Minggu, 29 Januari 2012



January 25, 2012

Spare a thought today for Australian women who have breast implants.

They're worried that the procedure their doctor told them was "normal, everyday and low risk" has turned out to be anything but.

They fear they may get cancer.

Why? Because it turns out their implants might be filled with the Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP) brand which have been found to contain industrial-grade silicone.

"Industrial". A far cry from"beautiful”or "erotic”.There's nothing sexy about cancer.

The women who have had reconstructive procedures after breast cancer surgery must be feeling especially alarmed. After the roller coaster of diagnosis and survival, they are no longer on safe ground.

How many women in Australia have implants? See, that's the thing. No-one knows.

Here in Australia in 1996 (that's 16 years ago!) the Australian Comprehensive Medicine Association ( now known as the Australasian Integrative Medicine Association … not to be confused with the well known, AMA) held a conference in Sydney on "Implants and Human Health".

It concluded:

*That the refusal of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons to participate was to be deplored and condemned.

*That there should be a National register of plastic surgeons which detailed their training and accreditation – with provision for peer review.

*That all stakeholders – manufacturers, doctors and consumers – be informed about the need to promote the highest standards of care and continuing education for all plastic and aesthetic surgeons.

*That the establishment of an appropriate independent body to create and develop such standards, and ensure their adoption, was of highest priority.

Their Number One recommendation?  

*Establish a national registry of women who receive implants so that problems arising from implants could be traced to the women who received them.

None of these resolutions found favour.

It’s only now that the  Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons is preparing to record  every breast implant patient, their surgeon and the type of operation conducted.

Taking credit for one of  the first registrys in the world?

When they could have done it almost two decades ago?

Give us a break! We didn’t come down in the last D-cup.

We are now 30 years too late to be having this discussion when someone you know is suffering.

Over to Dr. Rhian Parker who writes this, as commissioned for readers of The Hoopla:

Breast Implants: What are the Risks?

Anecdotally getting breast implants seems to be very popular among Australian women. We don't really know how many women get implants, because there is currently no register for recording this information. We have a rough idea of how many implants we import but that's about it. The recent publicity about the PIP (Poly Implant Prosthèse) breast implants has re-ignited the debate about how safe implants are and what the other risks associated with breast implants might be.

Are silicone implants safe?

It is a bit surreal for those of us who remember the law suits that were brought against the Dow Corning in the 1980s and 1990s when around 400,000 women worldwide were involved in class actions about silicone breast implants produced by that company.

Claims linked the implants to breast cancer, auto-immune diseases and neurological problems. The problems said to be associated with silicone implants led to protracted legal proceedings in a number of countries and the filing for bankruptcy by Dow Corning.

In 1999 the Institute of Medicine (Institute of Medicine Committee on the Safety of Silicone Breast Implants, 1999) reported that they could find no evidence that silicone breast implants were associated with any disease. However, the report did note that there was a high incidence of more localised complications which included implant rupture, infection and silicone leaking through the nipple or skin.

Significantly, the report noted that there was a concern that women who had silicone breast implants had not been informed about potential risks associated with those implants and that risk of local complications were understated. One woman who had implants said:

…they started going hard and misshapen, there was a number of operations but there was no way they were going to get any better. I couldn’t lie face down. It was too painful to lie on them. I decided to have them removed…. (from Women, Doctors and Cosmetic Surgery: Negotiating the 'Normal' Body, Rhian Parker, Palgrave Macmillan, 2010)

Here we are 13 years later with a similar controversy but with a different company producing the implants. So what is in these implants that may cause problems?

Source: http://id.she.yahoo.com/new/http://thehoopla.com.au/breat-implants//

Acupuncture May Boost Pregnancy Success Rates (1/27/2012)

Acupuncture May Boost Pregnancy Success Rates (1/27/2012)

Acupuncture May Boost Pregnancy Success Rates (1/27/2012)

Acupuncture May Boost Pregnancy Success Rates

Centuries-old therapy can help men and women alike with fertility issues, experts say.

By Serena GordonHealthDay Reporter
FRIDAY, Jan. 27 (HealthDay News) -- When a couple is trying to have a baby and can't, it can be emotionally and financially draining. But help may be available in an unexpected form: acupuncture.

Medical experts believe that this ancient therapy from China, which involves placing numerous thin needles at certain points in the body, can help improve fertility in both men and women.

"Acupuncture has been around for almost 3,000 years. It's safe and there are no bad side effects from it," explained Dr. Lisa Lilienfield, a family practice and pain management specialist at the Kaplan Center for Integrative Medicine in McLean, Va. "It may not be the only thing that is done in isolation to treat infertility, but it helps get the body primed and maximizes the potential effects of fertility treatments."

Dr. Jamie Grifo, director of the New York University Fertility Center and director of the division of reproductive endocrinology at the NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, said that "it's not a panacea, but acupuncture does help some patients have better success."

"It's one non-traditional modality to help manage the stress of infertility, and it does improve pregnancy rates and quality of life in some people," he said.

In addition to relieving stress, Lilienfield said that acupuncture can help increase a woman's fertility by improving blood flow to the ovaries and uterus. This improved blood flow can help thicken the lining of the uterus, increasing the chances of conception.

It may also help correct problems with the body's neuroendocrine system. Acupuncture can help activate the brain to release hormones that will stimulate the ovaries, adrenal glands and other organs that are involved in reproduction, according to Lilienfield. Acupuncture's effect on the neuroendocrine system may also help infertile men by stimulating sperm production, she said.

Studies that have been done on acupuncture and fertility have had mixed results, with some showing benefits and others showing none. Grifo said the differing results may have something to do with the design of the studies. Two areas that appear to be more consistently helped by acupuncture treatments are in vitro fertilization and women who are infertile due to polycystic ovary syndrome.

Two studies -- one in Acupuncture in Medicine and the other in the Journal of Endocrinological Investigation -- found a benefit when acupuncture was used on the day an embryo was transferred into a woman's uterus.

The study from the Journal of Endocrinological Investigation also found that women with polycystic ovary syndrome and men who had infertility issues with no known cause also benefitted from acupuncture.

The actual treatment session involves placing very thin needles at specific points in the body. In Chinese medicine, these points are believed to be areas where a person's "qi" (pronounced chee), or life force, is blocked, according to the U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. In Western medicine, it's believed that the needle placement may release the body's natural painkillers.

Acupuncture is commonly used to treat pain, such as back pain, headache and menstrual cramps, according to the center.

Lilienfield said that acupuncture treatment costs vary, depending on where someone lives and the training of the practitioner. In her center, a treatment costs about $135, and most people receive six to eight treatments for infertility, she said. Insurance reimbursement also varies, she noted, though many insurance companies will pay for acupuncture.

In general, someone younger than 35 is often advised to try to get pregnant for about a year before seeking treatment for infertility. "But, if you're anxious to get going, six months is a reasonable time to wait," Lilienfield said. And women older than 35 probably shouldn't wait more than six months, she added.

Grifo said he doesn't favor waiting that long to seek treatment. "If you are trying to get pregnant and struggling with it, you don't need to wait a year," he said. "And, if you're over 35, don't wait six months to get worked up if it's causing you distress."

Source: http://www.womenshealth.gov/new//news/headlines/658283.cfm/

Senin, 23 Januari 2012


Sometimes Twitter can put something so succinctly you have to applaud: @LOLGOP If a woman repeatedly cheats on her husband, they call her a “whore”. But if a man does it, the GOP calls him a “frontrunner”.


Cartoon via Laprogressive.com

Incredibly, a Fox News commentator has written that Newt Gingrich, Republican presidential hopeful, three times married, might make an even BETTER president because he's an adulterer.

