Saturday, February 28, 2009
Geocaching is an entertaining outdoor adventure. It is a treasure hunt that requires people to use a global positioning system (GPS) to search for containers, known as ‘geocaches’, that are hidden around the world by other treasure hunters, or ‘geocachers’.
jim of Buffalo NY writes...I received this Unite For Diabetes travel bug. For those who are not in the know about geocaching, check out www.geocaching.com. I placed this dog tag into a cache at Chestnut Ridge Park on Friday(12/15).
The bug has moved. It has moved around a bit, and is in the hands of another cacher, who will no doubt place it again soon.
Current GOAL: The goal for this Unite For Diabetes Travel Bug is to raise awareness of diabetes by traveling to Tulcea and within Tulcea, collecting photographs and geocaching logs along the way. Please log your visit and move me to a new geocache.
About this item:
Unite for Diabetes Travel BugThis Unite for Diabetes Travel Bug is part of the Unite for Diabetes Geocaching Campaign. To find out more about the Campaign and enter the photo contest, please visit unite.geocaching.com.
This Unite for Diabetes Travel Bug is dedicated to the people in Tulcea, Romania who have been affected by Diabetes.
If you want to track its progress, you can find it here:
Following the success of the Unite for Diabetes Campaign, the General Assembly of the United Nations passed a landmark Resolution in December 2006 recognising diabetes as a chronic, debilitating and costly disease. The Resolution designated the existing World Diabetes Day – 14th November – as a United Nations Day as of 2007. Find out more at www.worlddiabetesday.org.
To commemorate World Diabetes Day, limited edition GeoCoins were made available around the world. The commemorative GeoCoins were an exciting part of the 2007 Campaign, with over 5,000 created and distributed at local International Diabetes Federation (IDF) events across the globe, helping to draw attention to over 250 million people affected by the disease worldwide. This initiative is supported by a grant from Merck & Co., Inc.
Diabetes – The facts
Every ten seconds someone dies from diabetes related causes and over 250 million people now have diabetes worldwide, a figure that is set to escalate to 380 million in the next generation if action is not taken now.
The World Diabetes Day Resolution was the first goal of an ambitious campaign led by the International Diabetes Federation. This is the first time a non-communicable disease has been recognised in such a way; it is an acknowledgement of the seriousness of a disease that kills more people each year than HIV/AIDS and malaria combined.
What has this got to do with me?
As the prevalence of diabetes spreads, more and more people will be touched by the problem, if not directly then through friends and family. It is the IDF’s goal to reach over 1 billion people with awareness messaging about diabetes care and prevention. You can help achieve this by taking part in the Geocoin campaign. Play your part in raising awareness of diabetes and its complications.
According to a survey by The Media Audit, the percentage of "graying and affluent" households continues to rise higher than ever, with 30 percent of retired adults having cash, stocks, and CDs valued at more than $100,000. More than half of this 50-plus audience made at least one online purchase in the past 12 months, which was an increase of 65.6 percent over the previous term.
The Pew Internet’s most recent figures show that 72 percent of those aged 50 to 64 use the Internet. Pew also finds that 82 percent of online adults aged 50-plus research health and wellness information online.
Jupiter Research finds that boomers represent the largest population of "super Net vets"; 72 percent of boomers have been online five or more years, and 53 percent of online boomers are women. Though their top online activities predominantly mirrored those of non-boomers, boomers exceeded non-boomers in their degree of online research of products and services, and boomers tend to respond better to online sweepstakes.
When it comes to online communications, boomers are very e-mail reliant and use less instant messaging and chat.
According to a new Yahoo audience insights study, boomers "live a 49-hour day," 15 hours of which are spent interacting with technology and media (4 percent of time includes online/console games, online journals/blogs, e-mail, and online music; 22 percent of time with media includes three hours using the Internet).
Boomertowne.com president and CEO Herschel Peddicord shared his insights about online boomers:
Within their online activities, boomers like financial planning, healthcare, and games; only recently do they seem to be warming to social networking.
Boomers are savvy buyers, but they’ve been fooled enough times in their lives that they are very cautious about advertising. Blinking ads that say “you’ve won a free PC” don’t get clicked because boomers aren’t that gullible.
Weather, traditional news, and food sites appeal to boomers.
