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Friday, August 31, 2007

You Are Loved

The first track from Josh Groban's new upcoming album is available!

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SODIUM: The Silent Killer?

In 1966 I lost my dear Father to a cerebral hemmorhage. His stroke was very sudden and left the whole family in total shock. He was a young man, 53 years of age and in good health all of his life, other than the fact that he did have hypertension (high blood pressure). He always had frequent headaches, yet we always thought they were from the pressures of raising a large family and the stresses of working seven days a week. As I look back on my Father's hypertension, and having hypertension myself now for many years, and having regular headaches myself, I often wonder whether something could have been done back then to prevent his early demise. I would often note even as a young girl that he would use large amounts of salt on his food. I have analyzed over the years that whenever I have eaten anything salty I wind up with an excruciating headache, and I find it so totally agonizing. Now I have not cooked with salt for many years, nor do I put salt on any of my food items when eating, all well knowing that I will wind up with an exploding headache...but gosh there is sodium in just about everything these days.....just check out some food items in your cupboard and you will see what I mean. I still notice if I have cooked certain food items which already contain sodium, especially canned items I still get headaches. It almost can't be helped. But I must say I have become ever more vigilant in checking labels for sodium content as I have an increasing awareness of the risk factors in using salt or sodium related products. I must admit that I am always concerned about a stroke and the medical factors that can lead to a stroke, so I hope today's post might behoove others to consider some of the factors. Increased intake of sodium is a known risk for strokes and other medical ailments. The following is an article you might find helpful, and possibly the following links might prove to be a benefit to you and hopefully will answer some of your questions about hypertension, strokes, and other related disorders. Increased cholesterol and triglyceride levels are also a great risk and can also cause strokes as well as heart disease. I have also taken a very new interest in these two levels myself as I have recently been told that both of my levels were well out of the normal range. So I am also including some links here that will again hopefully answer some of your questions about cholesterol and triglycerides and the risks of stroke and heart disease.


Modest reductions in salt intake can dramatically lower heart disease risk, new research shows.
In an extended follow-up of two rigorously designed trials, people who reduced their dietary sodium while participating in the studies saw 25 percent reductions in heart disease and stroke risk 10 to 15 years later, compared with people who ate their usual diets.
Most people in the intervention arm of the studies -- where participants reduced the sodium in their diet -- lowered their sodium intake by 25 percent to 30 percent, researcher Nancy Cook, ScD, of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, tells WebMD.
"This was not salt restriction, it was salt reduction," she says. "These people ate normal diets, but we taught them how to look out for hidden salt and avoid it."
5 Tips on Reducing Salt IntakeEating less sodium can help lower some people's blood pressure. This can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Sodium is something we need in our diets, but most of us eat too much of it. Much of the sodium we eat comes from salt we add to our food at the table or that food companies add to their foods. So, avoid adding salt to foods at the table and use these 5 tips to reduce your salt intake:
Take stock of the sources of salt in your diet, such as restaurant meals, salt-based condiments, and convenience foods. Some of these are really loaded with salt.
Read the labels when shopping. Look for lower sodium in cereals, crackers, pasta sauces, canned vegetables, or any foods with low-salt options.
If you think your meals are high in sodium, balance them by adding high-potassium foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables.
Ask about salt added to food, especially at restaurants. Most restaurant chefs will omit salt when requested.
If you need to salt while cooking, add the salt at the end; you will need to add much less. The longer the food cooks, the more the salty flavor is muted and at the end, the final taste is on the top layer.

Sodium and Health

Heart Disease: Mayo Clinic

Hypertension: Mayo Clinic

High Cholesterol Risk Factors

High Triglyceride Risk Factors

The Symptom Checker

Diagnostic Blood Test Normal Ranges: Merck Manual Home Edition

Remembering Princess Diana: 7/1/61-8/31/97

Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.
~ Diana Spencer

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Taking A Bite Out Of Crime

Taking a bite out of crime is the first thing this precious 8 lb. police dog pup has on her mind these days. Meet Midge the friendly drug sniffing chihuahua-rat terrier and her colleague Brutus. Midge has gone down in history as the smallest drug sniffing police dog in the world in the Guiness Book of World Records...and she means business as usual. See her video HERE as she combs an area seeking out drugs. Don't let her size fool you....she is just as well thought of in the police business as her friend Brutus above.