Here's the reasoning by psychiatrist Keith Albow from Fox.com:

"You can take any moral position you like about men and women who cheat while married, but there simply is no correlation, whatsoever – from a psychological perspective – between whether they can remain true to their wedding vows and whether they can remain true to the Oath of Office”.

Albow adds that Gingrich's ability to tell his wives the "incredibly painful truths" that he was leaving them for another woman could make him just as up front with the American people.  He’d be an asset, in fact.

(For more of his jaw-dropping reasoning, see below*.)

While it may be true that infidelity doesn’t impair your ability to govern (the American populace loved JFK), you do have to ask whether the voters would ever want to feel as abandoned and pained as his second ex-wife Marianne Gingrich was when he asked her for an "open marriage".

YouTube Preview Image

She had this to say: “How could he ask me for a divorce on Monday and within 48 hours give a speech on family values and talk about how people treat people?”

A day after he told his wife about his affair with Callista Bisek (now his third wife) in May 1999, the former House speaker delivered a speech titled “The Demise of American Culture” to a group of Republican women in Pennsylvania.

Marianne Gingrich said she rejected her husband's suggestion that they remain married while he kept a mistress. It's been reported that Gingrich asked his then wife “to just tolerate the affair”.

For my part, I reckon if he wanted an open marriage he should have asked first.

Dishonesty is what’s at stake here. It’s not even a charge of him wanting to have his cake and eat it too.

It’s more like: “Crap, I got caught eating this cake. Hey, want some?”

And that’s a cake with bullshit icing.

Source: http://id.she.yahoo.com/new/http://thehoopla.com.au/whore-whitehouse//

'Co-Occurring' Disorders May Explain Change in Autism Diagnosis (1/23/2012)

'Co-Occurring' Disorders May Explain Change in Autism Diagnosis (1/23/2012)

'Co-Occurring' Disorders May Explain Change in Autism Diagnosis (1/23/2012)

'Co-Occurring' Disorders May Explain Change in Autism Diagnosis

As symptoms of other conditions become more apparent, labels may vary, study suggests.

By Jenifer GoodwinHealthDay Reporter
MONDAY, Jan. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Many children with autism also have other developmental or psychiatric conditions, including learning disabilities, speech delays, attention or seizure disorders and anxiety.

According to new research, some of those co-occurring conditions may explain why autism diagnoses often change as children get older.

In a survey by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, more than one-third of parents with children between 6 and 17 years old reported that their child's diagnosis of autism had changed over time.

"We don't know what changed the diagnosis. However, we want to deliver the message that it's important to look at the other coexisting conditions, evaluate them before you make a diagnosis, and also recognize these conditions vary by development age," said study author Li-Ching Lee, an associate scientist in the epidemiology and mental health departments at the School of Public Health.

Autism is a neurodevelopment disorder characterized by problems with social interaction, communication and restricted interests and behaviors.

In the study, researchers used 2007-2008 survey data from the parents of nearly 1,400 children aged 3 to 17 who had received a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), including autism, Asperger disorder -- a mild form of autism, and pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified.

Parents were asked if their child currently had a diagnosis of autism or an ASD, or had had one in the past.

Nearly 26 percent of parents of children aged 3 to 5 reported a change in diagnosis, the researchers said. Nearly 34 percent of parents of children aged 6 to 11 and 35 percent of the parents of 12- to 17-year-olds reported their child was diagnosed with autism at some point but no longer was considered to have autism, the researchers found.

Overall, children with two or more co-occurring developmental or psychiatric conditions were five times more likely than kids with fewer coexisting conditions to continue to have an autism diagnosis, the researchers said.

Kids who had a moderate-to-severe learning disability were 11 times more likely to continue to have an autism diagnosis over time, while kids with a developmental delay were nine times more likely to retain an autism diagnosis, the study authors said.

Researchers didn't look at why certain conditions are associated with a change in autism diagnosis. But some of the symptoms of various development and psychiatric conditions can overlap, so it's possible that having certain ones can lead to a misdiagnosis until the child gets older and their issues become more clear, according to the study.

For example, kids diagnosed with a hearing problem showed a tendency to "lose" their autism diagnosis over time. Researchers speculated that behaviors that initially resembled autism symptoms -- not responding or not engaging -- were later discovered to stem from impaired hearing.

The study is published in the February issue of Pediatrics.

Dr. Joseph Horrigan, assistant vice president and head of medical research for the advocacy group Autism Speaks, cautioned not to make too much of the findings. The children weren't actually followed over time, nor were they actually examined, a methodology that would be the "gold standard" of research.

Because the results were based on a telephone survey, Horrigan said, "I'd be a little cautious about over-interpreting whether this means there's likely to be change in an autism diagnosis or a loss of an autism diagnosis for a given individual."

Nor did researchers look at kids whose diagnosis went the other way -- that is, they were initially not diagnosed with autism but were later diagnosed with it.

However, the findings highlight how often kids with ASD experience other conditions, some of which may be treatable with medications or with educational interventions. These include anxiety, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, epilepsy and learning disabilities.

"Up until the recent past, there's been a tendency to spend most of the time and energy on the autism and the autism diagnosis, and thinking about a treatment package that's keyed directly to the autism," Horrigan said. "What's important here is they are highlighting some of the most common co-occurring disorders, a number of which are readily amenable to treatments."

An estimated one in 110 U.S. children -- many more boys than girls -- has autism, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Source: http://www.womenshealth.gov/new//news/headlines/660958.cfm/

Minggu, 22 Januari 2012


In the midst of life we are in death: of whom may we seek for succour, but of thee, O Lord, who for our sins art justly displeased?


Probably not the cheeriest way to start this extended thought bubble but it came to me the other day while at the funeral of a dear union colleague with whom I had stood shoulder to shoulder in many a battle.

His burning compassion, his desire to fight injustice, to bring dignity to the workplace and try to make people's lives better was what made him such a wonderful man. He loved life, a beer, a cigarette and his family. And he was piss-funny.

But he was not a believer. His funeral was presided over by his cousin, a Catholic priest, who made it clear he was really trying to intercede on his cousin's behalf, no doubt hoping if he put in a good word, then maybe he would be allowed into heaven.

If there were a heaven and it were up to me, my friend would have been first in.

Never did a man live more by the virtues espoused by Christ in the Sermon on the Mount − virtues which are often conveniently overlooked.

The sermon is an inspiring speech about compassion, empathy and the need for a society to reach down and give the less fortunate a hand up to the next level. Not too kind about the rich and famous either. Which maybe explains why it doesn't get much of a run these days. It doesn't sit well with most of the hearty-chested Christians who seem to have read a different book to the one I had driven into my skull during many years of church schooling.

Anyway, there we were in a church saying goodbye to a man who hadn't been in a church, as far I know, for years.

From the opening − Paul Robeson singing the classic trade union anthem, Joe Hill − to the last − The Pogues singing A Fairytale of New York − the service was a tribute to a good bloke. The tributes from people who worked with him and the beautiful speech by his daughter were wonderful.

His was a life that had been lived for others.

I sat and wondered what he would have thought. Was it right to wheel in this atheist?

Would it have offended him? Should the family have put together a secular ceremony that was more in keeping with his beliefs?

Source: http://id.she.yahoo.com/new/http://thehoopla.com.au/funeral-anyway//

Fashion Statement with Suzannah Roach

Fashion Statement with Suzannah Roach

Fashion Statement with Suzannah Roach

The Last

What is it about the January fashion news that gets me so
wound up? The constant reminder that we are all meant to lose weight with the "Celebrity diets that work" headlines? The New Year insistence that we should also
be improving our careers, our houses and updating our wardrobes? Or is it
the models, celebrities and anyone in the media spotlight flaunting it along a
beach in Barbados or St Barts in the Resort
Collections of the luxury brands?

