations, climate change will decrease transmission via reductions in rainfall or temperatures that are too high for transmission. For example, temperature and humidity levels must be sufficient for certain disease-carrying vectors, such as ticks that carry Lyme disease, to thrive. And climate change could push temperature and humidity levels either towards or away from optimum conditions for the survival rate of ticks.

Though average U.S. and global temperatures are expected to continue to rise, the potential for an increase in the spread of diseases Exit EPA Disclaimer will depend not only on climatic but also on non-climatic factors, primarily the effectiveness of the public health system.

The IPCC has noted that the global population at risk from vector-borne malaria will increase by between 220 million and 400 million in the next century. While most of the increase is predicted to occur in Africa, some increased risk is projected in Britain, Australia, India and Portugal.

Tick-borne Lyme disease also may also expand its range in Canada. However, socioeconomic factors such as public health measures will play a large role in determining the existence or extent of such infections. Water-borne diseases may increase where warmer air and water temperatures combine with heavy runoff from agricultural and urban surfaces, but may be largely contained by standard water-treatment practices.

Air Quality

Climate change is expected to contribute to some air quality problems. Respiratory disorders may be exacerbated by warming-induced increases in the frequency of smog (ground-level ozone) events and particulate air pollution.

Ground-level ozone can damage lung tissue, and is especially harmful for those with asthma and other chronic lung diseases. Sunlight and high temperatures, combined with other pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds, can cause ground-level ozone to increase. Climate change may increase the concentration of ground-level ozone, but the magnitude of the effect is uncertain. For other pollutants, the effects of climate change and/or weather are less well studied and results vary by region.

Another pollutant of concern is "particulate matter," also known as particle pollution or PM. Particulate matter is a complex mixture of extremely small particles and liquid droplets. When breathed in, these particles can reach the deepest regions of the lungs. Exposure to particle pollution is linked to a variety of significant health problems. Particle pollution also is the main cause of visibility impairment (haze) in the nation’s cities and national parks. Climate change may indirectly affect the concentration of PM pollution in the air by affecting natural or “biogenic” sources of PM such as wildfires and dust from dry soils.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Girls Participate in Sports is Good Excerise

Playing sports can help you through tough periods and put you on the path to a healthy adult life. The Women's Sports Foundation has conducted research on the link between academic success and sports for women and girls. Their research shows that:

* Girls who participate in sports are less likely to do drugs, less likely to get pregnant, and more likely to graduate from high school than those who do not play sports.
* Half of all girls who participate in sports have higher than average levels of self-esteem and less depression.
* 80 percent of women identified as key leaders in Fortune 500 companies participated in sports during their childhood.
* Women who are student athletes graduate at higher rates than women students generally.

What kind of sports or exercise would you like to participate in? In picking a sport the focus should not be on what particular sport you excel in, but what sport you enjoy most!

If you are quiet, shy, or just not very athletic, go for walks with a friend or your mom. Try hiking or swimming on the weekends as a family. You might also try noncompetitive dance, gymnastics, aerobics, or ice skating classes. Learn about playing sports with an illness or disability.

If you are a bit of a “tomboy“ and always seem to want to play with the boys at the park, go for the more competitive sports. Enroll in either co-ed or all-girl sports such as softball, soccer, basketball, field hockey, or track. Let’s not forget football!

Even if you consider yourself a “girly-girl,” you can enjoy participating in sports as well. Dance and cheerleading often are overlooked when considering sports, but they are physically demanding and are excellent forms of exercise.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Pets Animals Dogs, Cats, Ferrets

In the past, bites from domestic animals were the major cause of rabies in humans in the United States. Domestic animals includes both pets and farm animals. Today pets and farm animals can be vaccinated against the rabies virus. In the United States today, rabies is more common in wild animals than in pets. In other parts of the world, though, dogs still account for most rabies exposures in humans.