Here is an article about Midge!

By Michael O'Mara

Drug sniffing chihuahua is now in the Guinness Book of World Records. We first introduced you to little "Midge" ten months ago when she was just a puppy. Since then, "Midge" has charmed even the most cynical residents of Geauga county, including her partner in police work, "Brutus" the sheriff department's big German Sheppard.
"Midge" has now passed her test and recieved her certification as a real K-9 drug detector in the state of Ohio.
Her boss and trainer, Geauga County Sheriff, Dan McClelland, will take the small dog anywhere he has to go. They are ready in the event that the department needs "Midge" to go to work.
The 8 pound chihuahua/rat terrier mix has now set the world record as the smallest drug dog on the planet. The Guinness Book of World Records sent the Sheriff's Department the certificate to recognize the achievement.
"Midge is the little dog, the underdog, said Sheriff McClelland. "It's the fact that a small dog is doing big things that so impressive."
The tiny dog has become a huge celebrity. Open up a tabloid magazine like the National Examiner and there is "Midge" getting the star treatment.
"Midge" has shown up in newspapers and magazine articles as far away as Switzerland and China. Some of her fans even send her gifts like a camoflauge vest, hand painted portraits, and scarves.
Chat with residents in dowtown Chardon, Ohio and almost everybody knows the story about the small dog.
Said resident, Linda Inghram, "everybody has seen little Midge."
Vickie Intihar said "Midge is just too cute to resist".
Glen Miller, the editor for the Geauga County Maple Leaf newspaper, said "Midge" became an immediate sensation.
Said Miller, "Midge is small and he's lovable. Oops, I mean "she". Midge is just so different."
The little crime fighting dog is so popular that she has her own trading cards. The Sheriff's Department has already handed out five thousand "Midge" cards.
It's very clear, that "Midge" is a star. Fan mail for "Midge" can be sent to:

Breast Cancer Awareness

"One must always be aware, to notice.....even though the cost of noticing is to become responsible. "

~Author Thylias Moss

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The above is a comprehensive resource directory and index on anything relating to Breast Cancer. Please take time to become more aware about Breast Cancer. Early detection can save a life!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Love Recipe

Photo By: Babi Santander


2 Hearts Full of Love
2 Heaping Cups of Kindness
2 Armfuls of Gentleness
2 Cups of Friendship
2 Cups of Joy
2 Big Hearts Full of Forgiveness
1 Lifetime of Togetherness
2 Minds Full of Tenderness


Stir daily with Happiness, Humor and Patience. Serve with Warmth and Compassion, Respect and Loyalty.

~ Author Unknown

Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Dog Day Afternoon

Sometimes I find it hard to keep the lid on things, and today is just one of those days where I just have to let it all out. To begin with, let me say that I have been an avid dog lover all my life, and I still consider myself one even after reading of a news event which involved the mauling of a woman in Washington by two Pit Bull Terriers while she slept in her bed. This was not the first story of malicious dog attacks against people children, and other animals that I have read recently, but only one of many that have taken up in the news lately. There have been several attacks right here in New Zealand recently and I have read several also having taken place in America and other parts of the world....again just recently. It has become more and more of a problem that some pet owners just DO NOT know how to care for their pets, and perhaps also there are not enough rigid laws intact to make it necessary for owners to provide adequate habitats for their pets to assure the public of their personal safety even while out taking a walk. I am not blaming the breed of dog in particular as I know vicious attacks have been perpetrated on individuals and animals by many other breeds other than just Pit Bull Terriers. But when it gets to the point that an individual is maimed for life or mauled to death, this is when we must ask ourselves, " Are we a mature and responsible human being, capable of owning and caring for a dog and adhering to the obligations that should be required for such?" And let's ask the politicians who legislate whether there are laws in our local areas which require dogs to be adequately domiciled when they are not on a lead or a restraint.