Oh yes! It is actually the Resort Collections that wind me up the most. It's the neon and
monochrome images of the Resort
Collections not the diets or the skinny models who look like they haven't
even eat a slice of turkey never mind the entire box of Quality Street.

So what are Resort
Collections? Officially, they are targeted at the more seasoned traveller
who holidays between November and
February in hot climes, or as Versace once described these customers "our more seasoned jet-setters". These
clothes are aimed at the higher end customer and bearing in mind which designers
focus on this capsule wardrobe it says a lot. Chanel, Dior and Ralph Lauren lead the way, with other more
main-stream clothing designers leaving them to this small, illusive, affluent

However, over the past couple years there seems to have
been more emphasis put on this short-of lived and elitist range. Not only is the higher end of the high
street trying this niche market but the men are getting in on the act too.
The tricky economy is causing retailers to look for that extra market share in
any which way. Resort Collections
are a chance to encourage customers to make that additional purchase, tucked in
between the autumn/winter range usually based on chunky knits and boots, and
the spring/summer range veering towards light summer dresses and sandals.

Retailers now have to move faster to find the pulse.
Consumers, ie you and I, are no longer prepared to see images in a magazine or
on web pages of next season's likely trends, then wait another two to three
months before these fashion items are available to buy. Ready to wear ranges have to be faster and more readily available.
This has led retailers to review their ranges and their manufacturing. Ranges
are changed more regularly and customers are now able to buy something new from
their favourite retailers much more frequently, whether it's high end or high
street retailing.

Whether you like this new shopping mentality or not, there
is no doubt that fast and furious
fashion is here. People's buying habits are becoming more considered since
the economic downturn. There was a stage a few years back where people were
spending without thinking and pushing retailers to be less thoughtful about
their ranges and, some would even say, more cut-throat with their manufacturing
as well as their marketing. Thankfully, retailers as well as customers are
becoming more aware of quality. The general public wants quality, something
that will last. The one-wear mentality
has gone, replaced by cost-per-wear. 

This brings me back to my January exasperation. Resort fashion just flies in the face of
everything that has improved in fashion over the past few years. It has
retained that feeling of decadence and
wealth. Amid economic talk of double-dip recessions, Resort Fashion Collections continue to grow. Luxury brands continue
to grow, albeit thanks to wealthy Russians propping up this market.

Retailers will only provide these additional ranges if
there is a market for them and they are continuing to expand. Everyone likes a
pick me up in these depressing months but there is something about Resort Collections that just seem to
rub the majority of the public's nose in it. While we feeling the pinch from
Christmas (in the wallet and waistband), there are still the select few who
parade down beaches in their Resort
Collections with never a thought about the cost of that extra range that
has slipped in between seasons.

It feels too ostentatious during this uncertain
period. I am all for people celebrating their own success and enjoying
their time off if they have worked hard. But do we really need to see bright neon shorts and bra tops that are so on
trend this Resort season when we are all huddled over a leafy salad waiting for
the decent TV series to start again?

A small
neon green monster seems to be nudging my elbow as I write. Resort fashion fury? Might it just be jealousy? I'll
leave you, dear reader, to decide.

Suzannah Roach

Source: http://womentalking.co.uk/new//topics/fashion/fashion-statement-suzannah-roach-13/

Bipolar Drug May Spur Weight Gain, Thyroid Problems: Review (1/20/2012)

Bipolar Drug May Spur Weight Gain, Thyroid Problems: Review (1/20/2012)

Bipolar Drug May Spur Weight Gain, Thyroid Problems: Review (1/20/2012)

Bipolar Drug May Spur Weight Gain, Thyroid Problems: Review

Overall, lithium still 'treatment of choice' but docs urged to watch for and manage side effects.
THURSDAY, Jan. 19 (HealthDay News) -- A new medical review finds that lithium, a common treatment for bipolar disorder, can lead to weight gain and causes high rates of abnormalities in the thyroid and parathyroid glands.

But the researchers found few signs of a link to skin problems or hair loss, and a suspected connection to birth defects hasn't been proven, according to the report published in the Jan. 20 online edition of The Lancet.

Overall, the findings reaffirm lithium's role as "a treatment of choice for bipolar disorder," two doctors wrote in an accompanying editorial.

While lithium is less popular than it was in the 1970s and '80s as a treatment for bipolar disorder, it's probably the most effective available mood stabilizer, said Dr. Bryan Bruno, acting chairman of the department of psychiatry at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, who was not involved with the review but is familiar with the findings.

"It remains very beneficial, and it's still a first-line agent for bipolar disorder," Bruno said.

But lithium has a variety of possible side effects, noted the authors of the review, led by Dr. John Geddes of the University of Oxford, Warneford Hospital in Oxford, England. Their analysis included 385 studies.

The review found that lithium can cause weight gain, slightly hinder the kidneys' ability to concentrate urine, and cause increased activity of the thyroid and parathyroid glands.

Geddes and his colleagues suggest that doctors talk about the possible side effects with patients and add a blood calcium test to the testing regimen to check for possible hyperparathyroidism.

Bruno said the information about hyperparathyroidism is new, and added that he's likely to order the relevant test more often.

Dr. Michael Berk, a professor of psychiatry at Deakin University in Australia and a co-author of an accompanying commentary in the journal, said that lithium "is still widely used, but perhaps not as widely used as it should be."

Commenting on the review, he stated: "While lithium has potential side effects, these can be managed by understanding and anticipating them, in order to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks."

Source: http://www.womenshealth.gov/new//news/headlines/660880.cfm/

Rabu, 18 Januari 2012

'The Pill' Can Help Ease Period Pain, Study Finds (1/18/2012)

'The Pill' Can Help Ease Period Pain, Study Finds (1/18/2012)

'The Pill' Can Help Ease Period Pain, Study Finds (1/18/2012)

'The Pill' Can Help Ease Period Pain, Study Finds

Many doctors already prescribe oral contraceptives 'off-label' for this purpose, experts note.
TUESDAY, Jan. 17 (HealthDay News) -- There's more evidence that use of the oral contraceptive pill can help ease the cramps, bloating and other pain some women experience during their period.

Some previous research, as well as anecdotal evidence, have suggested that the Pill could help women with painful periods, but a 2009 review of all available research concluded there was limited evidence for such a conclusion.

The new findings, from a Swedish study that has been running for 30 years, show that women who used the combined birth control pill (estrogen plus progestin) suffered less severe pain than women who did not use the Pill, the researchers said.

Their study findings appear online Jan. 18 in the journal Human Reproduction.

Experts estimate that pain associated with menstrual periods accounts for 600 million lost working hours and $2 billion in lost productivity in the United States each year.

One expert in the United States noted that doctors have long used the Pill to help ease such symptoms.

"Many obstetrician/gynecologists have used oral contraceptive pills to help alleviate menstrual pain, otherwise known as dysmenorrhea," said Dr. Jenifer Wu, an obstetrician/gynecologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "This is technically an off-label use of these commonly prescribed medications," she added.

The Swedish researchers noted that younger women typically suffer more from painful periods than older women. And while they did find that symptoms eased somewhat with increasing age, the effects of age and Pill use were independent of each other and use of the Pill had a greater effect overall.

The study included three groups of women who turned 19 in 1981, 1991 and 2001. Each group included 400 to 520 women, who were asked about their pattern of menstruation and menstrual pain, reproductive history, contraceptive use, height and weight.

The women provided this information at ages 19 and 24.

"By comparing women at different ages, it was possible to demonstrate the influence of [the Pill] on the occurrence and severity of dysmenorrhea, at the same time taking into account possible changes due to increasing age," Dr. Ingela Lindh, of the Institute of Clinical Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy at Gothenburg University, said in a journal news release. "We found there was a significant difference in the severity of dysmenorrhea depending on whether or not the women used combined oral contraceptives."

