Recently I discovered Li’l Writer Guy living in my head.

That sentence is enough to make half the readers of this blog think I’m insane, and the other half think I’m possessed. Be that as it may, it’s the best way I know to explain the way I think. (More)
Posted by sursumcorda on Friday, March 4, 2005 at 10:21 pm | Edit
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So, I know I don't have time to spend posting to the blog, but over lunch I read quite a strange article in today's paper. Here is a link, I hope. (This is my first post to the blog and out of our family I know the least about computers - well, I may know more than Jonathan, but not for long!) Anyway, about the article. It is about devices that a Rochester woman sells to keep belly button holes from closing up when women are pregnant and the ring won't fit anymore (though it took me to the end to actually figure that out). It is interesting how the article is worded as if to sound that this is a need that has no other options. Women speak of this device as life-saving because they don't want to HAVE to be pierced again, and it's so great because it's safer than the do-it-yourself methods. As one bright woman observed: "'I took a piece of string and tied it together like a ring,' she recounts. 'It didn't look professional, and people looked at me funny'." Okay, since when did showing your belly ever look professional?
Posted by harp on Wednesday, March 2, 2005 at 11:23 am | Edit
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Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.  (Proverbs 3:27)

Last night some friends came over for dinner, and were enchanted by the Lady Grey tea that I served.  When they left, I thought about giving them some tea bags to take with them.  However, we had plans to go to the beach together this weekend, and I decided it would be nicer to bring the tea with me, as a surprise.  Unfortunately, due to a crisis at work, we had to back out of the beach plans.

The moral: If you can do something good, do it now. Tomorrow is not promised to us.
Posted by sursumcorda on Friday, January 21, 2005 at 11:10 am | Edit
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Everywhere you turn these days you'll find an opportunity to make donations to help the victims of the recent Indian Ocean tsunami. My favorite is World Vision International, a well-established organization that has been doing good work in developing countries longer than I've been alive. Some of the reasons I like World Vision are succinctly explained in a statement I quote below from their tsunami donation website. Before you click on the World Vision link, however, there is one thing I'd like to clarify. (More)
Posted by sursumcorda on Thursday, January 6, 2005 at 8:57 am | Edit
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News reports are trumpeting findings which, if true, show that our society has fallen even lower than I had thought. A study of almost 1000 Texan women found that they ranked watching television high on the list of activities that give pleasure, while taking care of children was low—almost as low as doing housework. (More)
Posted by sursumcorda on Friday, December 3, 2004 at 9:12 am | Edit
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We have a friend who just delivered her third child after two previous Caesarean sections that followed non-progressive labors. According to a recent report in the New York Times, that blessing would not have been possible with many doctors and hospitals. For a number of reasons, many hospitals are refusing to allow patients to attempt VBAC's (vaginal births after Caesarean). (More)
Posted by sursumcorda on Tuesday, November 30, 2004 at 1:58 pm | Edit
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A study in London showed that chocolate is a more effective cough medicine than those terrible-tasting syrups, and has fewer side effects. Patients in the study were given theobromine in amounts equivalent to two cups of cocoa, or codeine, or a placebo. Codeine, traditionally used to suppress persistent coughs, was only slightly more effective than the placebo, but the theobromine excelled. The next questions: Is more better? Is less just as effective? Since milk chocolate contains less theobromine than dark chocolate, do I need to eat more M&M's than chocolate chips for the same result? <Ahem>, <ahem>, excuse me while I go nip this cough in the bud....
Posted by sursumcorda on Wednesday, November 24, 2004 at 1:41 pm | Edit
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Worried about putting on extra pounds with upcoming holiday feasting? Remember what your mom always told you, and be sure to get enough sleep! A study by Columbia University researchers shows a strong inverse correlation between the amount of sleep people receive and their tendency toward obesity. Compared with those who slept seven to nine hours per night, people who slept less than four hours a night were 73% more likely to be obese; those who got five hours of sleep were 50% more likely, and those who averaged six hours were 23% more likely.

Sleep—the new weight loss program!
Posted by sursumcorda on Monday, November 22, 2004 at 8:31 am | Edit
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A technique for protecting premature infants, developed in Colombia because of a shortage of incubators, is proving so effective that Colombian doctors are urging more affluent nations to adopt it as well. Called "kangaroo mother care," the therapy begins when the child no longer needs special medical support, and ends when he is able to regulate his own temperature, typically at the time he would normally have been born. (More)
Posted by sursumcorda on Saturday, November 13, 2004 at 12:43 pm | Edit
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There are many ways to serve one's country besides military service, but today we honor those who have given the extraordinary service of laying their lives, health, and future on the line for us, especially those who gave "the last full measure of devotion." (More)
Posted by sursumcorda on Thursday, November 11, 2004 at 7:17 am | Edit
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An Austrian study of the benefits of walking is both encouraging and perplexing. During the four-month study, 45 healthy adults walked 600 meters, three to five times per week. Each participant walked uphill for half of the study, and downhill for the other half, taking a cable car for the opposite trip.

It's not surprising that the walkers benefitted from their exercise; what is peculiar is the distribution of their improvements. Both uphill and downhill walkers experienced a decrease in their LDL ("bad") cholesterol. Uphill walking also lowered triglyceride levels and increased the body's ability to handle fat. Downhill walking significantly increased the body's ability to handle sugar. Walking uphill did not help with sugar, nor downhill with fats. (More)
Posted by sursumcorda on Wednesday, November 10, 2004 at 8:28 am | Edit
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Florida is being labeled as an unhealthy state, ranking 42nd in a study by the United Health Foundation. On looking further into the study, I discovered that the risk factors they considered were far different from the ones I would have chosen to get a picture of how living in a certain state might be a health risk or benefit. I would have asked questions such as: (More)
Posted by sursumcorda on Tuesday, November 9, 2004 at 7:37 am | Edit
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Homeschooling is legal in Pennsylvania, but the regulations imposed on homeschooling families are among the strictest in the nation. Recently, one family decided to sue the state on grounds that the rules impose an unreasonable restriction on their freedom of religion. Reading that article, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's editorial in response, reminds me that we must never, never become complacent about our rights, nor take our freedoms for granted. The Post-Gazette wonders,

To us, the requirements seem rather minimal. Parents must submit an annual affidavit to the local school superintendent outlining their educational goals. They must turn in a log at the end of the year showing what subjects were taught and when. A neutral, certified teacher reviews the work and interviews the child. Standardized tests are required at several grade levels.

What is the problem with that?

One problem is that such an attitude betrays appalling ignorance of what homeschooling is all about. It is not about taking the philosophies, methods, systems, procedures, and materials of school and trying to squeeze them into one's living room. Rather, homeschooling liberates children and families to pursue learning in creative ways that are not possible when subjected to classroom-mentality restrictions. (More)
Posted by sursumcorda on Saturday, November 6, 2004 at 4:57 pm | Edit
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Researchers at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital found yet another health benefit of breastfeeding, this time for mothers. Women in the study who breastfed their children for a total of one to two years experienced a 20% lower risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis later in life. For those who breastfed for at least two years, the risk was cut in half.
Posted by sursumcorda on Thursday, November 4, 2004 at 2:35 pm | Edit
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It appears that Boston could not have two big winners this year. If they could have chosen, I wonder how many would have traded the Red Sox World Series win for a Kerry victory?
Posted by sursumcorda on Wednesday, November 3, 2004 at 1:59 pm | Edit
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