Dogs were domesticated from wolves many years ago. One of the earliest suggested records of a domestic dog is from the Middle East around 12,000 years ago. The dog in this picture has been diagnosed with rabies. In 2001, 89 dogs in the United States diagnosed with rabies.


There are approximately 30 domestic breeds of cats in the world. Cats are the domestic animal most likely to have rabies in the United States. There were 270 cases of rabies in cats in the United States in 2001.


Many people now have ferrets as pets. Pet ferrets can be vaccinated against rabies. There is one type of wild ferret in North America, called the black-footed ferret. It is the rarest North American mammal. There were no cases of rabies in ferrets in the United States in 2001.

Domestic animals with rabies act differently than healthy animals. They may try to snap at you or bite you. Other signs are general sickness, increased drooling, and problems swallowing. If you see an animal acting strangely, avoid it and let an adult know. Remember, not all cats, dogs, and ferrets have been vaccinated against rabies. If you see a stray dog, cat, or ferret, do not pet it - have an adult call the local animal control control officer for help.

Rabies has decreased in domestic animals in this country during the past 40 years. In 2001, there were 497 cases of rabies in domestic animals in the United States.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Various Exercising Getting a Good Workout

To know if you are exercising hard enough and also at a safe level, you will need to figure out your target heart rate. Your target heart rate can depend on the type of exercise you are doing.

Moderate exercise includes activities like fast walking, swimming, dancing, or water aerobics.

Vigorous exercise includes activities like jogging, aerobics, basketball, fast swimming, or fast dancing. This level of exercise is more intense.

1. Stop exercising briefly to take your heart rate (pulse). Take it within 5 seconds of when you stop exercising. We recommend taking your pulse at the wrist (as shown in the picture). You can feel your pulse on your wrist in line with the thumb. Place the tips of the index and middle fingers over the artery and press lightly. Do not use the thumb since it has a pulse of its own. Take a full 60-second count of the heartbeats, or take it for 30 seconds and multiply by 2. Start the count on a beat, which is counted as "zero."

2. Later, when you're back on your computer, using the calculator below, figure out your target heart rate. The calculator will give your maximum and minimum heart rate. This is called your target zone. See if the number you remembered as your pulse falls within this zone. Try to exercise in this zone.

You can also try using the talk/sing test to make sure you are working out at the right level.
  • If you can talk while you are doing a physical activity, you are probably moving at a pace that is good for you.
  • If you are too breathless to talk, you should slow down.
  • If you can sing while you are doing a physical activity, you may not be working hard enough; so, you should pick up the pace!
You may be looking to measure your exercise success in pounds, or by how much weight you lose. If so, it is important to know that muscle weighs more than fat, so weighing yourself won’t tell you if you are fit. Being able to exercise in your target heart rate zone is a better sign of your fitness level. It is still important to be at a healthy weight for your age, which can be measured by your Body Mass Index (BMI).

Friday, May 22, 2009

Foxes: active animal at night.

Foxes are part of the canine family. They eat meat, insects, and even plants. Foxes tend to be shy and nervous. Many are active at night.

Diet: Small mammals, fruit, nuts, grass, and insects

Habitat: Most of the United States. Different types of foxes live in different areas.

The picture below shows a fox with rabies. The animal is paralyzed and cannot move because the virus has attacked the nervous system. You should never touch or approach a wild fox. If you see a fox acting strangely, have an adult call your local animal control officer for help.

In 2001 in the United States, 437 foxes tested positive for rabies. Signs of rabies in foxes include having no fear of humans, acting aggressively, or acting listless. It is important to know that any fox anywhere can have the disease, not just the states that found rabies in foxes in 2001. Always be careful of any fox you see behaving strangely.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

No more excuses-make Excerise work for you

If you think getting fit is difficult, you are not alone. Many people find it hard to get started, for many different reasons. Do any of these reasons sound like you?

