Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Science and History

I love this sort of stuff. Although I am a proponent of stem cell research (and most medical science in general), I do understand why some people have reservations. But I do find it interesting that another medical advancement that we now see as commonplace had a similar resistance.

Transplant Pioneers Recall Medical Milestone

Listen to this story...

Morning Edition, December 20, 2004 · On Dec. 23, 1954, doctors in Boston gave a kidney to a seriously ill, 23-year-old man in the first successful long-term transplant of a human organ. Since then, transplants have saved more than 400,000 lives. But as NPR's Joseph Shapiro reports, that's something transplant pioneer Dr. Joseph Murray never imagined."We didn't think we made history," Murray says of that first transplant.

"We didn't even think of history. We thought we were going to save a patient."

Murray, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his work, thought transplants would be able to help just a tiny number of people. "It seemed almost impossible that you would have twins, one dying of kidney disease and another healthy," Murray says.

Indeed, Murray's first patient and donor were identical twins. They had to be -- they needed the same genetic make up, or else the recipient's immune system would reject the donated organ. It would be years before doctors figured out ways to trick the immune system.

Ronald Herrick was a healthy 23-year-old who had just been discharged from the Army. His twin brother Richard had just gotten out of the Coast Guard -- and was in a hospital, dying of kidney disease.Ronald Herrick says going through with the then-untried medical procedure was a difficult decision, but when Richard tried to call off the operation the night before surgery, Ronald stood firm."

I sent him back a message, 'We're going to do it'," Ronald Herrick recalls. "And that was the end of that."

Sex Ed

OK, so I'm biased, I have a problem with abstinence only education. I think we need to prepare people for the world. I have no problem with suggesting, advocating, or practicing abstinence, but restricting sex ed to one viewpoint seems a restriction of civil liberties.

Lawsuit Challenges Abstinence Education Program
Listen to this story... by Barbara Bradley Hagerty
Morning Edition, May 17, 2005 · A program that teaches abstinence is at the center of a new lawsuit against the federal government. The ACLU is filing suit against "The Silver Ring Thing," which it alleges promotes religion. The federal government granted more than $1 million to the program, under President Bush's faith-based initiative.

Another great story about Abstinence only Sex-Ed from Women's eNews here.

Flaws Seen in U.S. Sex Ed. Programs
Listen to this story...
All Things Considered, December 5, 2004 · A recent congressional survey identified flaws in the federally funded abstinence-only education programs. The report criticized many of the programs for teaching misleading and inaccurate information about sex. California Rep. Henry Waxman called for the report and has long argued for more comprehensive sex education programs. NPR's Libby Lewis reports.

Monday, May 16, 2005

What Do You Want From Life?

When I was in high school, I wanted to be rich, and while that would still be nice, that isn't really my end goal anymore.

I want a house. I want a house in a nice neighborhood, with a pool and a pool table and a bar and a barbeque. I want my friends and family to come hang out, eat good food, and have a good time.

I want a dog. I'm torn between a sporting dog (I loved the english setter I had - even though she was dumb as a post) that I could take camping and hiking and stuff (which I would like to do more often), and a Shih Tzu or Maltese (which are great house dogs - they don't shed).

I want to eat good food. I love all kinds of food, and I love making full meals. Big breakfasts with my family, big barbecues with friends, a fantastic dinner. These things make me happy.

I want a partner in crime. I want someone that will enjoy these things with me. Someone that wants to hang out with friends and family; someone that loves animals; someone that likes all kinds of food; someone that makes me laugh. (Not right away of course, but eventually)

What do you want?

Sunday, May 8, 2005

Movies on Video

Hotel Rwanda reminded me of Schindler's List in that it is based on a true story about a man who could easily have turned his back on potential genocide victims to save his own hide, but instead he stood up for humanity and was able to save a lot of people from being murdered. I think too few people realized what happend in Rwanda in 1994, and this movie does a good job of getting the idea accross without showing too much of the carnage. It is an amazing story, but be prepared to watch something a little lighter afterwards, otherwise you may be down the rest of the day.

The Incredibles was fantastic. Yes, it was a little more violent than the previous Pixar films, but this one is about super heroes fighting a villain, and it wasn't as violent as some of the cartoons on TV. Very funny and entertaining as a whole - I never felt like it was dragging on. Definitely something great to watch when you are looking for a film to brighten your day.

Shark Tale however was disappointing. I felt like it dragged on and the jokes were forced, not to mention that it seemed I had seen all the funny parts in the preview. The film had a message (basically that you shouldn't lie to make people think better of you) but it was too obvious, making the story VERY predictable. I'm glad I didn't pay to see this one in the theater.

Sin City

Sin City is a strange (and violent) film, but it was really good. The look of the film is very unique. As opposed to other recent films based on comic books, this film doesn't feel like a comic book premise set in the real world, but rather it looks as though the comic book has been brought to life on the screen. Quite a few points I had to turn away (I'm really a wuss when it comes to violent scenes), and I'm sure I didn't understand it all, but I intend to watch it again as soon as it is out on video.

Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy

I went to Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy thinking I was going to see a sci-fi film (I never read the books and I hadn't really seen any previews, I was just going along with my sister), but wound up watching this comedy. You will only enjoy this movie if you can find humor in the ridiculous, sort of similar to the humor in Spaceballs. I laughed so hard I was practically crying.

Thursday, May 5, 2005


So I was at the tanning salon the other day, waiting for one of the beds, as this other girl was signing up. There are two different memberships available - $40/month or $80/month depending on which beds you want access to. (I'm cheap, but this girl was signing up for the premium package.)

She was standing there telling the girls behind the desk that she wanted to talk her mom into putting it on to her credit card, how her mom lets her do that sometimes when its a "really good reason."

OK, maybe I'm crazy, but tanning just doesn't seem like a "really good reason." Food, books for college, rent... These are "really good reasons," but tanning?! But that's not all.

Then she's telling the girls behind the desk that her mom took her card away because she charged quite a lot on it recently, and now her mom wants her to set up payments paying back but she isn't. Somewhere around $5,300...

WHAT!!! Are you freaking kidding me? My mom might strangle me if I charged $5,300 on her card. This girl is talking about it like it's no big deal. I know the girls in Newport are in a different situation that I am or was in growing up, but come on!

I called my mom after I left the salon and thanked her for teaching me some kind of fiscal responsibility.

Tuesday, May 3, 2005

Bad Day

So I left work yesterday somewhat irritated with a co-worker, and I called my sister after my Yoga class so I could bitch about it some more. Before I could tell her my story, she launched into the drama that occured at my Dad's work.

Apparently one of my Dad's coworkers came in to work with a gun, shot someone, and then shot himself.

Well, my day suddenly didn't seem bad at all. I'm not even quite sure how to react to that. I'm thankful that my Dad is safe, but other than that, I think I'm sort of shocked by the whole situation to the point that I don't know how to react.

I guess there are two morals to this story:

Most of your "bad" days probably really aren't that bad, and you should just get over it

Make sure to maintain good relationships with your friends and family, you never know what the day will bring