31 May 2009

Phineus Gage 1823-1860

Phineus Gage was a railroad construction foreman who is remembered for his survival of an accident in which a large iron rod was driven completely through his head. His case influenced 19th-century thinking about the brain and where it's functions are located within the brain. Gage's was probably the first case to suggest that damage to specific regions of the brain might affect personality and behavior.

Phineas' case was termed "the case which more than all others is calculated to excite our wonder...".

Gage was 25 years old on September 13, 1848. He was working as foreman of a work gang blasting rock for a roadbed in Vermont. His job, after a hole was drilled into a body of rock, was to add gunpowder, a fuse and then tamp down the charge using a large iron rod. Around 4:30 PM the powder exploded, throwing the rod (which he was using at the time) through his head. The instrument was an inch and a fourth in diameter and 3'7" in length. It entered the side of his face, shattering the upper jaw and passing the back of his left eye and out of the top of his head. The rod weighed 13 1/4 pounds.

Within a few minutes after the accident, Phineus was able to speak and walk with little or no assistance.

To find out the rest of the story of PHINEUS GAGE and the rod in his head, click on this link.

28 May 2009

Legalized Marijuna update: see my post 5/24/09

This is a follow-up to my post of 5/24/09 about legalized marijuana. The Illinois Senate is the 14th state to approve a medical marijuana bill.

The following information is from AP (Associated Press). The photo is an AFP/File.

Wed May 27, 11:01 pm ET SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The push to legalize medical marijuana in Illinois has taken a big step forward. The Illinois Senate voted 30-28 in favor of a plan to let sick people use pot for relief from diseases like cancer, AIDS and multiple sclerosis. The bill now goes to the Illinois House, where a committee passed a medical marijuana measure earlier this year. Bruce Mirken, spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project, says that if the bill is eventually signed into law, Illinois would join 13 other states that have such measures in place. Critics argue allowing medical marijuana would make it harder for police to enforce other marijuana laws and would be a step toward

27 May 2009

How To Dig A Proper Hole

You may laugh but a lot of thought has to come before the actual digging. What are you digging the hole for? Is it to plant a tree, put in a post or are you digging to China (you'll need a lot more in the way of tools and equipment to do this). When I dig a hole only tools of the non-powered variety are needed.

Things to consider in order to dig a proper hole:

  • Know the purpose of the hole (as mentioned above).
  • Pick a spot (again this is based on the purpose of the hole).
  • Mark of the size of the hole (you need to know how wide and deep it needs to be)
  • Select the tools you'll need: round point/square point shovel, post hole digger, tape measure etc.
  • Take the selected shovel, hold it upright and jump up and down on it (land on the top)
  • Take shovel out . Repeat "jumping on". Move right or left in the hole as needed.
  • Throw out dirt/grass/roots, weeds etc. as you come upon them.
  • Continue until you reach the desired height/width/depth of the hole.
  • Put your "whatever" in the hole and hope it fits. Fill in as needed.

Lastly: figure out what to do with the grass, weeds, roots, rocks and gravel that came out of the hole that you didn't put back in . Good Luck !!

25 May 2009

What makeup do you JUST have to have?

THANK YOU early Egyptians.

The history of makeup dates back to the 1st Century Egyptians. They weren't the first to use makeup but they were the first to document it's use as being important in their culture as seen in tomb paintings.

Cosmetics are substances used to enhance or protect the appearance or odor of the human body. Makeup refers primarily to colored products that are used to alter a person's appearance. Their use is widespread, especially in women.

Egyptians used natural substances and kohl (soot) to beautify their appearance, The 1st Century Romans also used kohl for eye and eyelash makeup. Middle Ages European women added the popularity of white skin which became a sign of wealth and stature. Sometimes, to get pale skin, women also resorted to bleeding themselves.

In the Italian Renaissance, women exaggerated their paleness by using deadly ingredients such as lead and arsenic. In the Elizabethan Age, egg whites were used to add a healthy glaze to the face. In the 18th Century, the French brought red to face makeup.

In the Victorian Era, face makeup began to be associated with prostitutes and actresses. "Proper" women covered their visible skin used only natural ingredients such as oatmeal , honey and rose water.

Pale skin was still popular in the early 1900's, but a makeup artist Max Factor developed and produced the first makeup assessable to all.

The one makeup I JUST have to have is a cover-stick. It covers a multitude of imperfections and lets me face a new day more in control.

24 May 2009

Legalized MARIJUANA: Yes? No?

Asking the question "Should marijuana be legal?" is like bumping into a hornet's nest and there will be a response which is usually very strong. The medical use of marijuana has been a hot topic for the past decade.

I live in Michigan which is one of 13 states where "medicinal marijuana" is legal. The "Michigan Medical Marijuana Act" was approved 11/4/08 and went into effect 12/4/08.

Marijuana, the most commonly used illegal drug in the US is taken from the leaves and flowering tops of the Cannabis saliva plant. It first became popular in the United States in the 1920's and can also come in a concentrated, resinous form called hashish and a sticky black liquid called hash oil. The average potency has increased over the past 20 years.

Marijuana can be smoked in many ways:

  • Rolled into joints (marijuana cigarettes)
  • Blunts (marijuana rolled into the leaf wrap of a hallowed-out cigar)
  • Use of a vaporizer
One of the dangers of smoking marijuana is the possibility that it has been laced with other, more dangerous substances such as crack, cocaine PCP or even embalming fluid. With unregulated drugs such as marijuana, the user has no way of knowing what has been added.