  • I can’t exercise because I don’t have any equipment
  • I don’t have time to exercise
  • I don’t know how to exercise
  • My parents/guardian aren’t active
  • Exercise sounds so boring to me
  • Equipment or health clubs cost too much

two girls stretchingIf you can relate to any of these statements, it is important that you read on for tips on leading an active lifestyle. You don’t have to be an athlete or be involved in an organized sport to be fit. You just have to sit less and move more! It is also important to get other members of your family moving, too.

Make a fitness plan

There are lots of other things that might get in the way of regular exercise. You might think your schedule is full or you are not sure how to get started. For each situation, there is a solution.

I am too busy!

Try exercising after school, or pick a time that works best for you each day. It's up to you to make the time and effort.

Excercise bores me!

Try out different activities. Sick of jogging? Try rollerblading. Not interested in lifting weights? Try Pilates

Its hard to stick with!

Try exercising with a friend or a family member to give one another support.

I don't have equipment or access to a health club!

Choose activities that don’t require special equipment, such as jogging or walking.

Find resources within your community that are either low-cost or free, such as park and recreation programs.

I don't Know how!

Start with activities that you don’t have to learn new skills for, such as walking climbing stairs, or jogging. Exercise with friends who are either beginners like you, or who are more experienced and can teach you what they know. Take a class to learn new things, such as a Pilates class at your community center or health club

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sixth Death is linked to Swine Flu virus in U.S

New York -A school assistant principal who was sick for several days with swine flu became the nation's sixth death linked to the H1N1 virus on Sunday, and the city's first.

Earlier Sunday, New York City officials decided to close five more schools today for up to five days because of concern about swine flu, bringing the total number of shuttered schools to 11. Each had students with flu-like illnesses last week.

The assistant principal, Mitchell Wiener, worked at a middle school in Queens and had been sick for nearly a week before his school was closed Thursday, officials said. Flushing Medical Center spokesman Andrew Rubin said that Wiener had been on a ventilator and that complications besides the virus probably played a part in his death.

As of Sunday afternoon, health officials had reported five other deaths in the United States: three in Texas, one in Washington state and one in Arizona.

People with underlying health issues seem most susceptible to the virus. Most of those sickened from the H1N1 virus have complained of mild, flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, aches and fatigue.

New York City's first outbreak of swine flu occurred three weeks ago, when about 700 students and 300 other people associated with a Catholic high school in Queens began falling ill after several students returned from vacations in Mexico, the epicenter of the outbreak. The school was closed.

That school, St. Francis Preparatory, has been cleaned and reopened, and many New Yorkers had assumed before the latest flurry of school closings that the danger of swine flu was subsiding.

Health officials urged people with underlying health conditions to see their doctors if they believe they may have been exposed to swine flu.

That includes people with diabetes, people whose immune systems are compromised because of certain cancer medications, pregnant women, elderly people and infants.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Cute Animals and Rabies

What kind of animals get rabies?

Rabies is a disease that naturally affects only mammals (like raccoons, skunks, foxes and bats). You cannot get rabies from birds, snakes or fish. In the United States, rabies is much more common in wild animals than in pets like cats or dogs. This is because most people who take good care of their pets make sure that their pets get the rabies vaccinations.

In the United States today, about 93 of every 100 reported cases of rabies are in wild animals. Most of the cases are found in raccoons, skunks, bats, and foxes. Raccoons are the most common wild animal with rabies today. Cats had the largest number of reported rabies cases in pets.

Rabies cases in the United States (2001):
All animal cases 7,437

Domestic animals 497

Wild animals 6,939

Human cases 1

Domestic animals diagnosed with rabies-United States, 2001

Dogs 89

Cats 270

Cattle 82

Horses/ mules 51

Sheep/goats 3

Swine 2

Other Domestic 0

Wild animals diagnosed with rabies in the United States, 2001

Skunks 2,282

Foxes 437

Bats 1,281

Raccoons 2,767

Rodents/ rabbits 56

Other wild animals 116

Which animals can get rabies?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Body Fitness Basics: Exercise

You need to exercise for about 60 minutes every day. Setting aside 60 minutes all at once each day is one way to get in enough exercise. If you wait until the end of the day to squeeze it in, you probably won’t exercise enough or at all. If you’re not active for 60 minutes straight, it’s okay to exercise for 10 or 20 minutes at a time throughout the day.