You can use a prescription bottle to make a little sewing kit for travel or as a gift for a college student. It's the perfect size to fit a couple small spools of thread, a few needles, a needle threader, a thimble and some buttons. - Fisher
What a great little "thing" to throw in when you're giving the gift of money, but want something small to give too. I think that I'll make some of these to keep at work, in the glove compartment of each vehicle, one for my purse... - susanmajp
This is a great idea. Especially one that most people wouldn't even think of.- badwater
One way to reuse prescription bottles is as a portable sewing kit. Put a spool of thread into the bottle, pierce a small hole in the lid and run the thread end out the lid. Put several needles and pins, however many you might need, inside.
This way I can take sewing projects with me and finish them while I am waiting for appointments, etc. When I have a number of items to mend or hem, I either stack different bobbins in the bottle in different colors or use gray thread, which blends with almost any color. - Lynn
A great idea. You can also use empty 35mm film cannisters. I have one I use for a sewing kit and also have one for an emergency "boo-boo" kit. It's filled with small ready to use antibiotic ointment, alcohol preps, gauze, band-aids, etc. - Lisa
This is a fantastic idea! I have been holding onto a very large rx bottle for over a year because I just knew there had to be some use for the thing. Thanx! - Terry
These make GREAT gifts to homeless folks, AND for keeping one for the car and camping/traveling. I'd add a tiny pair of folding scissors or a SAFETY COVERED straight-edge razor blade for cutting. Going a step further, one could thread several needles in different colors of thread as is sold in local stores in a package for about $2.00. Saves a lot of frustration when away from home or if having poor vision. God bless you. : ) - Linda
Friday, February 27, 2009
The bus is the best form of public transportation that most cities have. Riding the bus can be a pleasant way to avoid driving in hectic traffic, and it can be a way to save money and cut down on carbon emissions anywhere. Less carbon emissions lead to reduced smog and reduced climate change. Here are some tips.
Be Pleasant to the Bus Driver.
They have a thankless job of handling all types of human frailities. A pleasant Good Morning will usually get a smile and a response. When disembarking at your stop say Thank You or some other comment as you get off the bus.
Remove your Backpack
Riders are requested to remove backpaks and over the shoulder bags as a courtesy to other riders and to allow the driver to get more standees on the bus, especially in bad weather.
Turn off those Cellphones
The bus is NOT the new telephone booth. Other riders do not want to hear about your bad day at the office or what's for supper. Most riders are on the bus for less than half an hour. Make that your time of the day to go phone free, those messages will still be there when you get home.
Bring a book.
You don't have to drive. Use your commute time to learn about France, the economy or the dubious adventures of Abner Snopes.
Get to the bus stop early.
The buses run on a strict schedule, and if they were to stop for every lackadaisical lollygagger the buses would get nowhere. Arrive early or you will be late.
Be mindful of the handicapped seats.
The elderly and the physically challenged need those seats. If you sit in one of these seats, be prepared to give it up as soon as someone who really needs it boards.
Have correct change.
Bus drivers aren't running a charity. They won't break a twenty and they won't loan you a quarter. Bus companies are having a heck of a time staying in business with rising gas prices and low commuter turnout. Give the bus company a break and bring correct change.
Plan your route.
If you have to switch buses, figure out your bus route from home. Use the internet. The bus drivers may not be knowledgeable of other routes. Also, if you travel far enough you might even switch bus companies
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Back on January 31, I posted an article by Kelly Rossiter of Toronto on food prices and poverty. There is more information availalble now about this subject so here is the second article about this subject. I'm positive that you will find the information enlightening.
Kelly Rossiter writes:
When I wrote my post a few weeks ago on Poverty and Vegetarianism I wanted to include something about the cost of groceries and the relation to where you live, but I only had anecdotal evidence. In my experience in Toronto, the tonier neighbourhoods may have expensive luxury items for sale, but their staple groceries are often cheaper than in poorer neighbourhoods. Now the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation has come out with a study that shows just how much Canadians are paying to provide their families with healthy food. The results were pretty shocking.
It has always been understood that people who live in remote communities, especially in the far North, pay significantly more for everything, especially perishable groceries. What this study shows is that prices for healthy food fluctuates wildly even in cities no more than an hour apart on the main highway corridor.