Dr. Steven Goldstein, an obstetrician/gynecologist at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, said: "The study results are not surprising. It's gratifying to see researchers documenting scientifically what practitioners have been seeing for a very long time. The amount of discomfort from a woman's period with a combination birth control pill is a fraction of what it is without the Pill. There is a diminution of pain from the Pill."

For her part, Wu believes that "doctors should include a discussion of all the benefits and risks when presenting birth control options, and the improvement of dysmenorrhea is a significant benefit to oral contraceptive pills."

Source: http://www.womenshealth.gov/new//news/headlines/660778.cfm/

Selasa, 17 Januari 2012


January 16, 2012


LESSON NUMBER 10: You have to teach your kids how to stand up to bullies.

Because I am the father in a normal modern Australian family, there are, of course, very strict rules about "doing what you're told".

I'm not talking about the kids. I'm not even talking about the dog.

I'm talking about me. Doing what my darling wife tells me. About everything. Every day.

Except for one area where I get to be the boss – especially with the kids. Sport.

But we had a shocking and terrible experience recently with our nine-year-old and his cricket team.

The coach (another father of a boy in the team and I'd always suspected a bit of a Bible-basher) gave my son (who bowls left-handed) a really stern lecture in front of the whole team. It went like this:

"God loves you, but you playing left-handed is just plain wrong. You have to change. Left-handed batsmen and bowlers are the reason cricket in Australia has gone so far downhill in the last few years. Play right-handed or you're off the team.”

My son burst into tears. I was absolutely stunned. We got into the car and drove home in silence. He hasn't wanted to go back to play since.

What would you do or say if you were confronted with the same sort of nonsense? Would you swear at the old fool? Or start a fight?

Whatever you think, you would surely agree that the guy must have a screw loose.

And certainly you'd agree that his bizarre ideas about being left-handed are waaaaay out of wack with what about 99.99% of the Australian population thinks.

Well I'm happy to report that this did not in fact happen.

But I'm unhappy to report that the tennis champion, Margaret Court (left, in her tennis hey day), now a Pentecostal minister has been going around to lesbian tennis players saying the same thing to them about their sexual orientation.

She even had the gall to say it to Martina Navratilova.

"Politically correct education has masterfully escorted homosexuality out from behind closed doors, into the community openly and now is aggressively demanding marriage rights that are not theirs to take," Court has said.

In response there are plans for a protest at the Australian Open (where an arena bears Court's name).

Source: http://id.she.yahoo.com/new/http://thehoopla.com.au/giving-margaret-court-serve//

Americans Aren't Getting Any Skinnier (1/17/2012)

Americans Aren't Getting Any Skinnier (1/17/2012)

Americans Aren't Getting Any Skinnier (1/17/2012)

Americans Aren't Getting Any Skinnier

But, the good news is the overall rate of obesity is stabilizing, researchers report.

By Serena GordonHealthDay Reporter
TUESDAY, Jan. 17 (HealthDay News) -- One in three American adults and one in six American children are obese, new government reports show.

That's the bad news. The good news is that over the past 12 years, those rates have remained roughly the same.

"The stabilization of obesity rates has been going on for some time. And, this is not just the U.S. It's happening all over the world," said Katherine Flegal, author of the reports and a senior research scientist with the National Center for Health Statistics at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Even if we can just keep the prevalence rates the same, we're doing well," said registered dietitian Nancy Copperman, director of public health initiatives in the Office of Community Health at the North Shore-LIJ Health System in Great Neck, N.Y.

"It's as if you're on an expressway going 65 miles per hour. You can't suddenly throw the car in reverse. You have to slow down before you can reverse course. Hopefully, what we're doing now is slowing down so we can reverse course," Copperman said.

The reports on the obesity trends -- one on adults and one on children and teens -- are published in the Jan. 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Flegal is the lead author of the study on obesity in adults, and the senior author on the study on obesity in children and adolescents.

The consequences of obesity are far-reaching. People who are obese are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, certain cancers, high cholesterol, liver and gallbladder disease, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis and gynecological problems, according to the CDC.

The estimated medical costs of caring for the obese average about $147 billion a year, the CDC estimates.

In the current study of obesity trends in adults, Flegal and her colleagues reviewed data from the most recent U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), from 2009 to 2010. They compared this data to older adult obesity data from 1999 through 2008. The newer set of data included nearly 6,000 adult men and women. The older set of data included almost 23,000 American men and women.

According to the latest data, the average body mass index (BMI) was 28.7 for men and women. BMI is a rough estimate of a person's body fat. The higher the number, the more overweight or obese a person is. A BMI of 25 to 29.9 is overweight in an adult, and 30 or above is considered obese for an adult, according to the CDC. This means the average American is overweight, but not obese.

However, the rate of obesity was nearly 36 percent for both adult men and adult women in 2009 to 2010. In general, this rate has remained stable since 1999, according to the study.

Several groups did see small, but statistically significant increases in the rate of obesity over the 12-year study period. They included non-Hispanic black women, and Mexican-American women and men, according to the study.

The second study compared the most recent obesity figures (2009-2010) in children and teens from NHANES to obesity trends from six other surveys dating back to 1999 to 2000. The most recent data included 4,111 American children.

In 2009 to 2010, nearly 17 percent of children and adolescents were obese and almost 32 percent were overweight or obese, according to the study. Obesity rates from 2007 to 2008 and 2009 to 2010 stayed the same. The researchers did find an increase in the prevalence of obesity in male children and teens when they compared the most recent figures to 1999 to 2000.

In infants, overweight is measured through weight-for-recumbent length. Almost 10 percent of infants had a high weight-for-recumbent length measurement. But, this rate was the same in 2009 to 2010 as it was in 1999 to 2000, except for one group. Mexican-Americans infants were more likely to have a high weight-for-recumbent length than infants born to other groups.

"We need to think about the populations that are shown in these studies to have a higher prevalence of obesity, and what interventions we can do," Copperman said. "We need to figure out what is different about them, and we may need to tailor prevention specifically to those populations."

Copperman also said it's important to focus on prevention to avoid obesity in the first place. "When you look at this from a public health perspective, it's easier to prevent something than to let it run its course and then try to treat it. Being overweight and obese isn't just a cosmetic thing, it's a disease," she added.

Source: http://www.womenshealth.gov/new//news/headlines/660798.cfm/

Senin, 16 Januari 2012

EDITOR'S CHOICE: BEST READSBy Caroline RoesslerJanuary 16, 2012


The best of the web, all in one place. The Hoopla's editor spends hours trawling the web so you don't have to. You're welcome.

Ricky Gervais would like to nonapologise

A timely New York Times profile of comedian Ricky Gervais in the run-up to the Golden Globes.

Of course, many thought he’d never tread those boards again after his “shock” performance last year but ratings were great so Gervais is back. Hollywood is nothing if not pragmatic.

“To many Americans, last year's Golden Globes appearance by Gervais defined how they know him: as a self-styled provocateur who's not afraid to shock and offend in the service of humor. It's an image he embraces and even lovingly cultivates.”

Anyone who’s watched his stand up work would know that. Gervais pulls no punches; even delights in being as naughty and politically incorrect as he can possibly be.

“If you're chasing after positive reviews, demographic trends or a lucrative box office, Gervais says in the story, "you've already failed." And then he adds … "if your only ambition is to get something off your chest and render it exactly as you wanted it, then you're bulletproof."

Should make for another interesting Globes.


A young woman struggles with oxy addiction and recovery

Welcome to Ladies’ Day, America’s first all-female drug court in Pinellas County, Florida.

