New Anti-Smoking Ads Warn Teens 'It's Gay To Smoke'
I have always been fascinated with these islands but more importantly, with their inhabitants. There are few other, similar places, on this earth that are homes to so many unique and sometimes bizarre creatures.
As time has passed, it's obvious to me and many others that the Galapagos are something we need to preserve and more importantly, to respect. Not just the islands themselves but the inhabitants as well. Then, there are the others who throw themselves on the island and let there own, personal greed plot their course.
Yes it makes sense to me that the attraction is sometimes far too great to turn your back on. But just how many people really think about the ongoing human impact that they themselves have on these islands. I don't think that they should stop "tourism" on the islands but they should scale back the amount of people each year and the amount of time allotted for visiting. Watching a documentary on the islands on TV or on DVD may not be the best "personal experience" but at the very least it will still leave you with unforgettable sites and images that only a god could create.
And speaking of the islands and in honor of Charles Darwin (he discovered them), here is an article that I recently read that may help "those" who have allowed themselves to be so completely selfish and disrespectful. How can we possibly show such disregard to those that came, long before us. - ron beck
|By David Shukman |
Science and environment correspondent, BBC News
On the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth, the director of the Darwin Foundation says there is only a decade to avoid an ecological disaster.
In a BBC interview, Gabriel Lopez calls for limits on the level of visitors.
Last year, the number of tourists reached a record of 173,000, a four-fold increase over the past 20 years.
The rising numbers have led to a boom in the construction of hotels and a surge in imports from mainland Ecuador.
At the harbor in the main town of Puerto Ayora, I watched dock workers transfer crates and sacks of rice and maize from cargo ships on to barges for the journey ashore.
The airport on Baltra island, which serves the archipelago, sometimes handles half a dozen flights every day - the number has doubled in the last eight years. The aircraft cabins are sprayed before landing but evidently some insects are getting through.
One of the most aggressive is the fire ant - tiny but with a powerful sting - an example in its own right of the evolutionary principle of survival of the vicious.
In a field outside the village of Bellavista, insect specialist Henri Herrera scraped away leaf litter to reveal a seething mass of the tiny red creatures.
"They're getting everywhere - it's a disaster. It could even mean that for some species the ants stop evolution."
Other threats include a parasitic fly which attacks young finches and mosquitoes - which could serve as a vector for diseases which are known to exist on the mainland but have not yet arrived here.
The government of Ecuador has drawn up an action plan to curb this menace. Criticised by the UN agency UNESCO - which in 2007 listed the Galapagos as a world heritage site in danger - the authorities are now introducing tougher measures.
The director of the Galapagos National Park, Edgar Munoz, accepts that invasive species pose the most serious risk to the islands but says the government's actions will tackle the threat.
Earlier conservation efforts - to cull several islands of feral goats which eat the plants giant tortoises depend on - have proved successful but some experts warn that eliminating particular insects will be far harder.
For Ecuador, a developing country, the Galapagos provides a major source of revenue. But a balance will need to found if the islands are to preserve what makes them so special.
Published: 2009/02/11 22:18:18 GMT
© BBC MMIX
I recently read this article and wanted to share it..
Pain and Multiple Sclerosis
Many options are available to treat pain in patients with multiple sclerosis.
By Gina Shaw
Reviewed By Brunilda Nazario
When most people think of multiple sclerosis, they think of a disease that causes symptoms of weakness and motor problems -- not pain.
"About 10 or 20 years ago, there was a saying that MS causes all kinds of trouble but doesn't cause pain, which really isn't true," says Francois Bethoux, MD, director of rehabilitation services at the Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis Treatment and Research at The Cleveland Clinic.
"In a national survey of more than 7,000 MS patients, 70% of them had experienced some kind of pain, and at least 50% were experiencing some kind of pain at the time of the survey," Bethoux says.
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society reports that almost half of all people with MS are troubled by chronic pain.
MS pain differs from the kind of pain you might get with a headache, a joint injury, or muscle strain. "It's often more diffuse, affecting several areas of the body at a time. It often changes over time, getting worse or better for no apparent reason. It tends to fluctuate a lot," says Bethoux. "People often find it hard to describe: It's sometimes described as like a toothache, other times like a burning pain, and sometimes as a very intense sensation of pressure. It's very distressing for patients because they have a hard time explaining what their pain experience is."
