Saturday, July 30, 2005

The science of pain

I wonder how many interns (and politicians) will pay attention to the new views on pain. Men and women are different. WE are different. We are not the same. Equal maybe, but different as night and day. It is not just the way we treat little boys verses little girls. And now science puts the study behind the differences.

Sex and drugs

"Jul 21st 2005
From The Economist print edition
MALES and females respond to pain differently, even as children. In most places, boys are expected to show a stiff upper lip when they get hurt, while in girls wailing is, well, girlie. In part, this difference is learnt—or, at least, reinforced by learning. But partly, it is innate. It is hard, for instance, to blame upbringing for the finding that boy and girl babies show different responses to pain six hours after birth, or that male rats are more long-suffering than females. It is also life-long. Ed Keogh of the University of Bath, in England, and his colleagues have found that women report feeling pain in more bodily areas than men, and also feel it more often over the course of their lives.

...Nor is it only the mechanism of pain perception that differs between the sexes. Dr Keogh and his colleagues argue that there are significant differences in the ways men and women cope with pain, as well.

This conclusion is based on studies involving hospital patients, as well as others on volunteers who were exposed to a painful stimulus, such as an ice-water arm-bath. Using this, the researchers were able to measure the point at which people first notice pain, as well as their tolerance—the point at which they can no longer stand it. Men were able to minimise their experience of pain by concentrating on the sensory aspects—their actual physical sensations. But this strategy did not help women, who focused more on the emotional aspects. Since the emotions associated with pain, such as fear and anxiety, tend to be negative, the researchers suggest that the female approach may actually exacerbate pain rather than alleviating it."

But why do men (fathers, husbands, brothers) ALWAYS react to the common virus with extreme "Oh, how sick I am...." behavior. They are always SICKER than their female counterpoints. Wait, maybe it is because they ignore the illness for so long that the virus has taken over and controls them. Women, on the other hand, say GEE, I don't feel well, I think I'll take an analgesic tablet and rest for awhile, or even---HEY, here's an idea--- CALL THE DOCTOR!! Like failing to ask for directions after driving around a city for hours not finding the desired location, calling the doctor is not a man's natural inclination.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

"We Were Painting Butterflies . . ." will premiere at Webster University's Winifred Moore Auditorium on Monday August 8th at 8pm. The film chronicles the events surrounding the arrests of 27 activists who were
planning to protest the 2003 World Agricultural Forum in St. Louis. A Q. and A. session with the some
of the film's subjects (kelley meister) and the director will follow the screening. The Winifred Moore Auditorium is located at 470 East Lockwood in Webster Groves. Hope to see you there !

Very disturbing news!

“Taking regular showers could pose a health risk and even result in permanent brain damage, it has been claimed. Scientists believe that breathing in small amounts of manganese dissolved in the water may harm the nervous system. The damage may occur even at levels of the naturally occurring metal normally considered safe, say the US researchers.

“Although manganese levels in public water supplies are monitored, regulators have not considered the long-term effects of inhaling vaporised manganese while showering, they claim. Dr John Spangler, from Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, New Carolina, who led the study, said: “If our results are confirmed, they could have profound implications for the nation and the world. Nearly nine million people in the United States are exposed to manganese levels that our study shows may cause toxic effects."

Solutions: do not take showers or even baths while breathing, wear a face mask, increase ventilation by showering outdoors, use a washcloth and a sink...

Manganese! Go figure. Why is their manganese in the water? Is it in all water? Purification seems a bit over the top for a solution $$$$. Is it the cause of CRS disease? Children will have even more reasons to fight bathtime.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The news letter composed by Addie Meister for her summer course

Thursday, July 21, 2005

And now for something completely different.
Justo Gonzalez (historical theology) has this to say:
"Still, as I look at the picture of the world wide church and try to divine what the third millenium might bring, I become increasingly convinced that in our evaluation of the sixteenth century the Reformation will eventually take a second place to the Spanish and Portuguese invasion of the Western Hemisphere, and to the continuing colonial expansion of Western Europe. That was the first of two mementous stages in the birth of a world wide church--and in many ways the birth of such a church will be proven to be more significant for the future history of the church catholic than the birth of the Lutheran, the Reformed, the Tridentine, or any other tradition stemming from the Reformation. One could thus say tht the catacloysmic change that has affected our view of the sixteenth century is such that, although that century still loooms large and must still be listed as such, an entrie new mountain chain has emerged that tends to overshadow the older--much as in the North American continent the younger Rockies overshadow the older Appalachians." [The Changing Shape of Church History]

Not only that, but the church's evangelization efforts throughout Africa and the East in the 19th century may change the shape of the geography. At least for the Catholic Church, the growth of seminaries in Africa will shift the mission balance of the globle. And as the Church continues her efforts in China, both politically and in the spiritual underground, the balance will tip if the relationship between the Vatican and Chinese government is healed.