Different exercises

No matter what your shape – apple, pear, ruler, or hourglass – there's an exercise for you!

  • Pick exercises you like to do and choose a few different options so you don’t get bored. Get some great exercise ideas.
  • Aim to exercise most days of the week. If you’re not very active right now, start slowly and work your way up to being active every day.

There are three levels of physical activity.

  • Light – not sweating; not breathing hard (slow walking, dancing)
  • Moderate – breaking a sweat; can talk but can’t sing (walking fast, dancing)
  • Vigorous – sweating, breathing hard, can’t talk or sing (running, swimming laps)

No matter what level you are exercising at, the activity can be one of two types.

Exercise Type

What is it?

Why do it?

Resistance exercise (2 or more days each week)

Weight-training using weight machines and resistance bands, or doing push-ups

  • Increases strength
  • Builds muscles

Weight-bearing exercise

Walking, running, hiking, dancing, gymnastics, soccer, and other activities that work bones and muscles against gravity.

  • Makes bones stronger

What kind of exercise does your body need?

Your exercise should increase your heart rate and move the muscles in your body. Swimming, dancing, skating, playing soccer, or riding a bike are all examples of exercise that does these things.

Looking at fitness and your body closer up, your exercise should include something from each of these four basic fitness areas:

Cardio-respiratory endurance is the same thing as aerobic endurance. It is the ability to exercise your heart and lungs nonstop over certain time periods. When you exercise, your heart beats faster, sending more needed oxygen to your body. If you are not fit, your heart and lungs have to work harder during exercise. Long runs and swims are examples of activities that can help your heart and lungs work better.

Muscular strength is the ability to move a muscle against resistance. To become stronger, you need to push or pull against resistance, such as your own weight (like in push-ups), using free weights (note: talk to an instructor before using weights), or even pushing the vacuum cleaner. Regular exercise keeps all of your muscles strong and makes it easier to do daily physical tasks.

Muscular endurance is the ability of a muscle, or a group of muscles, to keep pushing against resistance for a long period. Push-ups are often used to test endurance of arm and shoulder muscles. Aerobic exercise also helps to improve your muscular endurance. Activities such as running increase your heart rate and make your heart muscle stronger.

Flexibility is the ability to move joints and use muscles as much as they can possibly be used. The sit-and-reach your toes test is a good measure of flexibility of the lower back and backs of the upper legs. When you are flexible, you are able to bend and reach with ease. Being flexible can help prevent injuries like pulled muscles. This is why warming up and stretching are so important. If you force your body to move in a way that you aren’t used to, you risk tearing muscles, as well as ligaments and tendons (other parts of your musculoskeletal system).


Muscles Worked


Chest, shoulders, arms, abdominals



Jumping Jacks

Calves (lower leg), inner/outer thigh, butt


Calves, front/back thigh

Jumping rope

Calves, thighs, abdominals, shoulders, arms


Nearly all major muscles


Nearly all major muscles (depending on type of dance)


Arms, calves, front/back thigh, abdominals


Calves, front/back thigh, butt

Inline Skating

Inner/outer thigh, butt

Hula Hoop

Lower back, abdominals

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Even Bogus Acupuncture Helps Back Pain

People suffering from chronic low back pain who received acupuncture treatments fared better than those receiving only conventional care, according to a recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Interestingly, the study also showed that people receiving simulated acupuncture-toothpicks were inserted instead of needles--also fared better than those receiving conventional care.

What gives?

Researchers wish they knew. But they still can't explain how acupuncture actually works. Only that it has been shown to elicit a positive effect.

"This adds to the growing body of evidence that there is something meaningful taking place during acupuncture treatments outside of actual needling," said Dr. Josephine P. Briggs, director of the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine. "Future research is needed to delve deeper into what is evoking these responses."

