December 2007


Popular culture is loaded with myths and half-truths. Most are harmless. But when doctors start believing medical myths, perhaps it’s time to worry.

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In the British Medical Journal this week, researchers looked into several common misconceptions, from the belief that a person should drink eight glasses of water per day to the notion that reading in low light ruins your eyesight.

“We got fired up about this because we knew that physicians accepted these beliefs and were passing this information along to their patients,” said Dr. Aaron Carroll, assistant professor of pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine. “And these beliefs are frequently cited in the popular media.”

And so here they are, so that you can inform your doctor:

Myth: We use only 10 percent of our brains.

Fact: Physicians and comedians alike, including Jerry Seinfeld, love to cite this one. It’s sometimes erroneously credited to Albert Einstein. But MRI scans, PET scans and other imaging studies show no dormant areas of the brain, and even viewing individual neurons or cells reveals no inactive areas, the new paper points out. Metabolic studies of how brain cells process chemicals show no nonfunctioning areas. The myth probably originated with self-improvement hucksters in the early 1900s who wanted to convince people that they had yet not reached their full potential, Carroll figures. It also doesn’t jibe with the fact that our other organs run at full tilt.

Myth: You should drink at least eight glasses of water a day.

Fact: “There is no medical evidence to suggest that you need that much water,” said Dr. Rachel Vreeman, a pediatrics research fellow at the university and co-author of the journal article. Vreeman thinks this myth can be traced back to a 1945 recommendation from the Nutrition Council that a person consume the equivalent of 8 glasses or 64 ounces of fluid a day. Over the years, “fluid” turned to water. But fruits and vegetables, plus coffee and other liquids, count.

Myth: Fingernails and hair grow after death.

Fact: Most physicians queried on this one initially thought it was true. Upon further reflection, they realized it’s impossible. Here’s what happens: “As the body’s skin is drying out, soft tissue, especially skin, is retracting,” Vreeman said. “The nails appear much more prominent as the skin dries out. The same is true, but less obvious, with hair. As the skin is shrinking back, the hair looks more prominent or sticks up a bit.”

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Myth: Shaved hair grows back faster, coarser and darker.

Fact: A 1928 clinical trial compared hair growth in shaved patches to growth in non-shaved patches. The hair which replaced the shaved hair was no darker or thicker, and did not grow in faster. More recent studies have confirmed that one. Here’s the deal: When hair first comes in after being shaved, it grows with a blunt edge on top, Carroll and Vreeman explain. Over time, the blunt edge gets worn so it may seem thicker than it actually is. Hair that’s just emerging can be darker too, because it hasn’t been bleached by the sun.

Myth: Reading in dim light ruins your eyesight.

Fact: The researchers found no evidence that reading in dim light causes permanent eye damage. It can cause eye strain and temporarily decreased acuity, which subsides after rest.

Myth: Eating turkey makes you drowsy.

Fact: Even Carroll and Vreeman believed this one until they researched it. The thing is, a chemical in turkey called tryptophan is known to cause drowsiness. But turkey doesn’t contain any more of it than does chicken or beef. This myth is fueled by the fact that turkey is often eaten with a colossal holiday meal, often accompanied by alcohol, both things that will make you sleepy.

Myth: Mobile phones are dangerous in hospitals.

Fact: There are no known cases of death related to this one. Cases of less-serious interference with hospital devices seem to be largely anecdotal, the researchers found. In one real study, mobile phones were found to interfere with 4 percent of devices, but only when the phone was within 3 feet of the device. A more recent study, this year, found no interference in 300 tests in 75 treatment rooms. To the contrary, when doctors use mobile phones, the improved communication means they make fewer mistakes.

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“Whenever we talk about this work, doctors at first express disbelief that these things are not true,” said Vreeman said. “But after we carefully lay out medical evidence, they are very willing to accept that these beliefs are actually false.”
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Thank you Robert Roy Britt, LiveScience Managing Editor and LiveScience.com
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As a collaboration between the Harvard Generations Policy Program and the Global Generations Policy Institute [GGPI], Baby Boomer Women:
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Thank you The Global Generations Policy Initiative, Inc.
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AND THE NOBLE PEACE PRIZE should go to…

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Al Gore is NOT who I would have chosen FOR THE 2007 AWARD…it seems as though everything else INCLUDING this Prize has become POLITICAL.