It sounds like fun but it isn’t; this is where women who have been charged with prescription drug abuse end up in this part of the world.

This fascinating insight into America’s love affair with oxycodone comes from the Tampa Bay Times: “Prescription drug abuse kills 40 Americans every day. That’s more than a threefold increase in the last decade, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Oxycodone is the deadliest drug of all.”

“Oxy makes junkies out of people who would never buy from a street dealer. It is everyman’s high, heroin in a pill.”

Instead of punishing the women, the Pinellas County court offers them the chance to start over; one woman shares that journey with the newspaper and lets its journalists follow her around for a year. This is the result.


Imran Khan: set to play the innings of his life

For many, Imran Khan remains the playboy cricketer of his younger years. But much has happened since then and now Khan is being hailed by some as the saviour of Pakistan.

“Khan, now 59, appears on the edge of a political breakthrough,” reports this Guardian profile of the politician. “After years in the semi-wilderness, Khan – or “Imran” as he is known in Pakistan – is walking through green fields of mainstream popularity. The former cricketer tops opinion polls. For the first time, powerful and established political figures have begun defecting to his party.”

An interesting snapshot into the making of the man and the state of politics in Pakistan.

Source: http://id.she.yahoo.com/new/http://thehoopla.com.au/edschoicejan13//

Minggu, 15 Januari 2012


In 2008, as the bubble of the world economies burst, 23-year-old California girl Brianna Karp lost her job and the house she rented.

She had no option but to move back in with her abusive mother for a couple of weeks. As weeks turned into months, her hopes for finding a job that paid more than unemployment benefit declined. Her mother's behaviour became increasingly impossible until one night, in a seething rage, she threw her eldest daughter out on the street and Brianna Karp became one of the homeless.

The Girl's Guide to Homelessness is a confronting memoir of a young girl's struggle against the system, her upbringing, and an uncertain future.

It challenges every preconceived notion about what being homeless means. As we start 2012 with whole countries teetering on the brink of financial collapse and more and more people falling victim to the harsh prevailing economic conditions, it seems timely to look at such a deeply moving story.

Brianna Karp spoke to The Hoopla's Meredith Jaffé.

How did you find yourself homeless?

It was a chain of events that spiraled out of control. I was an Executive Assistant in a job I loved but I was laid off in 2008 at the beginning of the recession. It was the first time in my life I had been fired and I was devastated but I thought I'd be okay as I'd never had any trouble finding work before. I moved back in with my family for what I thought would only be a week or two but that was a disaster and, very suddenly, I found myself homeless.

What is homelessness?

The definition I put at the front of the book is this:  Someone who doesn't have fixed, long-term, adequate housing.

There are a lot of assumptions about being homeless; that it somehow says something bad about you as a person like you have a drug problem. But all it means is that you have no safe haven.

Poverty has been criminalised in so many ways. For instance, it is illegal to sleep in a public place and the police will move you on. There are so many rules that effectively make it illegal to be homeless in this country.

The recession is opening people's eyes and now many realize that “this could happen to me”. A large number of people are one or two paychecks away from homelessness. But for others they are quick to label; it's a knee jerk reaction born from their fears.

Has the GFC changed what it means to be homeless?

The GFC has definitely increased the number of homeless people and more and more middle class people are now homeless. The middle class is disappearing in America but that's not to discount people who are homeless because they have mental health issues or drug addiction and simply can't look after themselves.

On top of that, the number of resources available to help such people is limited and it was always important to me that I did not hog resources that should be available to people truly in need.


Jumat, 13 Januari 2012



The reviews are in of The Obamas, an unauthorised, “explosive” book on the first couple’s relationship and how it affects the White House.

The book was written by New York Times Washington correspondent Jodi Kantor, who covered the Obamas for the newspaper during the 2008 presidential campaign and in September, 2009, interviewed them in the Oval Office for the Times Magazine.

In Partners in love and the Presidency in the The New York Times, columnist Connie Schultz says of the book and its author:

“A meticulous reporter, Ms Kantor is attuned to the nuance of small gestures, the import of unspoken truths. She knows that every strong marriage, including the one now in the White House, has its complexities and its disappointments. Ms Kantor also – and this is a key – has a high regard for women, which is why hers is the first book about the Obama presidency to give Michelle Obama her due.”

"The Obamas is full of gossipy tidbits that fuel a narrative about their marriage and how it has shaped the presidency. Public glimpses of their intimacy portray a genuine bond forged by an ambitious man and his equally driven wife. He can be arrogant and self-absorbed, but he strives for her approval. She is his champion and critic, and a fierce guardian of their mutual mission.”

Of her elevation to first fashionista, Schultz says:

“Clothing had become her ‘compensatory pleasure’ for dutifully enduring the public demands of her husband's political career, Ms. Kantor writes. ‘If I have to go, I'm getting a new dress out of it,’ she told neighbors.”

“Now perhaps the most prominent black woman in America, she felt pressure to counter negative stereotypes by telegraphing images of elegance and self-confidence. Instead, she became America's first fashionista during tough economic times for the country.

“Her new image set off repeated bouts of apoplexy among some White House staff members, who weighed in on her choices, albeit indirectly, creating a climate of tension.”

What the book reveals is the extent of the influence the politically astute and passionate Michelle Obama has on her husband and on the administration:

"While I get plenty of good advice from a lot of people during the course of the day," Obama has said, "at the end of each day, it is Michelle – her moral voice, her moral center – that cuts through all the noise in Washington and reminds me of why I'm there in the first place."

What the book lacks, says reviewer David Remnick in State of the Union in The New Yorker, is a richer backstory on previous first ladies and presidential marriages.

“In Hidden Power (2001), a shrewd and entertaining survey of twentieth-century White House marriages, Kati Marton writes that the second-floor bedrooms and sitting rooms of the residence have known constant intrigue, intimacy, rage, and froideur.”

He fills the gap by sharing some of those insights: “Pat Nixon was surely one of the loneliest inhabitants of the White House. Richard Nixon was so flagrantly indifferent to his wife that one of his aides, Roger Ailes, wrote in a memorandum, ‘I think it is important for the President to show a little more concern for Mrs Nixon as he moves through the crowd. At one point he walked off in a different direction. Mrs Nixon wasn't looking and had to run to catch up. From time to time he should talk to her and smile at her."

“The most politically powerful of the modern First Ladies were Nancy Reagan, who controlled personnel and scheduling with the help of an astrologer, and Hillary Clinton, who, in the first year of the Clinton Administration, was given charge of the most comprehensive piece of proposed legislation in decades.”

Source: http://id.she.yahoo.com/new/http://thehoopla.com.au/stateoftheunion//

'Exoskeleton' Helps Paralyzed Stand, Take Steps (1/13/2012)

'Exoskeleton' Helps Paralyzed Stand, Take Steps (1/13/2012)

'Exoskeleton' Helps Paralyzed Stand, Take Steps (1/13/2012)

'Exoskeleton' Helps Paralyzed Stand, Take Steps

More research needed to see if it strengthens muscles, experts say.

By Amanda GardnerHealthDay Reporter
THURSDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Veteran ski patrol member Mike Rhode was speeding down a snowy slope at Hunter Mountain in New York state when his ski unexpectedly popped off.

Rhode, then a member of the ski patrol for 13 years, wasn't able to regain his balance before hitting a fence. Now, tragically, he is paralyzed from the chest down.

But last October, 10 months after the accident, Rhode was able to walk again with the assistance of Ekso, a robotic "exoskeleton" that he and five other testers "wore" on their body during an initial trial, enabling them to stand up and even take steps.

"I was upright for an hour and 10 minutes and was actually walking for 31 minutes," said Rhode, 46. "It was such a positive feeling."