So what's causing this baffling, complex, often debilitating pain? Bethoux describes it as "an illusion created by the nervous system." Normally, he explains, the nervous system sends pain signals as a warning phenomenon when something harmful happens to the body. "It's a natural defense mechanism telling us to avoid what's causing the pain," he says. "But in MS, the nerves are too active and they send pain signals with no good reason -- they're firing a pain message when they shouldn't be."
Some of the most common types of pain experienced by multiple sclerosis patients include:
Acute MS pain. These come on suddenly and may go away suddenly. They are often intense but can be brief in duration. The description of these acute pain syndromes are sometimes referred to as burning, tingling, shooting, or stabbing.
Trigeminal neuralgia or "tic doloureux." A stabbing pain in the face that can be brought on by almost any facial movement, such as chewing, yawning, sneezing, or washing your face. People with MS typically confuse it with dental pain. Most people can get sudden attacks of pain that can be triggered by touch, chewing, or even brushing the teeth.
Lhermitte's sign. A brief, stabbing, electric-shock-like sensation that runs from the back of the head down the spine, brought on by bending the neck forward.
Burning, aching, or "girdling" around the body. This is called dysesthesia by physicians.
There are also some types of pain related to MS that are described as being chronic in nature -- lasting for more than a month -- including pain from spasticity that can lead to muscle cramps, tight and aching joints, and back or musculoskeletal pain. These chronic pain syndromes can often be relieved by anti-inflammatory drugs, massage, and physical therapy.
Anticonvulsant Drugs Offer Relief
For the most part, however, acute MS pain can't be effectively treated with aspirin, ibuprofen, or other common OTC pain reliever medications or treatments. "Since most MS pain originates in the central nervous system, it makes it a lot more difficult to control than joint or muscle pain," says Kathleen Hawker, MD, an assistant professor of neurology in the multiple sclerosis program at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas (UTSW).
So what's the alternative? In many cases, the treatment of choice is one of a range of anticonvulsant medications, such as Neurontin and Tegretol. "The main thing that links them all up is that we're not quite sure how they work -- either for seizures or for pain," says Hawker. Since the FDA hasn't officially approved these anticonvulsants for the treatment of pain, they're all being used "off-label," but Neurontin, for example, is prescribed five times more often for pain than for seizures, says Hawker.
"In the vast majority of patients, these medications do work," says George Kraft, who directs the Multiple Sclerosis Rehabilitation, Research, and Training Center and the Western Multiple Sclerosis Center at the University of Washington in Seattle. "There's a problem, though, in that most of them can make people sleepy, groggy, or fatigued, and MS patients have a lot of fatigue anyway."
The good news: Most pain in MS can be treated. There are more than half a dozen of these anticonvulsants, and they all have a slightly different mechanism of action and different side effects. The side effects of these drugs can also include low blood pressure, possible seizures, and dry mouth. They can also cause some weight gain.
"Some drugs are so similar to each other that if one drug in the class fails, another is unlikely to work," says Hawker. "That's not the case with these. Which one you use for which patient depends on the side effect profile."
Finding the right anticonvulsant is all about trial and error, says Bethoux. "We'll start them at the lowest possible dose of one medication and increase it until the person feels comfortable or until side effects aren't tolerable. If one medication doesn't work, we'll try another," he says. "It's a process that can take a long time, but it's the only way we have to do this."
Campaigners have urged US homosexuals to stay away from work for a day in protest at recent bans on gay marriage in some states including California.
They were asked to "call in gay" and do community work for a day instead, and also to avoid shopping in order to show gay people's economic clout.
It was unclear how many people actually skipped work but organisers said they had boosted the profile of gay people.
Connecticut and Massachusetts are the only states to allow gay marriage.
In another development, a commission in New Jersey recommended that the state should allow same-sex couples to marry rather than just enter into civil unions.
The state commission argued that same-sex couples could not achieve equality with heterosexual couples if their legal status was restricted to civil unions.
Shopkeepers in the Castro, the heart of San Francisco's large gay community, said it was mostly business as usual on a chilly Wednesday morning, AFP news agency reports.
"It seems to be about the same - the cold weather has brought about a little bit of slowness on the streets but it's mostly normal," said Don Forfang, a barber at Louie's Barber Shop.