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Though I am not opposed to Al Gore and what he has been using for his flormat…HOWEVER…

I NOMINATE David Suzuki
Here is some information as to why I think he deserved to get the Award this year!

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David Takayoshi Suzuki, CC, OBC, Ph.D, born March 24, 1936, is a Canadian science broadcaster and environmental activist. Since the mid 1970’s, Suzuki has become known for his TV and radio series and books about nature and the environment. He is best known as host of the popular and long-running CBC Television science magazine, The Nature of Things, seen in syndication in over 40 nations. He is also well known for criticizing governments for their lack of action to protect the environment.

A long time activist to reverse global climate change, Suzuki co-founded the David Suzuki Foundation in 1990, to work “to find ways for society to live in balance with the natural world that sustains us.” The Foundation’s priorities are: oceans and sustainable fishing, climate change and clean energy, sustainability, and David Suzuki’s Nature Challenge.

If you want to see more about his life I would go to:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Suzuki

And/or…

http://www.davidsuzuki.org/

This will give you plenty of knowledge about the man and his mission.

I NOMINATE DAVID SUZUKI for the Nobel Peace Prize!

Smiles and world green peace,
~The Baby Boomner Queen~

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Militants, Bhutto aides allege cover~up…

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In from ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, An Islamic militant group said Saturday it had no link to Benazir Bhutto’s killing and the opposition leader’s aides accused the government of a cover~up, disputing the official account of her death.

The government stood firmly by its account of Thursday’s assassination and insisted it needed no foreign help in any investigation.

“This is not an ordinary criminal matter in which we require assistance of the international community. I think we are capable of handling it,” said Interior Ministry spokesman Javed Iqbal Cheema.

Bhutto’s aides said they doubted militant commander Baitullah Mehsud was behind the attack on the opposition leader and said the government’s claim that she died when she hit her head on the sunroof of her vehicle was “dangerous nonsense.”

Cheema said the government’s account was based on “nothing but the facts”

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton called for an independent, international investigation into Bhutto’s death, perhaps by the United Nations, saying Friday there was “no reason to trust the Pakistani government.”

Attackers opened fire at a motorcade of Bhutto’s supporters as they returned to Karachi after her funeral, killing one man and wounding two, said Waqar Mehdi, a spokesman for Bhutto’s party. The government said mass rioting has killed 38 people, though officials in Sindh province say at least 44 people were killed there alone.

In Rawalpindi, thousands of Bhutto supporters spilled onto the streets after a prayer ceremony for her, throwing stones and clashing with police who fired tear gas to try and subdue the crowd.

President Pervez Musharraf told his top security officials that those looting and plundering “must be dealt with firmly and all measures be taken to ensure the safety and security of the people,” the Associated Press of Pakistan reported.

Pakistan’s election commission called an emergency meeting for Monday to discuss the violence’s impact on Jan. 8 parliamentary elections.

Nine election offices in Bhutto’s home province of Sindh in the south were burned to the ground, along with voter rolls and ballot boxes, the commission said in a statement. The violence also hampered the printing of ballot papers, training of poll workers and other pre~election logistics, the statement said.

The U.S. government, which sees nuclear-armed Pakistan as a crucial ally in the war on terror, has pushed Musharraf to keep the election on track to promote stability, moderation and democracy in Pakistan, American officials said.

Prime Minister Mohammedmian Soomro said Friday the government had no immediate plans to postpone the election, despite the violence and the decision by Nawaz Sharif, another opposition leader, to boycott the poll.

Bhutto’s Pakistan Peoples Party also called a meeting Sunday to decide whether to participate in the vote. Her widower, Asif Ali Zardari, told the British Broadcasting Corp. that their son would read a message left by Bhutto and addressed to the party in event of her death.

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Roads across Bhutto’s southern Sindh province were littered with burning vehicles, smoking reminders of the continuing chaos since her assassination Thursday. Factories, stores and restaurants were set ablaze in Pakistan’s biggest city, Karachi, where 20 people have been killed and dozens injured, officials said.