Volunteers in 66 communities were asked to go and price healthy food items covering the four food groups, and then price some not so healthy items. They were asked to discover the cost of 6 apples, 5 lbs of potatoes, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, 1% milk, cheddar cheese, lean ground beef and peanut butter. In one Ontario city, apples which grow locally cost $5.49 while in another city, not too far away the cost is only $.90. In Winnipeg, which is a major Canadian city, brown rice cost $7.76 while Torontonians pay only $2.19. In Ottawa, our nation's capitol, consumers were charged $13.21 for lean ground beef, while shoppers in Barrie, a few hours away, were charged $4.14. The meat alternative was peanut butter, clocking in at $7.58 in St. Catherine's and at $3.99 in Kitchener, which is about 1 1/2 hours away and neither of them are remote. Interestingly enough, chips, pop and cookies are a pretty consistent cheap price right across the country, regardless of distance or difficulty of transportation.
A poll was conducted as part of this study and 47% of Canadians say they go without fresh fruit or vegetables, dairy products and whole grains because they are too expensive. Accessibility is also a huge issue. 3 in 10 communities have little or no access to low fat dairy products. 2 in 10 communities have little or no access to fresh fruits and vegetables or whole grain products.
I decided to do my own little survey in the neighbourhood in which I live. My neighbourhood is quite mixed in terms of house sizes, and one assumes, therefore, incomes. My street is a middle class street with fairly large houses but my house backs on to a street of rooming houses. One street over from my home, the houses are about half the size of mine, and then a couple of streets over the houses are huge and sell in the $1,500,000 range. I have four grocery stores in my neighbourhood which are all pretty close together. A Loblaw and Sobeys which are both big chains, a No Frills which is the cheap version of Loblaw and an independent grocery specializing in organic foods and local produce called Fiesta Farms
Some prices were quite close, but others differed a fair amount, especially given that you can walk between these stores. I used the same items in the study and looked at the same brands and this is what I found.
Loblaw: apples 1.49 per lb, potatoes 3.49 for 5 lbs, whole wheat pasta 2.49, brown rice 7.49
1 % milk (2 litres) 4.49, cheddar cheese 8.49, lean ground beef (per kg) 6.59, peanut butter 3.49
Sobeys: apples 1.49, potatoes 3.49, whole wheat pasta 2.49, brown rice 4.29, 1 % milk 4.39, cheddar cheese 9.19, lean ground beef 8.13, peanut butter 5.39
No Frills: apples .99, potatoes 3.99 for 10 lbs (5 lb bags were unavailable), whole wheat pasta 1.97, brown rice 2.87, 1% milk 4.09, cheddar cheese 7.77, lean ground beef 6.31, peanut butter 4.67
Fiesta Farms: apples 1.49, potatoes 3.99 for 10 lbs (5 lb bags were unavailable), whole wheat pasta 1.99, brown rice 2.87, 1% milk 4.49, cheddar cheese 8.99, lean ground beef 6.70, peanut butter 5.49
While a number of the prices were the same, the discrepancy between some items such as the brown rice, the cheddar cheese and the lean ground beef were a surprise. Bear in mind that you can walk between these stores, they are quite close to one another. While the apples were cheaper at No Frills, they were inferior in quality to the other three stores.
I do most of my shopping in Fiesta Farms because they have organic eggs and dairy products and they always have local fruits and vegetables. The other three stores rarely have Ontario produce, even at the height of the growing season, but they are starting to offer more organic items.
I admit to being confused about why the prices would vary and I don't really know who is responsible. Is it the fault of the retailer? Should the government be regulating food prices? Certainly more education on nutrition and diet is necessary. I do know that if people are buying produce shipped from around the world the impact on our environment is huge. If people have little or no access to local fresh food, then chances are the food they are eating may have a detrimental effect on their health and that costs us all in the long run as well. It's a sad reflection on our society where it's cheaper to give your kids a handful of cookies and a glass of soda pop than it is to have an apple and a glass of milk.
Challenge of the Week: check out the prices in your local market and see how they compare.
original post on TreeHugger.com
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
The Cardiovascular Medical Community Calls for Support and Funding of the
Canadian Heart Health Strategy and Action Plan
OTTAWA, Feb. 24 /CNW Telbec/ - "The Canadian Heart Health Strategy and
Action Plan is the prescription that Canada urgently needs to ensure that
Canadians get timely and efficient patient-centred services and access to care
when they need it," says Dr. Charles R. Kerr, President of the Canadian
Cardiovascular Society. "The yet-to-be-funded action plan addresses the
prevention and care of cardiovascular diseases. Furthermore, the plan
identifies health system priorities to ensure proper care for patients at all
stages, from risk factor identification to acute care through to
rehabilitation and end-of-life planning."
