Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Chemical used in plastics may affect newborn size
Thu, Jun 25, 2009 (HealthDay News) -- As if expectant mothers don't have enough to worry about, new research suggests that a woman's exposure to phthalates, a chemical compound found in many plastics, may be linked to low birth weight in infants.
The report, to be published in the upcoming issue of The Journal of Pediatrics, found notable levels of the compound -- which is used to make hard plastics soft and flexible -- in the cord blood and first stools of more than 70 percent of infants included in the study. Higher levels of phthalates were found among those born with a low birth weight.
Low birth weight is a risk factor for children and the leading cause of death in those under 5 years of age. Cardiovascular and other diseases in adulthood have also been associated with low birth weight, according to information provided in a journal news release.
"The results showed that phthalate exposure was ubiquitous in these newborns, and that prenatal phthalate exposure might be an environmental risk factor for low birth weight in infants," study leader Dr. Renshan Ge, of the international Population Council, said in the news release.
Although the researchers did not find a direct link, the study adds more to the pile of evidence against phthalate exposure, which has already been associated with damage to endocrine function. Phthalates are found in many common household items, including food packaging, toys and shampoo.
The study, conducted by researchers from the International Population Council, and Fudan University and Second Military Medical University in Shanghai, looked at 201 babies and their mothers between 2005 and 2006. Eighty-eight of the newborns had low birth weight.
-- Kevin McKeever
story seen here
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Pasta with Lemon Cream and Prosciutto
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
- 3 large shallots, minced
- 1 1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 3 teaspoons grated lemon peel
- 1.5 teaspoon grated orange peel
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (cut this in half if serving to kids)
- 2 cups frozen green peas, thawed (we skipped this green step, but some people substituted asparagus)
- 3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint leaves
- 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 16 ounces penne pasta
- 12 thin slices prosciutto
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add broth. Simmer over medium-high heat until mixture is reduced to 1/4 cup, about 2 minutes. Add cream, lemon peel, orange peel, and cayenne. Simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Add peas; simmer just until heated through, about 2 minutes. Stir in mint and lemon juice. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain; return pasta to pot. Toss pasta with sauce to coat.
Divide pasta among plates or bowls. Drape prosciutto slices atop pasta and serve, passing Parmesan separately.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
The World Beard and Moustache Championships were held yesterday in Anchorage, Alaska. Does this not sound like the most awesome event of all time? You could pay $20 for a general admission ticket or get VIP tickets for $40 and "sit among the contestants". I love any event that treats bearded men as celebrities simply because they have beards! The website says the event will "feature competition in a variety of categories that include everything from the delicate Dali moustache to the outrageous full beard freestyle."
And for entertainment (as if this isn't enough?), "the newly formed Australian beard team, is bringing its own band to Anchorage-- The Beards - to play "songs about beards, for people with beards" .
Monday, May 18, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
You will need: Can of condensed milk, hammer, and a nail.
What you do: Make two holes on the top of the can of condensed mild with the hammer and nail.
Place the condensed milk can in a pot of boiling water for 4 hours, making sure to replenish the water if it starts to evaporate.
And that's it! Done! And you should come out with something that looks like this...
Sunday, April 5, 2009
I have wanted to grow my own herbs for years now, but I have never had the space to do it. As luck would have it, Nancy has the perfect little empty plot of garden space in her front yard and she so graciously gave me permission to use it! I decided to buy both seeds and already sprouting herbs and see what works best. I got some rosemary, basil, and thyme that was already well on its way and got seeds for cilantro, more basil, and some peppers. I planted the seeds a week ago and would you believe I already seem some little baby herbs starting to emerge! I will have to wait and see on the peppers though- as they take a little longer.
The whole thing is a bit experimental, but I have already used some of "my" herbs. It is so satisfying to walk out into your front yard and pluck some basil right off the plant whenever you need it.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
My brother recently lent Chris and I the first season of Freaks and Geeks on DVD. It took a few weeks for us to start it, but we have spent the last few nights diving in. I must say that I ADORE it. It is so funny and brilliant. This show is how the Apatow gang came to be in existence. It stars some of my favorite people, such as: James Franco (cutie), Seth Rogan, and that guy from "How I Met Your Mother" and "Forgetting Sarah Marshall".
It does such a great job of showing the complexities of the parent/child relationship as well as the awkward "finding yourself" feeling of high school. And it is incredibly witty to boot. I can't get enough of it and it wasn't until after we started watching the series that I found out it was canceled after one season. I know I am late in saying this, but... BOOOOOO. What is it with FOX canceling great shows? First "Arrested Develeopment" (RIP) and now this. Although, this did happen a few years before Arrested Development, it doesn't make it sting any less. So now I will have to watch each of these episodes slowly and with much appreciation. Because there isn't nearly enough to satisfy me.
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
We really don't even eat all that much meat, but because of the quality of the meat it can last up to a year in the freezer. I think we could handle that. Unfortunately, it is not something I can do. We don't have any room for an extra freezer nor do we have any local farms... Yet another reason to move out of SoFla. I plan to do some more research to see if any of these places offer the same kinda deal for chickens, but I can imagine it would be a lot more expensive. If you are at all interested in this kinda thing, you can find out more about it.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Monday, February 9, 2009
If Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young got together with The Shins and had a baby- you would have Fleet Foxes. Nothing wrong with that.