Army, police and paramilitary troops patrolled the nearly deserted streets of Bhutto’s home city of Larkana, where rioting left shops at a jewelry market smoldering.

The government blamed Bhutto’s killing on al Qaida and Taliban militants operating with increasing impunity in the lawless tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan. It released a transcript Friday of a purported conversation between Mehsud and another militant, apparently discussing the assassination.

“It was a spectacular job. They were very brave boys who killed her,” Mehsud said, according to the transcript.

But a spokesman for Mehsud, Maulana Mohammed Umer, denied the militant was involved in the attack and dismissed the allegations as “government propaganda.”

“The fact is that we are only against America, and we don’t consider political leaders of Pakistan our enemy,” he said in a telephone call he made to The Associated Press from the tribal region of South Waziristan, adding that he was speaking on instructions from Mehsud.

Cheema said the government had evidence to back its claim.

“I don’t think anybody has the capability to carry out such suicide attacks except for those people,” he said.

Bhutto’s Pakistan Peoples Party accused the government of trying to frame Mehsud, saying the militant, through emissaries, had previously told Bhutto he was not involved in the Karachi bombing.

“The story that al Qaida or Baitullah Mehsud did it appears to us to be a planted story, an incorrect story, because they want to divert the attention,” said Farhatullah Babar, a spokesman for Bhutto’s party.

After the Karachi attack, Bhutto accused elements in the ruling pro~Musharraf party of plotting to kill her. The government denied the claims. Babar said Bhutto’s allegations were never investigated.

Bhutto was killed Thursday evening when a suicide attacker shot at her and then blew himself up as she left a rally in the garrison city of Rawalpindi near Islamabad. The attack killed about 20 others as well. Authorities initially said she died from bullet wounds, and a surgeon who treated her said the impact from shrapnel on her skull killed her.

But Cheema said she was killed when she tried to duck back into the armored vehicle during the attack, and the shock waves from the blast smashed her head into a lever attached to the sunroof, fracturing her skull, he said.

“We gave you absolute facts, nothing but the facts,” he said. “It was corroborated by the doctors’ report. It was corroborated by the evidence collected.”

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Bhutto’s spokeswoman Sherry Rehman, who was in the vehicle with her boss, disputed the government’s version.

“To hear that Ms. Bhutto fell from an impact from a bump on a sunroof is absolutely rubbish. It is dangerous nonsense, because it implies there was no assassination attempt,” she told the BBC.

“There was a clear bullet wound at the back of the neck. It went in one direction and came out another,” she said. “My entire car is coated with her blood, my clothes, and everybody, so she did not concuss her head against the sun roof.”

The government said it was forming two inquiries into Bhutto’s death, one to be carried out by a high court judge and another by security forces.

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Thank you AP NEWS and Associated Press writers RAVI NESSMAN, Zarar Khan in Larkana, Sadaqat Jan in Islamabad, Ishtiaq Mahsud in Dera Ismail Khan and Afzal Nadeem in Karachi, who contributed to this report.

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Well, there are a lot of finger pointers and not enough results back yet. And even then, as Hillary Clinton states…can we trust the Government there ? World Peace,

~The Baby Boomer Queen~

The Beatles…Hey Jude…enjoy, Baby Boomers…

]

Benazir Bhutto dies from a fractured skull…BUT…they still murdered her!

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In from ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto died from a fractured skull caused by hitting her head on part of her car’s sunroof as a bomb ripped through a crowd of her supporters, a spokesman for Pakistan’s Interior Ministry said Friday.

Bhutto waved to supporters at a campaign rally minutes before she was assassinated.

“When she was thrown by the force of the shockwave of the explosion, unfortunately one of the levers of the sunroof hit her,” said spokesman Brigadier Javed Iqbal Cheema.

The explanation is the latest from the Interior Ministry. It initially said Bhutto was killed by shots fired by the bomber, and then, via the state~run Associated Press of Pakistan, it said the cause of death was a shrapnel injury.