Ekso is one of just a few robotic "exoskeletons" giving paraplegics and quadraplegics something they may never have dreamed of before: the ability to stand and walk on their own again.

With the Ekso that Rhode tested, "the therapist controls the sit-to-stand and moving forward," explains Dr. Steven Kirshblum, medical director and director of Spinal Cord Injury Services at the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange, N.J.

All Rhode had to do was start pushing out of his wheelchair as he had done many times before and the Ekso, as manipulated by the therapist, did the rest.

Kessler, a leader in the field of disability rehabilitation, is one of 10 U.S. organizations partnering with Ekso Bionics to develop clinical versions of the device.

A clinical model is due out "very soon," said Kirshblum. That model will allow the individual patient to control the device, can be for home use and will have the ability to negotiate stairs, he said.

"This will occur via wireless communication between the crutches and the sensors on the exoskeleton, assuring the individual is in the appropriate position and is safe to undertake the movements," explained Kirshblum.

Ekso improves on other exoskeletons in that it doesn't use electrodes to stimulate the muscles. The problem with electrodes, Kirshblum said, is that the energy expenditure to get a muscle to contract is enormous.

With less energy required, Ekso's developers hope users can travel farther on their own.

Right now, Ekso is mainly intended for use in therapy settings, and researchers at Kessler and elsewhere will study its impact on bone strength, muscle, bowel and bladder function, blood pressure and quality of life.

Kim Anderson-Erisman, education director for the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, envisions exoskeletons one day helping other types of patients, such as stroke survivors and people with traumatic brain injury or multiple sclerosis. "Anything that would lead to muscle weakness," she explained.

"This could potentially be something that they could use to help train, train their muscles and strengthen so that they might be able to eventually walk on their own," said Anderson-Erisman.

Of course, lots of research is needed first to see if exoskeletons actually help strengthen the muscles, she added.

Ekso should help people move, but will it prompt neurological recovery?

Kirshblum wasn't willing to say. But whatever its use, the price will have to come down considerably, said Anderson-Erisman.

Kirshblum also wouldn't say how much Ekso will cost, but one estimate put the price at $100,000.

"This would have to be something insurance would pay for and I don't think that's in the immediate future," said Anderson-Erisman.

This year, Kessler is embarking on a clinical trial with Ekso, a trial Rhode hopes to join.

"Hopefully, I'll be able to use it again," said Rhode, who has not used Ekso since October, when he was one of six adults, and the only quadriplegic, to test the device.

"I think it's going to be a great tool for therapy right now, to get people up and walking and weight-bearing," Rhode said. "Until possibly they do come up with a cure, it will keep people's legs strong."

Source: http://www.womenshealth.gov/new//news/headlines/660525.cfm/

Rabu, 11 Januari 2012



I read recently that the daughter of Iran's former president, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, had been sentenced to six months in prison for spreading "propaganda against the Islamic system".

The sentencing of Faezeh Hashemi Rafsanjani, a former member of parliament turned political activist, was the latest move to stamp out potential dissent ahead of elections in March, the report said.

I remember meeting Ms Hashemi in 2000 several months before the Sydney Olympics. She and a colleague were sitting at the back of the audience of an international sports and human rights conference held in Bondi.

They stood out there because they were covered from head to foot in black chadors.

I waited that whole day to interview her for WIN (Women's International Net Magazine), for whom I was Australian correspondent, believing she would have an interesting story to tell.

At the time she was the member for Parliament for Tehran, having received 800,000 votes in 1996. She had also founded the women's newspaper, Zan.

"(My father's) fame and also his name somehow was influential," Ms Hashemi told me at the time. "(But) I personally was well known because of my previous social activities, especially for focussing on women's issues, youth, and also on sport. Most people know me well from this."

She was then the Vice Chairperson of the Iranian National Olympic Committee and Chairperson of the Council for Female Sports of the Islamic Countries and during our interview I learnt she had spent many years pushing for Muslim women to become more involved in sport, both in her native Iran and outside.

She was here in Sydney partly to convince the International Olympic Committee (IOC) organisers to allow Islamic dress during competition, in order to pave the way for Muslim women's participation in the 2000 Olympics.

She believed the role of sport in Muslim women's lives was not just a matter of personal choice but a fundamental human right.

And for this reason she had been lobbying the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to respect the dress codes of Islamic society.

Source: http://id.she.yahoo.com/new/http://thehoopla.com.au/woman//

Car, TV Ownership Tied to Higher Risk for Heart Attack (1/11/2012)

Car, TV Ownership Tied to Higher Risk for Heart Attack (1/11/2012)

Car, TV Ownership Tied to Higher Risk for Heart Attack (1/11/2012)

Car, TV Ownership Tied to Higher Risk for Heart Attack

But getting active during work and leisure hours can lower the odds, study finds.
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 11 (HealthDay News) -- People who own a car and a television tend to be at increased risk for heart attack, a new study finds.

On the other hand, people in developed and developing countries who are physically active during work and leisure time have a significantly lower risk of heart attack, the researchers found.

The findings come from an analysis of data from more than 29,000 people in 52 countries in Africa, Asia, Australia, North and South America, Europe and the Middle East. The study was published online Jan. 11 in the European Heart Journal.

"Until now, few studies have looked at the different aspects of physical activity both at work and during leisure time in relation to the risk of heart attacks," first author Dr. Claes Held, an associate professor at Uppsala Clinical Research Center and the cardiology department at Uppsala University Hospital in Sweden, said in a journal news release.

"Much is already known about the association between physical activity and cardiovascular risk, but what this study adds, among many other things, is a global perspective. The study shows that mild to moderate physical activity at work, and any level of physical activity during leisure time reduces the risk of heart attack, independent of other traditional risk factors in men and women of all ages, in most regions of the world and in countries with low, middle or high income levels. Interestingly, heavy physical labor at work did not protect against heart attacks," Held said.

The data analysis revealed that people who did light or moderate physical activity at work had a 22 percent and 11 percent lower risk of heart attack, respectively, than those who did little physical activity at work. However, heavy physical labor did not reduce heart attack risk.

Compared to those who did little physical activity during leisure time, the risk of heart attack was 13 percent lower for people who did mild physical activity and 24 percent lower for those who did moderate or strenuous activity during leisure time.

People who owned both a car and TV had a 27 percent higher risk of heart attack than those who owned neither a car nor TV.

A higher percentage of people in low-income nations had sedentary jobs and did less physical activity in their leisure time, compared to those in middle- and high-income countries, the researchers noted.

"These differences in PA [physical activity] were most pronounced regarding leisure-time activity," they wrote. "This may partly be explained by differences in education and other socio-economic factors. In addition, this may also reflect differences in culture and in climate." It's less likely that an individual will performing leisure-time physical activity in tropical or hot climate zones than in more temperate areas of the world, they added.

All people should be encouraged to get daily moderate exercise in order to prevent heart disease, the researchers concluded.

"The data have some real-life implications," Held said. One suggestion could be getting lower-income countries more involved in promoting physical activity as their societies start to use more labor-saving devices, he said.

Source: http://www.womenshealth.gov/new//news/headlines/660549.cfm/

Selasa, 10 Januari 2012

January 9, 2012
It was the tip of the nose that did it, and not just for me.

The wife of Democratic New York Governor Eliot Spitzer stood by his side on March 12, 2008, as he attempted to salvage his reputation by resigning from office.

Looking rent to the core of her frail and well-kempt being, she stood quietly as her sexual allure was effectively trashed by her own husband before millions of viewers.

Pale, but keeping it together with what must have taken an iron will, it was just the tip of her nose that give away how utterly humiliated, dejected and betrayed she felt.

So poignant was the picture, it inspired the television law drama series The Good Wife (left) which replayed that interview with a cathartic reprise.