I find Gonzalez's statement that the Tridentine Church was birthed after the Reformation, just as the Lutheran and other traditions began, an interesting idea. Was the Church reinventing itself? And if so, I'd say it came out smelling more Roman than the roots that gave it life. The rising flood of Latin Masses and cries to return to the Church of that century--throwing out Vatican II--would be a return to an invented or reformed version of the Christ's Church. No more authentic than Luther's or Calvin's. A tradition of reaction with a force that wells up like a sunami in the twentifirst century. Given that a sunami can change the face of the earth, I think we may be in for some ch-ch-ch-changes.

The wallpaper has left the building. Not without a struggle. The hunter green painted wall hiding beneath the paper has been covered by Kilz and two coats of what I thought would be soft yellow paint. It's a little harsh for a yellow. Nothing a bit of sponging can't fix.

This photo shows the room in its raw stage. Stay tuned for upcoming photos of a more finished decor.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

New Project:

My mother has broken her leg (May 21) and is in a rehab facility until end of July.
WHILE SHE IS OUT, I am stripping the wallpaper from her family room and attached bath in order to move her bedroom furniture in and create a new bedroom space. It's my own tv program, I guess. The first wall I tackled is 13 x 8 of totally bad wallpaper. But underneath it's only worse: black wallpaper with an Asian motif. And under that the wall is painted DARK green. The paper comes off in small pieces, bit by bit the textured vinyl first layer comes off and occasionally is accompanied by the black second layer. From time to time, I scrape off the surface only to stare into the eyes of a Japanese Romeo serenading his beloved Asian Juliet with a lyre as she swoons on the upper level of a gazebo. Sweet scene. But a whole wall of it?

I have 250 sq. feet of paper to remove, that's if you don't count the second layer, too. And then I'll paint it. The colors are puzzling. The attached bath is yellow tile with a black tile border about half way up the walls. Black and yellow, not much to work with unless you like bees.

Muzzy does not know that her house is being refurbished. I can't ask for design preferences. But I know she likes orange. However, black and yellow and orange is not a likely combination. I will probably default to vanilla. First, I have to get the paper off, and this chore is proving to be more than I planned. Not much else is getting done, at my house, online blogging, all writing projects on hold, and ten minute music practices. I persevere, onward. My vision compels me to complete the project.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

We had the best vacation beginning in Vancouver and traveling by ship [Volendam-Holland America] to several ports in Alaska. I had never been further than Seattle. The whole experience was fabulous. No disappointsments along the way. If anything, every port, person, park, and plethora of wildlife exceeded our expectations. And we have pretty high expectations.

Vancouver is a great city in all respects. My favorite? Tough call, but I am going to go with Stanley Park.
How they managed to plan the park and make it work so beautifully, as if it just grew out of the landscape, is difficult to imagine. I had thought what could be so great about a city park? We went to see for ourselves. And we did! This is one terrific park.

We walked over to the park from our hotel [Fairmont Waterfront--great hotel] along the harbor promenade. Took about 30 mins. Walking past a variety of boats, mostly sailboats, and a few restaurants, we looked for breakfast. We found it at Bojangles which offered a pretty full breakfast menu for such a modestly small looking place. The scones and bread throughout Vancouver were always more than satisfying. I want to go back to Vancouver just to have lunch at Bojangles. Actually, I want to go back to Vancouver for many reasons.

After the coffee kicked in and the carbs were loaded, we finished our walk to Stanley Park. It didn't take us long to figure out we were going to need a lift 'round. In fact, right at the Totem Pole of Wisdom we began to look for transportation. Sure enuf! A free trolley comin' round the bend picked us up and carried us deep into the park.

Trasportation around the park is free, in a motorized trolley. The trolley drivers are top notch at giving you the skinny on what you are looking at and what you'll see if you get off the trolley for a walk. They encouraged walking, but were delighted to have you ride with them.

We road as far as Prospect Point, where we hopped off the trolley and enjoyed the view. Visitors can rest at the cafe for a snack or lunch overlooking Lion's Gate bridge. Also available are souvenirs in the shop. We walked to the lookout and met a not so unfriendly, more curious, racoon who was the photo op for many visitors. In the bay below, I saw a BIG fish, probably a fish, and an otter (best guess). Our quest for wildlife had begun.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Visit Alaska~ but first - stop in Vancouver. Our three days in Vancouver were all packed with more than we could squeeze in to daylight hours, on the longest days of the year. Here is Granville Island, our first point of adventure. By cab, from the Waterfront Hotel, we drove through Vancouver to the market and shops in Granville.

photo from Granville
More of the BEST VACATION EVER here

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