But Farzana Raja of Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party told CNN the government’s explanation is “a pack of lies,” she told CNN. Raja also accused the government of a “total security lapse.”

At a news conference, Cheema showed images of Bhutto in a car, standing up through an open sunroof, looking out at the crowd as she was about to be driven away.

When the gunshots rang out and the explosion occurred, Bhutto “fell down or perhaps ducked” and apparently hit her head on a lever, Cheema said, adding that the lever was stained with blood.

The blast killed at least 28 more people and at least 100 were wounded.

The Interior Ministry also revealed Friday that it had proof showing that al Qaeda was behind Bhutto’s assassination.

Cheema said the government had an intelligence intercept in which an al Qaeda militant “congratulated his people for carrying out this cowardly act.”

However, that claim has not appeared on radical Islamist Web sites that regularly post such messages from al Qaeda and other militant groups.

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The Interior Ministry told Pakistan’s GEO~TV that the suicide bomber belonged to Lashkar~e~Jhangvi, an al Qaeda linked Sunni Muslim militant group that the government has blamed for hundreds of killings.

U.S. officials believe that a Taliban leader, Baitullah Mahsud, may be the person behind the assassination.

Bhutto was laid to rest in a chaotic funeral at her ancestral home of Garhi-Khuda Baksh on Friday after violent scenes erupted across Pakistan following her death a day earlier.

Hundreds of thousands of people in the surrounding streets almost brought the procession to a standstill before it finally reached the Bhutto family’s mausoleum.

The throngs of her grieving supporters crushed up against the flag-draped coffin, while minor scuffles also broke out.

Violence erupted in Pakistan in the hours before Bhutto’s funeral started, with at least nine people reported killed and banks, train stations and cars torched.

Bhutto’s body arrived in the hours before dawn at Garhi~Khuda Baksh after a long journey by plane, helicopter and ambulance.

The opposition leader’s family, her husband Asif Ali Zardari and three children, accompanied the body aboard a Pakistani Air Force C~130 transport plane to Sukkor but traveled by bus from there to Larkana and on to Garhi~Khuda Baksh.

Another former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, told CNN on Friday that he had planned to attend Bhutto’s funeral, but was advised not to by Zardari, who cited security concerns.

The prime minister’s office has launched a judicial inquiry and the Ministry of the Interior is setting up a police inquiry, according to Information Minister Nisar Memon.
Memon said no decision had been made to postpone parliamentary elections scheduled for January 8.

Bhutto, who was campaigning for the elections, had completed an election rally and was leaving the rally site, Rawalpindi’s Liaquat Bagh Park, at the time of the attack.

Her father and former prime minister, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, was hanged in the same northern city in 1979.

As a shocked Pakistan absorbed the news of Bhutto’s death, authorities called for calm and asked residents to stay inside.

In Sindh province, where Karachi is located, police said demonstrators had burned a dozen banks, set two train stations on fire, along with three trains. Since Thursday, 240 vehicles have been burned.

Because of the violence, paramilitary forces in Sindh were told to “shoot on sight” anyone causing civil disturbances, a spokesman for the Pakistan Rangers said.

But by Friday morning, Pakistani media reported an uneasy calm had spread across the shaken country, now marking a three~day period of mourning declared by President Pervez Musharraf.

Bhutto led Pakistan from 1988~1990 and 1993~1996, but both times the sitting president dismissed her amid corruption allegations. She was the first female prime minister of any Islamic nation.

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A terror attack targeting her motorcade in Karachi in October killed 136 people on the day she returned to Pakistan after eight years of self~imposed exile.

Bhutto had been critical of what she believed was a lack of effort by President Musharraf’s government to protect her.

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Thank you CNN News

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WHY wasn’t she better protected???

Why was what she fought so deperately against, what killed her so violently?

~The Baby Boomer Queen~

Megan Bryant is giddy. She’s just learned that Pilates can add an inch to your height.

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Candon Bates and Kelly Drummond learn Rockette techniques from instructor Cheryl Cutlip.
“I’m 5 foot even, but I’m only 16, so maybe I’ll grow more. But if Pilates helps, I’m totally doing that.”
Bryant needs to be 5 feet 6 inches by her 18th birthday to have a shot at the goal she’s been dancing toward since she was three years old: to become a Radio City Rockette.