"This trial enrolled 638 adults with chronic low back pain who had never had acupuncture and who had rated the "bothersomeness" of their pain as at least a 3 on a 0-to-10 scale.

The participants were randomly assigned to one of four groups: individualized acupuncture, involving a customized prescription for acupuncture points from a diagnostician; standardized acupuncture, using a single prescription for acupuncture points that experts consider generally effective for chronic low back pain; simulated acupuncture, which mimics needle acupuncture but does not involve actual penetration of the skin; or usual care, which is standard medical care.

The patients assigned to any of the three acupuncture groups (individualized, standardized, or simulated) were treated twice weekly for three weeks, and then weekly for four weeks. At 8, 26, and 52 weeks, researchers measured back-related dysfunction and how much symptoms bothered participants.

The researchers found that at eight weeks the individualized, standardized, and simulated acupuncture groups all improved their dysfunction scores significantly more than the group receiving usual care. These benefits persisted for one year, though diminished over time.

However, there was no significant difference between the groups receiving the needle and simulated forms of acupuncture. Thus, while acupuncture was found effective in treating low back pain, neither tailoring acupuncture needle sites to an individual patient nor penetrating the skin appears to be important for receiving therapeutic benefit."

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Why health fitness matters

Exercise is an important part of a lifetime of good health! Exercising is also fun and is something you can do with friends. It also can help you:

  • Feel less stressed
  • Boost your self-esteem
  • Feel more ready to learn in school
  • Keep a healthy weight
  • Build and keep healthy bones, muscles, and joints

There are many ways it can help you, both today and in the future.

Short-term, long-term benefits

Short-term benefits of exercise are the body's responses right after starting. The long-term benefits are improvements that occur over weeks, months, and years from regular exercising or training.

Some short-term benefits include:

* Helps you feel good about yourself
* Relaxes and refreshes your body
* Gives you a break from daily routines and worries

Some long-term benefits include:

* Lowers high blood pressure
* Helps you lose weight and gain strength the healthy way by lowering body fat and increasing muscle
* Lowers risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis (bone loss)

Most people can benefit from exercise. In fact, making physical activity a regular part of your life early on is one of the most important things you can do to improve your health. If you have an injury or think there is a health reason why you may not be able to exercise safely, talk with your doctor before starting a new exercise program or sport. You should also talk with a doctor first if you have:

* Asthma
* High blood pressure
* Heart trouble
* Dizzy spells
* Extreme breathlessness after physical activity
* Arthritis or bone problems
* Severe muscle, ligament, or tendon problems
* Fatigue or feel tired most of the time

Get moving!

Group of friends in a swimming poolThe more time you spend in front of the television or playing video games, the less time you have to be active. Not being active is called sedentary (say: sed-un-tair-ee). Leading a sedentary lifestyle can cause weight gain and even obesity (dangerously high weight), which can lead to type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol levels, and high blood pressure. These three health issues can hurt your heart and make it easier for you to get certain diseases. Make physical activity a regular part of your life. It can help you protect your health!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Best and Worst Brain Foods

If you want to make the right decisions in confusing times—Time to refinance? Explore a different career? Root for the singing spinster or the 12-year-old?—you need to pay special attention to what you eat. That’s right: Your grocery list can help with your to-do list. That’s because the right foods are a kind of clean-burning fuel for your body’s biggest energy hog: Your brain. A study in the Journal of Physiology makes the point that, though your brain represents only 2 percent of your body weight, it makes 20 percent of the energy demands on your resting metabolism.

On our new Eat This, we rounded up the best foods to munch on when you need a mental boost—and found studies that show, in fact, that you can be up to 200 percent more productive if you make the right eating choices. Stock up on these items to halt mental decline, jog your memory, sharpen your senses, improve your performance, activate your feel-good hormones, and protect your quick-witted sharpness, whether you’re 15, 40—or not admitting to any age whatsoever!