I haven't actually given it much of a listen yet. I only have one song that Ms Amy P sent me. But I love that one song and Kittyama has recently purchased the whole thing so I plan on stealing it from her and giving it a more thorough listen.
Friday, February 6, 2009
I can hardly contain my excitement for April 7th. Flight of the Conchords is right up there with Arrested Development in my book. One of my all time faves and we get to see them in concert. Add to that, we haven't been to a concert since the little guy was born and we were quite the concert goers. (Well, as much of a concert goer as you can be in these parts.)
I was a little bummed because we don't have HBO so we wouldn't be up on our FOC: Season 2 songs. But guess what? You can now buy the songs on iTunes the day after they appear in their respective episodes. SO I have already bought 3 of the new songs and will keep checking back weekly for the new song releases. Although, I have to admit that I was less than thrilled with the songs from the first episode (which you can watch and download for free on iTunes), I am a fan of the other two. They really are great rappers. As good as a Australian novelty duo can be.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
I don't believe in Valentine's Day. I belong to the (some would say) hippie mindset that it is a holiday started by corporations to capitalize on America's willingness to spend money on just about anything. Why do I need a special day to let my loved ones know that I in fact love them? And why would I get them crappy chocolate or overpriced flowers to express how much I love them? I may sound like a cynic, but I would rather do it randomly and creatively throughout the year... when they least expect it. I remember my mom used to send me notes every so often in my lunch box that said she loved me or thought I was great. It made me inexplicably happy and I remember those little surprises to this day. I don't remember one single Valentine card from the past.
Although I know that I will need to eventually change my tune once Liam gets into school. I don't want him to be singled out just because I think it's all nonsense. of course I will let him partake and will even be excited with him, but I also want to implement plenty of those special little surprises to let him know that he's always my valentine.
And what about Chris, you say? He's always been my valentine. I try to do the same with my hubby. I used to be much better at it. Make his lunch for him when he least suspects it, write silly notes on the mirror for him to read when he gets up in the morning, that sort of thing... I guess the one thing that this "holiday" is good for is to remind me not to let that stuff slip away. It's so easy to forget to do the silly things that make us both smile and remember why we really like each other. So Happy Early Valentine's Day, ya schmucks.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
At noon today, I was where most of us were- parked in front of a television to watch the 44th president get sworn into office. It's been said over and over how historic this event is and how eager we all are to get onto the next chapter in our countries history. So it was with a little anxiety that I listened to the words of the President as he accepted his new position. I thought that I would surely be disappointed by whatever he was going to say. After all, how could he possibly live up to the expectations that I and so many others have placed upon him? Yea, well, he did. The speech rocked hardcore. He inspired, but at the same time let us all know that we need to accept responsibility and sacrifice. He also bashed everything Bush "accomplished" in his 2 terms with such elegance that I don't think Bush even noticed!
Some of my favorite excerpts:
"This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions — that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America."
Love this part:
"Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions — who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage."
Love that he talked about Muslims and non-believers like they were normal people, imagine that:
"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.
To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West — know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist."
Insert goosebumps here:
"This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed — why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent Mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath."
Gotta say it.. historic...
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
The company I work for recently made a deal with this guy to sponsor his second "evolution of dance". Apparently, the first one he did is the number one most viewed video on You Tube EVER. Which I found strange, seeing as I am on the computer all the time and never heard of it before. I get that they are trying to keep up with the way things are marketed nowadays and viral videos are all the rage, but I just do not get this video. I can watch about 20 seconds of it before I get an impulse to close the window.
Nonetheless, it is interesting to see how the cross marketing works. For instance, we have one of those applications where you can upload your photo and dance along with him. Then you can embed the video on your facebook page or myspace page. You can also enter a competition to win $5000 from us by submitting your own dancing video.
As smart as it all may seem, I still don't get it. But I did get to design some of the banners that are shown when you view the video on You Tube- so that's cool :)
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Only on Etsy could you find finger puppets based on the French Chemist Louis Pasteur. The set includes Pasteur accompanied by a rabies-free cat and pasteurized milk as well as a happy little culture of anthrax bacilli (demonstrating his work on creating a rabies vaccine, developing the method of pasteurization, and fore fathering germ theory/bacteriology respectively). Now you can enjoy Pasteur's amazingly awesome achievements embodied in finger puppet form!
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
It's been such a long time that I ALMOST forgot what the show was about. And although the writers strike put a bit of a haze over the last season, I am still super duper excited about the upcoming season. We started watching LOST during season 2. We borrowed the first season from Kittyama on DVD and couldn't stop watching them. We would watch one episode and had to keep going until we couldn't physically stay awake anymore.
I admit they started losing me once they left the island, but from what I hear they are on their way back. And really, who am I kidding? I could never stop watching. I mean I have to find out about that giant foot. Remember that giant foot? What the hell was that?