Joining the precision company is a dream for thousands of young dancers.

Bryant and 18 other students from Patsy’s Dance Studio in Covington, Virginia, spent all night on a bus to New York City to attend the Rockette Experience at Radio City Music Hall, an intensive course in the company’s technique, on December 14, as the Rockettes’ 75th Christmas Spectacular unfolded on the famed stage downstairs.

Over three hours participants learn tap and jazz routines from the show, including those eye-high kicks, the dancers do about 400 per show.

They also learn the tricky “hook up.” Rockettes appear to link arms to form a tight-knit kick line, but they’re not actually allowed to touch, leaning on a neighbor could send the dancers crashing to the stage.

Finally, they undergo a mock audition, where they receive grades and feedback.

It may sound like Rockette-for-a-day fantasy camp, but the $108 class, offered throughout the year, is not for newbies, you’ll need at least intermediate dance skills to participate. While most attendees are teens, older professional dancers sometimes sign up as training for the official Rockette auditions in April.
For those even more serious about a Rockette career, there’s a weeklong boot camp each summer, where dancers learn the moves and get a chance to shine for Radio City talent scouts. Since the Experience started six years ago, about 30 Rockettes have been plucked from the 2,000 dancers who attend the courses each year.

The Experience was created in 2001 by Radio City marketing staffer Judi Ludovico. A former dancer, Ludovico had been frustrated by not knowing what to expect from auditions. She thought aspiring Rockettes could use a leg up, training in the troupe’s unusual technique.

The program “is a dream come true for these girls,” says Ramona Garcia, 58, a Covington elementary-school teacher and former dancer, chaperoning the group. “I wanted to be a Rockette, but I wasn’t tall enough — or thin enough,” she says with a laugh.

To these small-town dancers, class instructor Cheryl Cutlip’s road to Rockettedom is inspiring: She left High Point, North Carolina, a town with one dance studio, carrying two suitcases, bound for New York. She’s now in her 15th season at Radio City.

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Cutlip offers some sobering facts about Rockette life: Rehearsals for the holiday show start in September, running seven hours a day for four weeks. During the 10~week season, Rockettes kick their way through 16 performances a week, doing as many as four 90 minute shows in a day. And that’s not including one~offs like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the “Today” show, presidential inaugurations and private appearances.

And they do it all in costume, sometimes with each dancer sparkling with 3,000 Swarovksi crystals.

“It’s pretty hardcore,” says Covington dancer Kelly Drummond, 16.

St. Louis native Julienne Rencher, 24, is already preparing for the grueling schedule. While working as an Experience class assistant, she’s soaking up as much training as possible to prepare for the spring auditions. She also does ballet daily, plus regular cardio workouts of 90 minutes, the same length as the Spectacular. “And Bikram yoga,” she adds. “Lots of it.”

It pays to prepare: When Cutlip tried out 15 years ago, about 200 girls auditioned, she says. In 2007, the line of hopefuls “stretched all the way around the block” to fill less than 20 available spots in the five shows, New York’s, plus four touring troupes.

Blame daunting odds on low turnover. “Once you become a Rockette, if you keep yourself in shape, the company is fantastic about keeping you on,” Cutlip says. And because of the Spectacular’s enduring popularity, it’s one of the few reliable dancing gigs in show business.

Audition anxiety is a few years and thousands of practice kicks away for the girls from Covington. For now, they’ll return home armed with newfound technique, insider tips. “No quivering on the end pose. If you put the wrong arm up, don’t switch. Make the last kick strongest. And smile!”

When there is the official word on the height situation. Hopefuls must be between 5 feet 6 inches and 5 feet 10 1/2 inches to qualify, up from the original standard of 5 feet 5 1/2 inches to 5 feet 9 inches “They grow ’em taller now,” says Cutlip.
Bryant’s not fazed. “It’s worth all the hard work,” she says. “It’s the Rockettes! Seeing them is something you never forget.”

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Thank you Live Wire and writer, Elizabeth Bougerol

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