Just recently I had taken a walk down to the dairy about a block away from where I live and I was followed all the way home by a Pit Bull Terrier myself. I tried to stay "cool and collected" but quite frankly I was extremely uncomfortable, not knowing what this dog had on its mind. I tried not to show my fear, but I must admit I had the chills running up and down my spine. When I arrived at my home the dog stopped also and thought nothing of doing its business all over our lawn.....but all the while he did not take his eyes off me for one minute. I casually walked to the front door and got in without a major problem, but I really felt that it was an infringement on my rights. I called the Dog Control Center and was actually amazed that they were so UNSYMPATHETIC. The owner eventually found their dog the same day which is another story for another time, but the interesting thing was that I had met the owners who wound up at my front door looking for the dog. As it had turned out the Dog Control Center used no judgement but gave the owners my address and they came knocking at the door. They had just prior contacted the Dog Control Center themselves looking for the dog. They wound up giving me some cockamamie story that someone snuck into their yard during the night while they were sleeping and let the dog out. I've heard it all! Anyway I believe in animal rights but I believe in people and children's rights first and foremost. Let your voice be heard, and if you see strays wandering in your neighborhood call the Dog Control Center or the Police. You just might be instrumental in saving a life!

Here is the story I read yesterday of the incident involving the two Pit Bull Terriers in Washington.

Pit Bulls Break Into Home, Mauls Woman

Tue Aug 21, 11:27 PM ET

Two pit bull terriers broke into a house through a pet door Tuesday and attacked a woman in her bed, mauling her badly, a Pierce County sheriff's spokesman said.
The woman was able to grab a gun and try to shoot the dogs, then break away from the attack and lock herself in her car, where she called 911, sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer said.
The woman, who was not immediately identified, was taken to a hospital in Tacoma, where she was listed in serious condition.
Officers planned to talk to the dogs' owner.
The pit bulls also killed a neighbor's Jack Russell terrier, which entered the house during the attack, Troyer said.
"The thought is that the Jack Russell heard noise in the neighbor's house, came in and was attacked by the dogs," Troyer said.
Firefighters responded first, locking the dogs in the house, treating the woman and calling for an ambulance.
Officers "had to pepper spray and fight the dogs until they were detained. We almost had to shoot them on site," Troyer said.
The dogs were taken to a Humane Society and will probably be destroyed, he said.
It was not immediately known why the dogs entered the house, whether the woman had dogs of her own or what set off the attack.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Bussing On Shaky Ground

Yesterday while I was on the bus going into our local town for a medical appointment a 'Special Needs' person boarded the bus a couple of stops after I had gotten on. After a few minutes this gentleman realized he had boarded the wrong bus and approached the driver to tell him that he was on the wrong bus. The bus driver immediately started growling a carrying on in a very cruel and inhumane way with this individual, and even went so far as to yell at the passenger saying, "What do you think I am, a mind reader?" The bus driver just wouldn't let up and carried on in a very bastardly manner towards this man. I happened to be sitting in the front seat of the coach and observed the whole scene and heard every word. I actually sat there frozen in shock as I just could not believe my ears. I wanted so badly to confront the driver, but he was driving, and I did not want to get caught up in an argument or do anything to jeopardize the rest of the passengers on the bus while the bus was in motion. The poor man was just so apologetic to the driver for his having gotten on the wrong bus, but this sure did not seem to sway the driver and the driver's tone increased and he continued ranting on to this passenger who was just so beside himself by now. He let the passenger off a couple of stops later and continued to grumble to himself. I decided not to say a thing, yet I would wait until I got home after my appointment to call and lodge a complaint against the driver with the bus company. The bus company staff were extremely sympathetic about the situation and assured me that they would take every step to make sure that this would never ever happen again with any of their bus operators. Although I felt better having gotten it all off my chest, it just made me realize why it is no wonder there is no peace in this world. So many people are just not ready to reach out to others in a kinder and gentler way. If we cannot contribute to love and peace in our own back yards, then where is it to begin for goodness sake. There was no excuse for the manner in which this person was treated by this public servant, and whether it be a 'Special Needs' person or not I still find it appalling that so many people are treated so poorly in this world. If everyone on this planet would just reach out to one person with a gift of kindness and endearment, then maybe....just maybe we could realize a lot less tension in this world. Life is too short to be growling and finding fault with those near to us and to those afar.
Let peace begin today....let it begin with a loving attitude toward our neighbors!