Drink This!: COFFEE

Fresh-brewed joe is the ultimate brain fuel. Caffeine has been shown to retard the aging process and enhance short-term memory performance. In one study, British researchers found that just one cup of coffee helps improve attention and problem-solving skills.


Ever heard of the concept “too much of a good thing”? If you OD on caffeine—too many cups, a jolt of caf from the late afternoon onward, a Red Bull cocktail—it can mess with your shuteye schedule. Sleep is reboot time for your mental computer, and you don’t want to mess with it.



Antioxidants in blueberries help protect the brain from free-radical damage and cut your risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. They can also improve cognitive processing (translation: thinking). Wild blueberries, if you can find them, have even more brain-boosting antioxidants than the cultivated variety, so book that vacation in Maine now. The berries will ripen in July.


Here’s a cool tip: if your favorite berries are out of season, buy them frozen. The freezer locks in peak flavor and nutrients, so the berries’ antioxidant capacity is maxed out. Those pale, tough, and expensive off-season berries usually ripen on a truck, rather than on the bush, so they’re nutritional imposters compared to the real thing.

For more smart shopping tips, point your grocery cart to THIS story and learn how to pick the most delicious and nutritious while controlling your waistline!



If the Internal Revenue Service picks you for some up-close-and-personal auditing, you’ll want to be on your toes when they vet your deductions list. So put salmon or mackerel on the grocery list. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fishes are a primary building block of brain tissue, so they’ll amp up your thinking power. Salmon is also rich in niacin, which can help ward off Alzheimer’s disease and slow the rate of cognitive decline.


Not all fats are created equal: Beware foods high in saturated fats, which can clog blood vessels and prevent the flow of nutrients and blood to the brain. Ice cream is not a brain-health food.



The oil in the dressing will help slow down digestion of protein and carbs in the salad, stabilizing blood-sugar levels and keeping energy levels high. Build your salad on a bed of romaine and spinach for an added boost in riboflavin, and add chicken and a hard-boiled egg for more energizing protein.

For other tips on how to build the perfect salad, check out the Eat This, Not That! ultimate salad selector.


MIT researchers analyzed blood samples from a group of people who had eaten either a high-protein or a high-carbohydrate breakfast. Two hours after eating, the carb eaters had tryptophan levels four times higher than those of the people who had eaten protein. The tryptophan in turkey is one of the reasons you crawl off for an afternoon nap after Thanksgiving dinner. So watch what you gobble.



Scientists in Slovakia gave people 3 grams each of two amino acids—lysine and arginine—or a placebo, and asked them to deliver a speech. Blood measurements of stress hormones revealed that the amino acid-fortified guys were half as anxious during and after the speech as those who took the placebo. Yogurt is one of the best food sources of lysine; nuts pack loads of arginine.

Not That!: SODA

A study from the American Journal of Public Health found that people who drink 2½ cans of soda daily are three times more likely to be depressed and anxious, compared with those who drink fewer. So Mountain Dew is a Mental Don’t.



The scent of peppermint helps you focus and boosts performance, according to researchers. Need to reach Chicago before nightfall, and you’re stuck in traffic around Cleveland? One study found that peppermint makes drivers more alert and less anxious.

Not That!: CANDY

Sugary foods incite sudden surges of glucose that, in the long term, cause sugar highs and lows, leading to a fuzzy state of mind. So you’ll need to avoid all the attention-busting sugar bombs on this list of the 20 most sugar-packed foods in America.


Leafy greens—arugula, chard, spinach—are rich sources of B vitamins, which are key components on the assembly line that manufactures feel-good hormones such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. According to a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, a lack of B6 can cause nervousness, irritability, and even depression.


White chocolate isn’t chocolate at all, since it contains no cocoa solids. So it won’t stimulate the euphoria-inducing mood boosters like serotonin, as real chocolate does. Grab the real thing, the darker the better. More cacao means more happy chemicals and less sugar, which will eventually pull you down.