California legalised gay marriage in May but 52% of voters backed a move to ban it in a referendum on 4 November.
Florida, Arizona and Arkansas also approved bans on gay marriage.
Sean Hetherington, the Los Angeles campaigner behind Wednesday's protest, said the idea was to raise awareness of gay anger at the ban, referred to in California as Proposition 8.
"We think the reason why Prop 8 passed is because there wasn't enough visibility," he added.
Finally, a new voice and a promise of greater things to come. the honesty kills me - ron beck
link to video of Hometown Glory via YouTube, click image
Yes that seems to be the question of the day. The fact is, I want to help a friend so I need to relocate. I also want to help myself. And for all other reasons, just read a piece from a newer Annie Lennox track " Love Is Blind"...fills in the blanks quite nicely!
Tired of being down on luck
Tired of being beaten up
Tired of being so screwed up
Tired of all this desperation
Tired of all this mad frustration
Tired of all the aggravation
Sick and tired of devastation
Give it some consideration
Tired of being so screwed up…
It's pretty much official, Sh'Kronda will be fluffing pillows, brewing coffee and sh-akin a few tail feathers in our very own capital city, Harrisburg!
Details to follow...
Yes, it's Christmas in July!
To celebrate, we are offering free shipping (within the U.S. only) on all total purchases of just $10 or more!
Visit the ebay listings from July 1 threw July 31, 2008 to take advantage of this cheery deal!
Yes, it's Christmas in July!
To celebrate, we are offering free shipping (within the U.S. only) on all total purchases of just $10 or more!
Visit the ebay listings from July 1 threw July 31, 2008 to take advantage of this cheery deal!
The only thing we truly have in common on this is, knowing how important it is to keep a positive attitude. What we don’t have in common is the experience. With that said, after spending five years “looking on the bright side” I’m constantly disappointed in the progression of the disease within my body and the sometimes, select blind ignorance I face from co-workers, friends & family. I’ve also come to realize that sometimes people don’t ask because they either don’t want to know, are afraid of social discomfort or they for what ever reason, don’t want to accept the reality that I have a incurable, debilitating disease called Multiple Sclerosis.
What you’ll find in the following paragraphs, is a no holds bared account of a slimmed down version of my life with my MS. I’ve also not “polished” or “padded” anything to protect your feelings. This isn’t any Disney production and it certainly could be described as a dark piece. What ever “color” you choose, it’s still the truth and that’s the fact.
If you want to face the truths with me, then by all means, read on and I love you truly for that. If that’s “too hard” for you, imagine what its like for me 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And after that, don’t bother thinking “he looks ok” or “he doesn’t seem to be too sick” or “my friend has MS and he doesn’t seem that bad”, because you are only fooling yourself and certainly not helping me in anyway.
I don’t want anything from you; I can only hope you might respect my situation. If not, cheers then I guess!
I remember it took several months, from the start, to reach a diagnosis. The time spent getting test done, doctor and hospital visit seem endless, the financial burdens are heavy and the waiting factor plays a heavy toll on you emotionally and later, physically. Over the years medical science has yet to have one particular “test” for MS. In most cases the diagnosis is based on several factors: your symptoms, various test results and an opinion from a Neurologist. To say “having patience” is important is certainly an understatement. The word courage seems more applicable over the long term. But most importantly, from my own personal experience, is that you must first accept it. Once you have done that the next thing is educate yourself daily, pay attention to your self and learn to understand that at some point you won’t be able to control yourself as you have in the past.