Monday, August 13, 2007

A New Zealand Teen Making A Difference

While watching the evening news last night, I heard the news anchor woman relate the story of a New Zealand teen, Hugh Campbell from Waikanae Beach, who several months ago had broken his neck and injured his spine in a diving accident. He was the Wellington breast stroke champion swimmer for the region, and a hopeful for the Olympics. I was so touched with the presentation about Hugh, and so admired his candor and positive attitude, and his courage to face his future in a wheelchair. He will surely be a role model to many young teens, and a fine example to many others of how important it is to be hopeful in achieving one's goals. View the video interview with Hugh Campbell HERE.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Galactic Suite

I have realized lately that I have had "outer space" on my mind a lot and seem to be focusing some of my posts on items of this nature, but I promise not to make it a habit, as there are so many other things of interest to me that I would like to share as well. Today I happened to be reading an article about "The Galactic Suite" which will be the first hotel planned in space, and is expected to be available for visitors around the year 2012. The above photo is an artist's rendering of what it is expected to look like. I understand that it has been calculated that there are approximately 40,000 people in the world who could afford this chance of a lifetime, at a mere cost of $4 million for a few days in space. So if you have been considering a vacation in an "airy" location with lots of "space", and the meager cost of a few million wouldn't catch you blinking an eye, then feast your thoughts on 5 years from now when jaunting into space for a long needed vacation might become a reality. Afterall, we only live once and we may as well make life worthwhile. Click on the image for the full story.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Up....Up.... And Away!

Barbara Morgan: Teacher In Space

It was a beautiful evening at Kennedy Space Center for the launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavor. It roared into a flawless liftoff at 6:36 p.m. EDT. STS-118 is the 22nd shuttle flight to the International Space Station. It will be an 11-14 day mission and will continue construction by delivering a third starboard truss segment to add to the Space Station.
The Astronaut Flight Team consists of the following members. U.S. Navy Commander Scott J. Kelly will command the seven-person crew of STS-118. U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col Charles O. Hobaugh will be Endeavour's pilot. Veteran astronauts Richard A. Mastracchio and Dr. Dafydd (Dave) Williams of the Canadian Space Agency will be returning to space for their second missions. Barbara R. Morgan, Tracy E. Caldwell, Ph. D., and Benjamin Alvin Drew round out the crew as mission specialists. Barbara Morgan had been chosen as the backup candidate for the NASA Teacher in Space Program in July 1985. From September 1985 to January 1986, Barbara Morgan trained with Christa McAuliffe and the Challenger crew at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas. Following the Challenger accident, Morgan assumed the duties of Teacher in Space Designee. From March 1986 to July 1986, she worked with NASA, speaking to educational organizations throughout the country. In the fall of 1986, Morgan returned to Idaho to resume her teaching career. She taught second and third grades at McCall-Donnelly Elementary and continued to work with NASA’s Education Division, Office of Human Resources and Education. Her duties as Teacher in Space Designee included public speaking, educational consulting, curriculum design, and serving on the National Science Foundation’s Federal Task Force for Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering. Barbara Morgan's Bio here, and you can find additional crew profiles here.
If you did not have an opportunity to view the launch today you can view the full video at this NASA website. You can also view more Space Shuttle Endeavor photos here.