Flax is the best source of alphalinoleic, or ALA—a healthy fat that improves the workings of the cerebral cortex, the area of the brain that processes sensory information, including that of pleasure. To meet your quota, sprinkle it on salads or mix it into a smoothie or shake.

Not That!: ALCOHOL

This one’s obvious, but worth mentioning anyway. A drink or two can increase arousal signals, but more than that will actually depress your nervous system. This makes you sloppy, not sharp.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Weather Radio Now Numbers 1000 Transmitters!

NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR) is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information directly from the nearest National Weather Service office. NWR broadcasts official Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Working with the Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) Emergency Alert System , NWR is an "All Hazards" radio network, making it your single source for comprehensive weather and emergency information. In conjunction with Federal, State, and Local Emergency Managers and other public officials, NWR also broadcasts warning and post-event information for all types of hazards – including natural (such as earthquakes or avalanches), environmental (such as chemical releases or oil spills), and public safety (such as AMBER alerts or 911 Telephone outages).

Known as the "Voice of NOAA's National Weather Service," NWR is provided as a public service by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), part of the Department of Commerce. NWR includes 1000 transmitters, covering all 50 states, adjacent coastal waters, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the U.S. Pacific Territories. NWR requires a special radio receiver or scanner capable of picking up the signal. Broadcasts are found in the VHF public service band at these seven frequencies (MHz):

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Understanding the Design and Symbolism of the U.S. One Dollar Bill

Although symbols are open to many interpretations, we believe the following information offers some historical insight (and some undocumented perceptions) about the design and meaning of some of the images on the one dollar bill. The explanations and interpretations that appear below were verified by the Truth or Fiction website, and predominantly (except where noted otherwise) reflect the official interpretations of the United States Treasury Department and the United States Department of State, the official keeper of the United States Seal.

Take out a dollar bill and study it.

The one dollar bill you're looking at first came off the presses in 1957 in its present design. According to the U.S. Treasury Department, that is when the motto, "In God We Trust" started being used on paper money. It was in use on coins long before that.

This so-called paper money is in fact a cotton and linen blend, with red and blue minute silk fibers running through it. It is actually material. We've all washed it without it falling apart. A special blend of ink is used, the contents we will never know. It is overprinted with symbols and then it is starched to make it water resistant and pressed to give it that nice crisp look.

If you look on the front of the bill, you will see the United States Treasury Seal. Although some claims have been made that the scales represent the need for a balanced budget, the Treasury Department has little to do with whether the budget is balanced, since that is actually handled by congress. The U.S. Treasury Department indicates that the balancing scales actually represent justice. In the center, some people believe there is a carpenter's T-square, a tool used for an even cut. But that image is actually a chevron with 13 stars representing the 13 original colonies. Underneath is a key that is intended to represent a symbol of authority.

If you turn the bill over, you will see two circles. The two circles reflect the two sides of the Great Seal of the United States. Before the adjournment of the Continental Congress on July 4th, 1776, a committee was appointed to develop a seal for the United States. The committee was Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson, three of the five men who had drafted the Declaration of Independence. They were merely the first committee, however. It took six years, the work of two additional committees and a total of 14 men before a final version of the Great Seal was approved. The final proposal, as accepted by Congress, was submitted on June 13, 1782, by Charles Thompson, Secretary of Congress. He brought together some of the recommendations of the three committees, their consultants, and artists.

If you look at the left hand circle, you will see a Pyramid. This pyramid was not a part of the proposals for the Great Seal until the third committee, and it was not suggested by Jefferson, Franklin, and Adams. Notice the face is lighted and the western side is dark. Although there is no "official" explanation for the shading, some interpret it as a reflection that our country was just beginning and had not begun to explore the West or decided what we could do for Western Civilization.

The Pyramid is UN-capped, which may signify that our country was not yet finished. The unfinished state of the pyramid was intentional, and Charles Thompson, in his remarks to congress about the symbolism on the Great Seal, said the pyramid represented "Strength and Duration." Inside the capstone you have the all-seeing eye, and ancient symbol for divinity. Although Franklin's committee did not suggest a pyramid, it did originate the suggestion of the eye. However, the term "the all-seeing eye" was never officially used when describing it. The Franklin committee wanted the seal to include a reflection of divine providence and discussed a variety of themes including the Children of Israel in the Wilderness.

