Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Swine Flu

Well, is this the virus the world has been waiting for to erupt? Media has given it a fair amount of attention as of late and it is interesting to note that some of the attention, particularly from the States, is to downplay the potential severity of the Swine Flu, stating it is too early to panic.

My first thought is better safe than sorry...remember SARS?

The other thing to consider is the economic impact this could have on the world's already flailing economy. The idea of a deadly virus entering our present with massive force and the potential to basically slow to a near stop all tourist travel is hardly a welcome thought. Something like this could transform countries that depend on tourism into proverbial ghost towns, not to mention the huge detrimental effects on the food and trade industries. The stock markets have already a hit, though it would seem that the message the "powers that be" are trying to project is, once again, that it is too early to panic.

The flu timeline thus far carries enough concern with it for the World Health Organization to issue a level 4 in measuring the severity of this virus. The world is to prepare for the worse. Stockpiling of zanamivir and oseltamivir has begun in serious and a strategy to use the zanamivir as the front line treatment has been implemented for now.

So, what can you do to help prevent the spread of this flu or any other flu?

Avoid crowded environments.
Sneeze into your elbow or a tissue (and then wash your hands).
Stay away from others if you are not well.
Avoid travelling to infected areas.
Otherwise, keep up adequate sleep, exercise, and eat healthy.

And if you do suspect that you may have contacted the flu. Be smart. Call your local health care provider, before you rush to the hospital, to seek direction. Also, avoid public transportation if you can; otherwise use a mask or a scarf to cover your nose and mouth and minimize all unnecessary contact with others.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day

Happy Earth Day...though every day should be celebrated as we do on this day...

In schools around the city, kids will be outside picking up trash and sorting and recycling what they find. Five years ago, when we arrived at the school where my kids attend, the garbage in the playground and fields was a disgrace to the point where a person could not take 15 steps without stepping on garbage, thus we would take some bags and pick up the garbage on the weekends. I was always taught not to litter and to take care of your property. I had also learned that leaving the work for someone else to do, usually results in the work never getting done. So, when I see garbage that could be picked up, I usually pick it up. (This is my Earth too.) These lessons I have tried to pass on to my kids (and whoever else hangs with us;) ) and for the most part, they get it. In fact, with the heightened awareness in our community around being responsible and being "green", the amount of garbage in and around even just our school has dropped dramatically - to the point that I wondered what exactly the kids will be doing after they pick up the (less than20?) pieces of garbage...5 years ago there would have been easily over a hundred pieces of garbage to pick up! There has been vast improvements and the children are transferring their learning to their home environments also.

Ever heard of "litterless lunches"? The school here encourages all students to bring these litterless lunches to school and you take home whatever garbage (packaging) you brought your food in. This lightens the amount of garbage the school collects and it also challenges families to really think about what they are eating. My kids this morning, asked me if we could start making our own yogurt so we wouldn't have to buy the packages of yogurt and reduce our recycling and waste that way...I am still considering that one...

In earnest, I find it very challenging to eat healthy, organically, and minimize waste simply because of the convenience factor that I have become so accustomed to. Though in my youth, I ate far healthier/organic, non-commercial-packaged foods. The role of my grandmother was such that, she spent most of her day preparing the meals. There is no way she would have been able to work outside of the home with a full time job and provide the meals that she provided - or at least, I would find it hard to believe that she would not exhaust herself to an early death if she had of had a full time job and the gardening/canning/cooking - plus all the other necessary activities that were accomplished through out the day! (Side note: cooked for at least 6 everyday.)

Off on a bit of a tangent there...

That being said, what I am suggesting is that these days, it is necessary to rethink how we live and eat. Times have changed, our lifestyles and environment have changed, and it is necessary for our own well-being and for the well-being of the Earth to seriously look at how we exist - I am not preaching anything you don't already know... And thankfully, the developed world is starting to wake up to this reality - corporately and individually. It is a challenge, but with resolve, it is possible. I have no doubt.

So, on this Earth day, as I consider making homemade yogurt, I challenge you to consider what you can do to make a positive, healthy change in your lifestyle and environment. Every little action does make a difference.

Smiles and Blessings!

Monday, April 13, 2009

The American Form of Government

So, I came across this video via "The Old Adam Lives" by Steve Martin. I found it very interesting as I have never really considered this breakdown of government before. In the West, we boast of being a democratic society; however, after viewing this video, I am not sure that I would be quick in the future to brag about being a democracy. It has also challenged me to research further, democracy versus republic governments and the implications of each.

So, what do you think? Do you consider a democratic government superior to a republic? Is there another type of government you believe is superior?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Primal Fusion

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