For the past 2 years, the Canadian Cardiovascular Society has been one of
the lead organizations involved in the development of the Canadian Heart
Health Strategy and Action Plan (CHHS-AP), which aims to address the
prevention and care of cardiovascular diseases - from which more Canadians die
each year than any other illness. Two and a half million dollars ($2.5 M) in
funding was provided in 2006 by the Government of Canada for the development
of the Strategy and Action Plan, which was officially released today by Dr.
Eldon R. Smith, Chair, CHHS-AP Steering Committee, at a press conference in
Ottawa. No funding commitment has yet been made for implementation of the
Strategy and Action Plan.
"While we certainly recognize the current and dire economic climate, the
Canadian Cardiovascular Society believes it makes economic sense to invest now
in cardiovascular disease prevention and care," added Dr. Kerr. "It is
estimated that the implementation of the heart health strategy would result in
savings to the economy of approximately $7.6 billion in direct costs and $14.6
billion in indirect costs of cardiovascular care by 2020. Our patients are
counting on this investment, not just for themselves, but for their children,
many of whom are already the new faces of cardiovascular disease that we, as
physicians, are now seeing on an increasing basis."
"The Canadian Cardiovascular Society will do its utmost to lever existing
resources and assume a leadership role to develop consensus on national data
standards for patient registries. We also hope to work in partnership with
other organizations in other areas relating to health system reform and
patient care. But we can't do it alone -- we need the support of governments
at all levels, as well as the commitment of other stakeholders, to see the
heart health strategy and action plan through to fruition, for the ultimate
benefit of all Canadians," concluded Dr. Kerr.
See the CHHS-AP website at www.chhs-scsc.ca and the CCS website at
www.ccs.ca for further details.
The Canadian Cardiovascular Society is the national voice for
cardiovascular physicians and scientists. Its mission is to promote
cardiovascular health and care through knowledge translation, professional
development, and leadership in health policy.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Growing up on a farm in the 1960's was still an outhouse experience.
The simple privy, now resigned to cottage country, was an essential part of growing up in a rural environment and there were many Halloween pranks played at the expense of this facility.
Our outhouse at home was attached to the attached garage (read storage area)with access from the summer kitchen. One fall my dad and I got the brilliant notion that if we cut a door through the back wall of the garage (there was space in the outhouse for this manouver), we would have rainy day and wintertime access to the facility without venturing outdoors. It worked and and for years saved cistern and well water in the indoor bathroom.
I guess that the demise of the common outhouse was the precursor of the demise of the Eaton's catalogue...'nuff said.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Reusable aluminum water bottles are better for the environment than purchasing bottled water or other drinks in plastic containers, but if you have one, you may have noticed how well aluminum conducts heat. With a bit of insulation, you can keep your beverage and your fingers at their own temperatures longer. This is a small project, so you could easily complete it using remnants of yarn from other projects.
"Take a music bath once or twice a week for a few seasons, and
you will find that it is to the soul what the water bath is to
the body." - Oliver Wendell Holmes
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Cars and trucks get a lot of ink, but buildings are the real 800-megaton gorilla when it comes to energy usage (and thus greenhouse gas emissions). Statistics Canada has released numbers about the habits of Canadians when it comes to conserving energy and water in their homes. The trend is moving in the right direction, but much more needs to be done....more at TreeHugger.com
Friday, February 6, 2009
His wife of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, he smiled sweetly when told his room was ready.
As he maneuvered his walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of his tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on his window.
I love it,' he stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.
Mr. Jones, you haven't seen the room; just wait.'
'That doesn't have anything to do with it,' he replied.
Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time.
Whether I like my room or not doesn't depend on how the furniture is arranged .. it's how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it.
'It's a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice;
I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do.
Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open, I'll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I've stored away. Just for this time in my life.
Old age is like a bank account. You withdraw from what you've put in.
So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories!
Thank you for your part in filling my Memory Bank.
I am still depositing.
'Remember the five simple rules to be happy:
1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.