Remembering The Challenger Crew

The Challenger Astronaut Team Bios

The Space Shuttle Pogram has always held a great deal of significance with me since its inception. In the early 80's I was living in Clear Lake City, Texas within walking distance of the Johnson Space Center. During my time there I had a once in a lifetime opportunity to be involved with NASA in an "air sickness" study which was contracted out by NASA to a French Team. It was just a ten week program, but it gave me an opportunity to meet some wonderful people, and to learn so many exciting things about the Space Program, particluarly The Space Shuttle. I always enjoy viewing the launches from Kennedy Space Center on my computer. For those that might not necessarily be aware, there is a website at NASA here where you can not only view the launches, but keep in daily touch with all the events of the goings on of the Space Station as well. For sightings of The Shuttle and also the International Space Station (ISS) in your own backyard visit this website.

Monday, August 6, 2007

A Gift From The Sea

Recently I had been watching a wonderful documentary on television about spectacular marine life in our oceans and seas, some species of life which had only been recently discovered. I was amazed to see such wonders of this underwater world in such vibrant colors, shapes and forms. It made me realize that perhaps I have taken so much for granted just living within a stone's throw from the sea close to where I live. Since I enjoy beautiful photography very much, I embarked on an Internet search to find out more about some various underwater curiosities, particularly jellyfish and in doing so, I found myself more and more captivated with the articles I read about these wonderful sea creatures...although I might not feel so beguiled should I ever encounter one while taking a swim.

I came across this stunning photograph above of this Olindias Jellyfish. This is a photograph taken by a famous wildlife photographer, Frans Lanting, photographed at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California. This jellyfish is approximately 6 inches in diameter. I think this is one of the most sensational photographs I have ever observed. This photograph is also available in a desktop wallpaper for your computer here if you should have an interest. You can also find out more about this notable photographer, Frans Lanting at his official website here You might also enjoy listening to A Lyrical, Multimedia 'Journey Through Time, a collaboration between Frans Lanting and famous American composer Philip Glass at National Public Radio.
So perhaps the next time you are taking a stroll along the beach, you might like to stop and ponder on some of the fascinating wonders beneath the sea that we might not normally think about. There is so much out there yet to be uncovered, and just when we thought everything possible to be discovered had been discovered, another life form unfolds and embraces our imagination.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Reaching Your Dream Takes Courage

Reaching Your Dream Takes Courage

Courage is admitting that you're afraid and facing that fear directly. It's being strong enough to ask for help and humble enough to accept it.
Courage is standing up for what you believe in without worrying about the opinions of others. It's following your own heart, living your own life, and settling for nothing less than the best for yourself.
Courage is daring to take a first step, a big leap, or a different path. It's attempting to do something that no one has done before and all others thought impossible.
Courage is keeping heart in the face of disappointment and looking at defeat not as an end but as a new beginning. It's believing that things will ultimately get better even as they get worse.
Courage is being responsible for your own actions and admitting your own mistakes without placing blame on others. It's relying not on others for your success, but on your own skills and efforts.
Courage is refusing to quit even when you're intimidated by impossibility. It's choosing a goal, sticking with it, and finding solutions to the problems.
Courage is thinking big, aiming high, and shooting far. It's taking a dream and doing anything, risking everything, and stopping at nothing to it make it a reality.

~ Caroline Kent ~

A Dream Fulfilled

Click Above For Detailed Story

In April of this year the famous British Physicist, Stephen Hawking lived his dream of flying in zero gravity aboard NASA's Boeing 727. Stephen Hawking, author of A Brief History Of Time, and noted for his lifetime research and studies about Black Holes in space fulfilled his dream of what it is like to experience weightlessness in space. Professor Hawking suffers from Lou Gehrig's Disease , also known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), and has been confined to a wheelchair for many years, but he never let his confinement stand in the way of authoring several books, contributing to the world his theories about the Cosmos, and his research into theoretical physics, together with an extensive programme of travel and public lectures and living a lifetime dream of enjoying weightlessness in space. Visit Stephen Hawking's official website to learn more about his life and achievements.
The weightless experience here!