She smacks him one out of sight of the cameras and didn’t it feel good.

Men like Spitzer make us collectively angry.

He not only abused public funds – some $80,000 – to pay exhorbitant escort fees, and he caused distress to the very people he is charged with protecting from the slings and arrows, etc.

I saw the carcass of the Spitzer marriage being flung atop a mass of corpses too high to see over.

I needed to step back to get perspective, and once I did I saw a heap that, like most heaps, looked like a monumental waste.

While it’s no surprise the call-girl has done very nicely for herself with a column in the New York Post after a music single release and a shoot for Playboy, Spitzer’s wife, Silda Wall released a book Rough Justice: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer.

In it she said: "The wife is supposed to take care of the sex. This is my failing; I wasn’t adequate."

Bettina Arndt would agree.

It is men who suffer a "sex-starved" subsistence in heterosexual monogamous marriage.

Women deprive men, women dismiss men, women shame men about their natural urges. Women are, all over again, Female Eunuchs and God’s Police.

Whatever sexuality we managed to reclaim during the sexual revolution, we are now content to consign to history and, worse, impose our desultory lack-lustre bed-death on the men we love.

Source: http://id.she.yahoo.com/new/http://thehoopla.com.au/monogamy-its-over-lets-talk-it//

Alzheimer's Med Seems Ineffective in Those With Down Syndrome (1/10/2012)

Alzheimer's Med Seems Ineffective in Those With Down Syndrome (1/10/2012)

Alzheimer's Med Seems Ineffective in Those With Down Syndrome (1/10/2012)

Alzheimer's Med Seems Ineffective in Those With Down Syndrome

Patients taking memantine had more serious adverse events than those given placebo.
TUESDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- A drug commonly used to treat patients with Alzheimer's disease does not appear to be effective for people older than 40 years who have Down syndrome and Alzheimer's, according to a new study.

Although previous animal studies of the Alzheimer's drug, memantine, showed promising results in mice with Down syndrome, this new study of people with Down syndrome aged 40 and older revealed the opposite, the researchers reported in the Jan. 9 online edition of The Lancet.

Memantine was given to 88 people with Down syndrome for one year, while another 85 patients received a placebo (the "control" group). Some of the participants had Alzheimer's and some didn't.

The investigators found that the brain function of the people in both groups declined equally.

Serious adverse effects were experienced by 11 percent of the group that took the medication. Meanwhile, 7 percent of the placebo group had similar adverse events. Five people from the medication group died because of these events, compared to four in the control group.

"Memantine is not an effective treatment in this group of patients. We believe that this robust finding will have implications for clinical practice and research strategy in the future. Specifically, therapies that are beneficial for people with Alzheimer's disease are not necessarily effective for the treatment of cognitive impairment or dementia in the context of Down syndrome," the study's author, Clive Ballard, a professor at the Wolfson Centre for Age-Related Diseases at King's College London, said in a journal news release.

Because nearly 40 percent of people with Down syndrome over 60 years of age are diagnosed with dementia, the study authors pointed out that more research is needed to determine the best way to treat dementia in these individuals.

"Further investment is urgently needed to develop treatments that are effective in this important group of people," the study's co-author, Anne Corbett, research manager at Alzheimer's Society (U.K.), stated in the news release.

Source: http://www.womenshealth.gov/new//news/headlines/660512.cfm/

Jumat, 06 Januari 2012

January 3, 2012
LESSON NUMBER EIGHT: Kids need screens (not just the sun kind).

Madonna with David and Mercy in Malawi.

Can we have a cup of tea and a quiet chat about Madonna?

Now I do not want to diss Madonna. I spent too much time in my formative years trying to pick up girls in nightclubs while doing silly dances to her music to complain about anything she does.

Except for one thing.

Madonna has banned TV in her house altogether.

Evidently, when they heard about the TV ban, her two adopted kids, Mercy and David, had to be physically restrained from jumping on the first flight back to war-torn, poverty-stricken Malawi.

As British writer Helen Pidd remarked, it's unclear exactly what Madonna's children do while every other kid is enjoying The Simpsons, "but the smart money is on something joyless and painful like cross-country running".

Now, Madonna probably has several hundred full-time nannies to do most of the hard work of parenting.

On the other hand, you and I stumble through our days from dawn to around 9pm trying to juggle the hundred small jobs that go into being a parent.

That being the case, hands up anyone who hasn't got down on their hands and knees and thanked the gods for an afternoon at the cinema or an evening in front of the TV for giving you some badly needed peace and quiet?

And come on! These sluggish slow-paced school holidays drag on for six full weeks of long languid summer days – each one full of lethargy and the drowsy drone of cicadas and cricket.

So I say it's time to stop feeling guilty about movies and TV. I say it's time to take a stand against Madonna!

It's time to take a stand against all those psychologists in their lab coats who wag their stern fingers at us and tell us how we are rotting out kids’ minds with computer games and TV and how we must be Really Terrible Parents (yes, it's so serious they have to use capital letters) who are using screen entertainment as a way of avoiding parental responsibility.

In particular, it's time to take a stand against organisations like Young Media Australia.


ADHD Drug Shortage Pushes Parents to Seek Substitutes (1/6/2012)

ADHD Drug Shortage Pushes Parents to Seek Substitutes (1/6/2012)

ADHD Drug Shortage Pushes Parents to Seek Substitutes (1/6/2012)

ADHD Drug Shortage Pushes Parents to Seek Substitutes

But experts say medication switches must be done carefully.

By Serena GordonHealthDay Reporter
FRIDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- If the current shortage of some drugs used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has left you searching for something else for your child to take, experts suggest you choose a substitute carefully because the effects of these medications can vary widely.

For example, "generics can sometimes be less bioavailable [how much of the drug is absorbed into the bloodstream], and that can make it harder to get an exact dose match between medications," explained Dr. Eric Hollander, director of the Autism and Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum Program at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.

"If the dose is too high, sometimes kids can get more withdrawn or weepy. If it's too low, they can't get adequate control of their symptoms during the day, and they can get a rebound later in the day. The new medicine may wear off faster. It's also not easy to switch from extended-release formulas to immediate-release," Hollander said.

The driving force behind the shortage is a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) policy that sets limits on the manufacturing of ADHD drugs, to limit the supply of these drugs to people who might use them illegally, according to a report by The New York Times. In some cases, drug companies manufacture both generic versions of ADHD drugs as well as the more expensive, branded versions, which can limit choices even further.

"This is the unfortunate result of well-intentioned policies combined with free market forces. It's a very substantial issue, and one that's affecting some families more than others," said Dr. Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York in New Hyde Park.

Whatever the reason behind the shortage, several drug companies that produce amphetamine products, including Adderall, have reported shortages to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. And, companies producing various forms of methylphenidate are also seeing shortages.

Both Hollander and Adesman said they've had reports from parents that Adderall and its generic equivalent have been harder to get. They both suggest that parents call from pharmacy to pharmacy in their area to see which one might carry the needed medication.

If you can't find any pharmacy that has the medication you're looking for, let your child's doctor know. If the medication isn't available, they can first try another medication in the same class of medications. For example, Adderall is an amphetamine derivative. Vyvanse is another medication in that class. However, some insurance companies may balk at paying for medications that aren't on their preferred drug list, and you may have to pay a higher co-pay.

If there's a shortage of generic methylphenidate, the brand-name versions (Concerta, Focalin, Ritalin, Metadate and Daytrana) may be available.

There are also non-stimulant medications for ADHD, such as Intuniv, Kapvay and Strattera, that may be an option, Adesman said.

Dr. Michael Hobaugh has more experience than he'd like with having to switch children's ADHD medications. Most of his patients are on public insurance, which means he has to follow the state prescription drug formulary for these patients. And that formulary often changes several times a year.