Doctors in Michigan approve the medical use of marijuana for treatment of chronic/debilitating medical conditions such as: cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, hepatitis C, Crohn's Disease, agitation of Alzheimer's disease, severe nausea ( especially as a result of chemotherapy), and seizures.

I feel the option of medical marijuana should be available to people who have conditions where their pain can be eased and the quality of there life (especially for those who are terminally ill) can be improved or at least maintained.

20 May 2009

Climbing the Acropolis or "Where's the Elevator?"

The Acropolis in Athens Greece is the best known acropolis in the world. It's on a flat-topped rock raising 490' feet above sea level. It's made up of many buildings including The Temple of Nike and the Parthenon.

In November 2008, I had an opportunity to visit the Acropolis while I was in Athens. As I stood at the bottom of the hill and looked up at this exquisite structure, I saw very little. After finding out the the only way to the top is on foot (what: no elevator/escalator? How barbaric!) I decided to pay EURO 12 (approx. $19.00 US) for the privilege of having the pain associated with getting to the top.

What an unbelievable experience! You can stop anywhere you want on the way up to rest or see that different structures and temples that make up the Acropolis. Everything is well marked. Even the things that no longer exist are marked to indicate where they were. One fabulous sight on the southern slope, which is dedicated to the domestic arts, is The Oreon of Herodes Atticus. It was at this site that Yanni, a self-taught keyboardist, composer and native Greek performed.

When I finally arrived at the top, after many starts and stops, it was like stepping back in time. The columns lay where they fell many centuries ago and I could see the area as it had originally been laid out. I could walk around and picture life at that time.

Signs along the way said "Please don't touch the marble". An understandable request, but was I going to honor it after dragging myself up this giant hill? Those who know me, know the answer to that question!!

19 May 2009

~*~ Disclaimer ~*~

This site occasionally features paid posts.
They are “overviews” of retail products/services.
They are 100% my opinion.
I endeavor to promote only products that
I have used or am willing to use/try myself.

17 May 2009

Rain Forests

Rain forests are the world's oldest living ecosystem They currently cover only 6% of the earth's surface but contain more that 1/2 of the world's plant and animal specimens which provide both food and medical products. A rain forest is described as a tall dense jungle. The reason it's called a "rain" forest is because of the high amount of rain it gets each year (usually between 68-78"). The climate is very hot and humid so the plants and animals that live there learn to adapt to the climate. The rain forest is made up of 4 layers: emergent (200' trees that tower over the forest floor), canopy (primary layer of the forest that forms a roof over the 2 remaining layers), understory (little sunshine causes the plants to have larger leaves to try to reach the sun) and the forest floor (very dark with almost no plants growing).
Rain forests once covered 14% of the earth's land surface. They are being destroyed because of the perceived value of the rainforest's land by governments, logging companies and land owners.

15 May 2009

Swine Flu and You

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) swine influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses that cause regular outbreaks in pigs. In early 2009, cases of human infection with swine influenza were reported. Due to the outbreak, people have many questions about dealing with this disease.
  • How does swine flu spread?
  • How can someone with the flu infect someone else?
  • What are the signs and symptoms of swine flu in people?
  • Can I get swine flu from eating or preparing pork?
  • Is swine flu contagious?
  • Are there medicines to treat swine flu?
  • What surfaces are the most likely to be sources of contamination?
  • How long can viruses live outside the body?
  • How serious is swine flu infection?
  • What is CDC doing in response to the outbreak?

For answers to these questions and many more, contact CDC at the above links.

12 May 2009

Protecting Against Pickpockets

In a crowded subway or bus, it's normal for strangers to press against you so you don't notice something or someone pressing against your purse or pocket. Pickpockets might work in teams and "sandwich" you between them in order to press against your body.
  • The best defense against a pickpocket is to make it hard to get your valuables.. It's not a good idea to carry your wallet in your back pocket. Front pockets are safer but a money belt under your clothes is a better option. Backpacks/purses are very attractive to thieves. A good defense is to use a "dummy" wallet in your pocket/purse so pickpockets never find your real wallet.
If the pickpocket is good, you never feel a thing. This happened to me on a crowded bus coming back from the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I had a purse with a zipper, snaps and a shoulder strap held tightly and securely (I thought) in front on me. When I got off the bus at the train station and went to get my train ticket, I found my wallet was gone. That's the worst felling in the world. Luckily my passport was in a safe at the hotel along with a second credit card or I would not have been able to function.

10 May 2009

The Joys of Traveling to Italy

Traveling to a foreign country is fun, exciting and FRUSTRATING! Italy is especially challenging for the novice. The Rome airport is beautiful, large and has a massive black hole that eats luggage and spits it back out in a few days (if you're lucky). Very few of the airport employees or the Italian police who patrol the airport speak English and the signs are not user friendly.

When (if) you arrive at your final destination (mine was Florence), you will find the Italian people to be very interesting, the food fabulous and the wine DELICIOUS!!! The statues that are publicly displayed outdoors are breath-taking. It is like stepping back in time when you go into museums whether public or private.

The hassle and aggravation of traveling to Italy are definitely worth the grey hairs that are inevitable with the journey. Ciao for now !!