"IN GOD WE TRUST" is on this currency. The Latin above the pyramid, ANNUIT COEPTIS, means "God has favored our undertaking." It was Franklin's belief that one man couldn't do it alone, but a group of men with the help of God could do anything. The Latin below the pyramid, NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM, is interpreted to mean "a new order for the world." At the base of the pyramid is the Roman Numeral for 1776.

If you look at the right-hand circle, and check it carefully, you may notice that with only slight modifications it is the Seal of the President of the United States. It also appears on every National Cemetery in the United States, the Parade of Flags Walkway at the Bushnell, Florida National Cemetery, and is the centerpiece of most heroes' monuments. On the Great Seal, the eagle faces the talon holding the olive branch. The eagle on The Presidential Seal faced in the opposite direction-toward the talon holding the arrows until 1945, when Harry Truman had it redesigned to face the olive branch as well.
No one knows for certain what the symbols mean. But although there is no explanation of the imagery of the eagle in the official records, most historical references to the bald eagle indicate that it represents something of uniquely American origin. One of the original design proposals for the Great Seal featured a small crested white eagle, which is not uniquely American, but this was later changed to the uniquely American Bald Eagle. An unsupported interpretation of the inclusion of the Bald Eagle is that it could also represent victory and independence, because the eagle is not afraid of a storm, is strong and smart enough to soar above it, and wears no material crown.

Also, notice the shield is unsupported. Charles Thompson said it denoted that the United State of America ought to rely on their own virtue. The shield consists of red and white stripes with a blue bar above that represents Congress. The colors are taken from the American flag and officially the red represents hardiness and valor, the white represents purity and innocence, and the blue, vigilance, perseverance, and justice. In the Eagle's beak you will read, "E PLURIBUS UNUM", meaning "one nation from many people."

Above the Eagle you have thirteen stars representing the thirteen original colonies. Again, we were coming together as one. Notice that the Eagle holds an olive branch and arrows in his talons. The official meaning is that the olive branch and the arrows "denote the power of peace and war." As noted previously, the design shows the eagle facing the olive branch. This was the opposite of the the Presidential Seal, which showed the eagle facing the arrows, until President Harry Truman had it redesigned to face the olive branch in 1945."

Some feel that the number 13 is an unlucky number. You will usually never see a room numbered 13, or hotels or motels with a 13th floor. But the significance of the number 13 in U.S. history is very strong. The number 13 as used on many U.S. symbols (the stripes on the flag, steps on the Pyramid, 13 stars above the eagle, 13 bars on the shield, 13 leaves on the olive branch, 13 fruits, and 13 arrows) all represent the beginning of our country, as established by the thirteen colonies. But it should also remind us of the importance of the "13th Amendment". And you can, and should, be reminded of the history of this country each time you look at a one dollar bill.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Swine Flu Facts, Precautions and Safety Tips

What is Swine Flu?

Swine flu is a type of virus. It's named for a virus that pigs can get. People do not normally get swine flu, but human infections can and do happen. The virus is contagious and can spread from human to human. Symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.

Swine Flu (H1N1) is a type of influenza (flu) virus that causes respiratory disease that can spread between people. Most people infected with this virus in the United States have had mild disease, but some have had more severe illness. The symptoms of swine flu (H1N1) in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu.

Spread of this H1N1 influenza virus is thought to be happening in the same way that seasonal flu spreads. Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing of people with influenza. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose. Infected people may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 7 or more days after becoming sick. That means that you may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick. There are steps you can take to protect your family and to know when to seek medical care.

Prevention tips

(1) Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

(2) Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.

(3)Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

(4) If you get sick with flu, it is recommended that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.

(5) Staying home from work or school if you are sick.