"Sometimes, the switch is easy. It's very patient-dependent. Usually there is a similar product that's close enough, but some kids have trouble," said Hobaugh, who is the chief of medical staff at La Rabida Children's Hospital in Chicago.

"It can be a difficult trial-and-error process to figure out what works for some patients," he said. "Their lives aren't uniform from day to day. Is it a side effect of the medication, or does the child have a virus or stress, or maybe didn't get enough sleep? And trying to assess what the ideal medicine is for school readiness is difficult because there's so much you can't control. This introduces another factor you can't control."

There have been several ADHD drugs that have been difficult to get in the past year, Hobaugh noted, often because they're manufactured only by one company. That means if there's a production issue, there's no other manufacturer to fill in the gap.

"And, with generic drugs there may not be a whole lot of profit, so they're not a priority," he added.

Along with discussing the shortage with your child's doctor, Adesman suggested that parents can call or write the FDA, or a local government representative, and let them know that they're having trouble getting necessary medication.

"Patient advocacy is always important," he said. "It's the squeaky wheel that gets the grease."

Source: http://www.womenshealth.gov/new//news/headlines/660423.cfm/

Minggu, 01 Januari 2012

New Year Style Resolutions

New Year Style Resolutions

New Year Style Resolutions

With the New
Year just around the corner it's time to take a fresh look at your wardrobe and
make some style resolutions. So forget about the celebrity diets and the
extreme exercise regimes, and make some resolutions that are sure to help you
look better and feel better in 2012.

Be Sale Savvy

With the January
sales this year predicted to be bigger and better than ever, the temptation to
snap up an armful of bargains may prove irresistible. But sales are the time
when we are likely to make the biggest style mistakes, ending up with another
sequin dress that will get worn once then shoved to the bottom of the wash
basket, and a pair of must-have heels that are so painful they will never leave
the house.

Preparation is
the key to successful sale shopping, make a list of things you need or want
before you head out and you're less likely to end up with a pile of unworn
purchases – if you wouldn't wear something when it cost £100 are you any more likely
to wear it now it's £50? My top tip for sale shopping is to up-shop. So if you
normally shop at Zara and Topshop why not try visiting Whistles and Cos during
the sales, you'll probably be spending a similar amount but should end up with
better quality items that will look good for longer.

Size Matters

Not the size of
your body, but the size of the clothes you buy. We've all picked up a dress in
a size smaller than we really are in the hopes that we may either lose enough
weight to squeeze in to it, or it may miraculously make us look smaller just by
wearing it - but we all know that we won't and it doesn't!

In fact dressing
in the wrong size clothing is the quickest way to make you look bigger than you
are, so this year make the resolution to only buy clothes that fit and flatter
your figure. Whether that's a size 6 or a size 16 you will look instantly
better wearing clothes that are the right size for you.

Find your Signature Style

If you make one
style resolution this year it should be to work on finding your signature
style. Whatever your age, shape or budget, everyone has a look that suits and
defines them best, from sophisticated and ladylike to vampy and vintage, what
you wear can be a fun and creative way to express who you are and what you love.

A signature
style is not about dressing the same all year round or sticking slavishly to
one particular look, it's about experimenting with different colours,
silhouettes and fabrics to find a style that enhances your assets and brings
out your personality. If you're struggling to find your signature style take
inspiration from your favourite celebrities - do you admire the chic and
feminine look of the Middleton sisters, or do you aspire to the sexy and fun
style of popstars like Rihanna and Beyonce? Take elements from these
celebrities and develop a look that is 100% you.

Be Braver with Fashion

Part of the key
to finding your signature style is to be brave and try wearing things that you
may not usually consider. It's easy to get stuck in a bit of a fashion rut and keep
buying the same items over and over, but you don't have to make a radical style
change in order to achieve  a fresh new

If you normally
wear mini-skirts to elongate your legs, try a pair of tailored, high-waisted
shorts with opaque tights instead, it will make your legs look endless whilst
giving you a more sophisticated and modern edge. Or if you're clinging to a
uniform of skinny jeans and riding boots this winter, a more feminine and
fashion-forward option would be a knitted maxi skirt and suede ankle boots.

Clear out the Clutter

Having a serious
clear out is often top of people's new year's resolutions list, but this year
make your wardrobe top priority for a thorough de-clutter. Anything that you
haven't worn in the past year (apart from vintage heirlooms or your wedding
dress!) should go, as it's unlikely you will wear it next year either.
Unflattering items, or clothes that you no longer fit in should also be tossed,
it will only make you feel bad to look at a rail full of clothes that you've

By stripping
your wardrobe back to just the items you really love and regularly wear, you
will get a great idea of what pieces you need to buy, if any, and will probably
find it easier to put together  your
outfits in the morning. Some of the most stylish women in the world are big
believers in the capsule wardrobe, so don't be afraid to be ruthless with your
clear out – just remember to take all your unwanted items to the local charity
shop so someone else will benefit from your hard work.

Carrie Greene

Source: http://womentalking.co.uk/new//topics/fashion/new-year-style-resolutions/

A Life-Saving Lesson That Took Decades to Learn (12/30/2011)

A Life-Saving Lesson That Took Decades to Learn (12/30/2011)

By Dennis ThompsonHealthDay Reporter
FRIDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors diagnosed Ronda Keys with type 2 diabetes when she was 19 years old and a student at the University of Maryland.

Now 38 and living in Montgomery Village, Md., Keys had been suffering the classic symptoms before her diagnosis -- fatigue, extreme thirst, frequent urination. "That prompted me to just go to the doctor," she recalled. "That's when I found out."

But the news wasn't completely out of left field. Her father was diabetic, as were her grandmother and several aunts and uncles.

"There's a long line of it in my family," Keys said. "It wasn't really a surprise once I was told that I had it, but I guess I had never thought of myself as getting it, especially that young."

Nonetheless, Keys admits, she took the diagnosis with a small amount of resentment. "I was a little taken aback," she said. "I didn't do anything to go out and get this. I thought it was kind of unfair. You're just told you have this, and oh, by the way, there's no cure."

Keys's doctor put her on oral medication and encouraged her to exercise more and eat a healthy diet. But she was young and at college and found it hard to reconcile her diabetes treatment with her lifestyle.

"The issue for me was just being different from my friends," she said. "I didn't want to be the odd ball out. I just wanted to fit in with everyone else."

Those college years established a pattern for Keys. She would half-heartedly pursue self-treatment for her diabetes, and then get serious about it when she began to feel really sick. "I would try for a while, and then I would fall off the wagon and stay off," she said.

Things continued that way until three years ago, when Keys was hospitalized with a serious infection. Her body didn't respond to treatment, which she was told was due to her diabetes.

"My blood sugar was fighting against the medicines the doctors were giving me," she said. "I was very, very sick. As a result, I had to go on insulin, which I had been fighting."

Keys was hospitalized for 14 days. The insulin helped save her life, but she hated having to resort to it. "It just felt like failure," she said. "Insulin equals failure. You didn't do what you were supposed to do, and now you have to take insulin."

That feeling didn't last long, though.

"I found out it was the best thing that could have happened to me," Keys said. "I love to travel, and I'm very active, and I didn't feel well. I was getting sick. I was having trouble with my kidneys. After going on insulin, it was an immediate turnaround for me."

Since then, Keys also has become more serious about her exercise and diet, getting to the gym three times a week and practicing moderation when she eats.

"I'm doing a lot better than three years ago," she said. "I feel better. I'm able to do everything I want to do. I'm very active. Diabetes is not stopping me now."

Source: http://www.womenshealth.gov/new//news/headlines/657409.cfm/