Now that we’ve sort of addressed the initial disappointments I faced, then began what I refer to as my “wonder years”. Those are the seconds and or minutes of each and everyday, I spend wondering what will I feel or what won’t I feel? How will I be or how I will not be? Should I plan something or should I wait and see. If I’m feeling worse will they understand or will they be angry? Will I be able to handle the day or not? How long would my will to fight last? What if there isn’t a “wonder drug” around the corner? How will I deal with the denial from friends and family? How will I afford to care for myself? Will I be able to keep a job? Will my short term memory last, especially when I need it? Should I go to the movies and risk my legs failing me? What’s the next thing I’ll drop in the dish drainer? What if both my arms get heavy and numb while showering, how will I hold my soap? What happens the next time I loose my balance if I’m home alone? Since this disease weakens me emotionally and sometimes hinders me medically, how will I be able to be strong for my family when they need me? Will I ever be able to afford all the necessary medicines to lessen my symptoms? How tired will I be today? Will I ever have another “healthy” relationship? And if so, how will my E.D. affect it? When is the next Migraine? How many more nights will there be when I have to bite down on the sheets to muffle my screams of pain? Will I ever have a normal, drug free period of sleep? When is the next time I can have a normal bowl movement? When is the next time I loose my feelings in my feet while at a stop sign or red light? How long will I be able to walk on my own? How quickly is my eye sight going to dissipate? Will my friends be able to “handle this” and or me? And for how long? When will it start making it painful for others who don’t deserve more of the same? What happens when my family really needs me? What’s tomorrow mornings pain meter reading? How long is my employer going to overlook my daily tardiness? Where will the extra money come from when I loose time at work, each week? I can’t work a normal 40 hours and don’t qualify for partial disability, now what? I can only afford a few of the prescriptions, which ones should I choose? Seeing the neurologist quarterly costs me about $300 out of pocket and there isn’t a cure? What if I forget to wait the correct amount of time and accidentally take a prescription and mix it with another? Will I remember to make the call, show up on time, pay the bill on time, write the letter, the persons name, how to get back, why I went in the first place, the correct answer or procedure. Will I be able to remain calm, focused, speak correctly, react accordingly? Lets take a deep breath and skip anything else on this part.
What things have changed? I have a lot more muscular pain than before. I have more crappy days than “ok” ones. I feel “sickly” everyday. My short term memory has lessened. My eye sight continues to show decreasing signs of weakness and clarity. I don’t leave the apartment much. I don’t call people on any kind of regular basis. I am very slow on email responses. It takes three times as long to get “ready” after waking up. I no longer get any real, good rest unless its drug (prescription) endued. I experience a loss of feeling on various spots on my body, often. I am more sensitive to temperature than ever before. I am much more tired, more often (now daily) than ever before. I come “undone” within a matter of seconds. When faced with multiple challenges, I generally fail and or make the wrong decision. I forget the names, sometimes, of the people I work with. Experience several migraines a year, which are very destructive and debilitating. I am late for work, everyday. I experience many, uncontrollable bowl movements. I watch TV, daily. I think about dying. I’m poisoned with anger that won’t go away. I have become, selfish. I’m unreliable. I can’t stay focused on too much, for very long. I use the walking cane more often. I have more, lower back pain daily, than ever before. If I sit or lye for more than one hour I generally feel signs of pain in my legs, immediately. A straight, two hour sit is very risky. I drop more things, more often. Especially painful are the irreplaceable, collectibles that I cherish. I fall asleep, sometimes, sitting on the toilet. I don’t always get the luxury of “normal” bowl movement or urination process. My sight is very blurry at times. I pace the apartment, regularly. I can’t seem to keep anything in place, for very long. I care less for a great many things. Moments now have worth. I listen to my Manilow music tracks, more often. I now longer “hope” for things from some of my family. I don’t find myself wishing to often. I know what I am living for. I’m a self survivor of a six year cocaine addiction. I now face the reality that I will remain, with out a mate, for my remaining years. I have reduced my smoking by 50%. Stress destroys me and I suffer those consequences for days at a time. I have a car with power windows. I can only afford some of my medications. Yes, that was a scaled down version.
Oh and one last bit of information to this question “what makes me nervous?”. Walking, talking, sitting, thinking, speaking, traveling, bed time, mornings, driving, eating, sleeping, peeing, pill taking, working, shopping, socializing, confrontation, the general public, weather and time itself.
In my own defense, I do choose to face each day with all this uncertainty as best I can. More often than not, all the positive thinking isn’t nearly enough. I get by, I still survive.
And after five years of slowly loosing control and embracing all the changes, all the unknowns, I’ve become a sad, broken and very angry person inside, This is a someone I never wanted to be, one I had been when I was younger and certainly one who truly only has but one hero, myself.
Each answer has a range/value of 1 (strongly disagree) -2-3-4 & 5 (strongly agree). You select the number that best describes your response. At the end you total your score and compare it to the table provided at the end.
Here are the questions and my responses:
1 Over the past month, my overall health has been excellent. 3
2 Over the past month, it's been easy for me to perform common tasks (walking, climbing stairs) , and i haven't has to limit my role at work, or home due to physical problems. 3
3 Over the past month, I've been able to do things that require concentration, such as keeping up with my bills, considering important decisions, or performing well at work. 2
4 Over the past month, my emotions or personal problems have not caused me to do less at work, or in usual daily activities. 2
5 Over the past month, I've been able to remain as social as ever with my friends & family. 3
6 Over the past month, I've had the energy to face the challenges of each day. 2
My "Q" score: 15
26-30 You're doing great! Answers indicate your current QOL is very good to excellent.
17-25 You're doing pretty well. Answers indicate that while you're doing well in some areas, there may be room for improvement in others.
6-16 You could be doing better. Your current medication may be a factor.
visit www.morehelpforms.com or call
1-800-456-2255 for more information.
when did you know, you were gay?
it's a question I hear far too much, I think. I don't remember that "one" moment that defined me but I do recall very clearly, something else. I remember a moment where I found myself at a fork in the road.
Off in the high grass was a directional sign which offered two arrows, one to the left and one to the right. The right arrow listed "the wrong way" and the left read "everyone goes this way"; you call this a choice?
1. Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.
2. Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.
3. Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.
4. Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn’t changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can’t marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.
5. Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Britany Spears’ 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.
6. Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn’t be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren’t full yet, and the world needs more children.
7. Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.
8. Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That’s why we have only one religion in America.
9. Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That’s why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.
10. Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven’t adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.
‘I think gays absolutely should have the right. For the same reason Taylor and I got married - to be able to say, by law, “This person is important to me.”‘
Songza is the brainchild of 23-year-old Aza Raskin — the president of Chicago-based software company Humanized, Inc., and the son of Apple Macintosh founder Jef Raskin. Over the course of a month, he and Humanized's Web/Systems Architect Scott Robbin worked weekends to bring the idea to life. The site launched on November 8, 2007 and instantly generated significant buzz around the world. Hundreds of bloggers and news writers have praised its elegant user interface, beautiful design, and all-around utility.
i over heard ms. la belle talkin the other day, and she said
girl, i was at the party and i did see him. thats right, he is the new GGB honey! What chu say? You don't know the 411 on GGB! Galatic Gay Boy, write that down! When he's got it all said and done, he'll be puttin' the S-O-U-L back in solar system.
Oh and one more thing child, I saw all the bags in her trunk plus buckets of glitter, rollers, paint cans, rods, swatches and more fabric than all the queens capes put together! Some buddy better call NASA. There's gonna be pink in the sky, I can feel it deep down inside! You fool, not there, my soul! Yes, My soul...
Passionate & Progressive thinking, finally...
Live in San Francisco (or anywhere, really)? Make sure you’ve got some candles on hand. Yesterday—Saturday, October 20th—was LightsOutSF—a citywide energy conservation effort aimed at “controlling our growing appetite for energy” and “fighting climate change with the flip of a switch.”
Participation is easy: Turn off all non-essential lighting tomorrow night from 8-9 p.m., and switch one light bulb in your house from incandescent to CFL (if you haven’t switched them all already!). LightsOutSF estimates that turning lights out in San Francisco for even one hour could save as much as 15 percent of the energy consumed on an average Saturday night. 15 percent! In 60 minutes!
Get involved. Turn something off! Get your locals on board with this idea! Follow this link for more information Lights Out America, which is scheduled for March 29, 2008!
the trailer for Jumper, is finally up and hayden christensen has certainly changed from the earlier days of star wars!
film looks good!
Slide is the largest personal media network in the world, reaching more than 134 million unique global viewers each month and 30 percent of the U.S. Internet audience. We help people express themselves and tell stories through personalized photos and videos created on Slide.com and viewed anywhere on the web or desktop.
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Launched in 2005 and founded by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, Slide is backed by Mayfield Fund, Blue Run Ventures, Khosla Ventures and Founders Fund.
what the world needs now, is love sweet love
and no, not from Dionne Warwick
a recent discovery of mine were these Cafe Solaire collections. It's been quite a long time since I found a collection of deep sexy & chill house this good! And the cover art, well it speaks for it self now doesn't it!