Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Royal Breakfast By Zach Johnson

Prinz William and Kate Middleton haven't forgotten the commoners!

As the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge anxiously await the arrival of their second child, fans are camping outside St. Mary's Hospital in London, where Middleton will soon deliver the next royal heir. However, the weather is unseasonably chilly, with the overnight temperature dropping as low as 38F°. So, how did the parents-to-be express their gratitude? To make the wait a tad more enjoyable, the royal couple sent their fans breakfast pastries and hot drinks Tuesday, Kensington Palace told NBC. The coffee, croissants and danishes were delivered at around 9 a.m. local time. Royal admirer Maria Scott told People that two men arrived carrying two white boxes tied up in pink ribbons and 10 cups of coffee. "They knocked on the tent and said, 'Good morning, we have a present from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.'" Fellow fan John Loughrey, who's been camped outside the hospital since Apr. 16, added, "We're really touched—we thank them with all our hearts." E! Online

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

When You Have Cancer and Can't Sleep By Anna Medaris Miller

Traci Gordon never had a problem falling asleep or staying asleep. In fact, she has a sleep disorder that causes her to sleep too much. "I could sleep through a whole weekend," Gordon says. That all changed when Gordon, a 47-year-old administrative assistant in New York, began chemotherapy for breast cancer about seven years ago. The treatment threw her body into an artificial state of menopause, which caused unrelenting night sweats. "My memory of it was waking up five, six, seven times a night, absolutely dripping," Gordon says. Each time, she would change her clothes, stand in front of the air conditioner and wonder how much of her fatigue was caused by the cancer, how much was caused by the treatment and how much was caused by her inability to sleep through the night. "It was really having an impact on top of everything else," she says. Sleep problems during cancer are ubiquitous, affecting up to 80 percent of people undergoing chemotherapy, says Oxana Palesh, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University Medical Center who develops and tests sleep interventions for cancer patients and survivors. One of her studies found that insomnia is about three times more prevalent among cancer patients being treated with chemotherapy than it is in the general population. When you have cancer, Palesh says, "it's much more common to have sleep problems than not." But at the same time, sleeping well during cancer treatment is critically important in fighting the disease. Without solid rest, the body's level of cortisol -- known as "the stress hormone" -- goes up and the count of "natural killer cells," or NK cells, that help fight cancer go down, says Dr. Laeeq Shamsuddin, medical director of the sleep clinic at Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Midwestern Regional Medical Center in Zion, Illinois. For Kym Sinclair, a 31-year-old nurse in Santa Cruz, California, some of the most significant sleep disruptions from cancer were psychological. As she began chemotherapy, Sinclair struggled with side effects, including bone aches, vomiting, nausea, gastrointestinal distress and the chills -- all of which put a good night's sleep further out of reach. "You just can't ever get comfortable. You just constantly feel like you have the flu," she says. It's important that patients talk to their primary care doctor or oncologist about sleep during cancer treatment in part because sleep disorders -- among people with and without cancer -- are treatable, says Cancer Treatment Centers of America's Shamsuddin. In most cases, he says, the approach to treatment is the same. "There are about 70 known sleep disorders out there, and any one of those can obviously affect cancer patients," he says. "Treating them helps to improve [patients'] tolerance to chemotherapy, radiation therapy, as well as their physical, psychological and cognitive functioning." "[Cancer patients] are going through so much, and they're going to be fatigued from the chemotherapy regardless," Shamsuddin says. "But if we can at least avoid them being fatigued from sleep apnea or any other sleep disorder, that's going to affect their quality of life and their energy level and their overall outlook tremendously." US News & World Report

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Blues Brothers

Sweet Home Chicago   Yahoo! & mywayonline.it

Kraft Is Changing Its Classic Orange Macaroni and Cheese Recipe By Alessia Santoro

If all your kid will eat is macaroni and cheese — judgment-free zone, we promise — it's likely that your pantry is lined with Kraft's iconic macaroni and cheese. But on the tail of having to recall some of its product, Kraft intends to make some changes, particularly to its classic orange coloring that we all know and love. The company announced on Monday that starting early next year, it will be switching out the artificial colors and flavors in favor of natural alternatives such as paprika and turmeric. This change is coming at a time when consumers are more aware of the ingredients found in the foods they are buying their families, so even though your kids — and you, let's be honest — will miss those bright orange elbows, we're sure the new version will be just as delicious (and a little healthier). PopSugar Moms People

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Anxious people often share this one positive trait By David Wilson

If you worry a lot, fear not — your anxiety just might be a sign of high intelligence. The idea has been around for a while: The adage that ignorance is bliss suggests the reverse, that knowledge involves anguish. Now it’s starting to get some scientific validation. In a recent study, for instance, psychologist Alexander Penney and his colleagues surveyed more than 100 students at Lakehead University in Ontario, Canada, and asked them to report their levels of worry. The researchers found that students with more angst — for instance, those who agreed with survey statements like “I am always worrying about something” — scored higher on a verbal intelligence test. The perception that worrywarts are smart is bolstered by a peculiar 2012 experiment by psychologists Tsachi Ein-Dor and Orgad Tal, from the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya in Israel. The experiment inflicted seemingly incidental bursts of stress on 80 students. The students in the study were told their role was to assess artwork presented by a software program — but this was just a cover story. While doing so, participants “accidentally” activated a supposedly virulent computer virus. (This, of course, happened automatically, regardless of the participants’ behavior.) Next, they were urged by the trained actress running the show to seek technical support urgently. As they tried to do so, the poor saps were presented with four more challenges. In the hallway, for instance, someone begged them to do a survey, and another student dropped a stack of papers at their feet. The higher participants scored on a measure of anxiety, the more inclined they were to focus single-mindedly on fixing the original computer virus glitch. “We found that anxious individuals were less willing to be delayed on their way to deliver a warning message,” Ein-Dor and Tal said in the study. Nervous Nellies proved more alert and effective. In earlier research, Ein-Dor and Tal showed that worriers sense threats faster than their calm counterparts — including the smell of smoke. From the two researchers’ perspective, if you habitually fret, you are, reassuringly,  a “sentinel” instead of a neurotic bundle of nerves. Another study, run by psychiatrist Jeremy Coplan from SUNY Downstate Medical Center in New York, involved people who suffered from generalized anxiety disorder. He and his colleagues found that people with more severe symptoms had a higher IQ than those with milder symptoms. The idea that worriers are cannier than average may just seem to make sense — a worried mind is a searching mind, and smarter people may have the cognitive agility to examine multiple angles of any situation, for better or worse. And as Penney and his colleagues wrote in their study, “It is possible that more verbally intelligent individuals are able to consider past and future events in greater detail, leading to more intense rumination and worry.” The relationship — if it is real — could work in both directions. Children who are predisposed to be anxious may be more attentive or diligent in school, for instance, and therefore improve their intelligence. And smart people may find more things to worry about. So the next time someone tells you to relax, explain that nervousness has its virtues. A jittery streak could even be spun as a strategic workplace advantage—a subtle sign of excellence and an up-scale IQ. Business Insider & SLATE

Can Drinking Milk Prevent Alzheimer's Disease? By K. Aleisha Fetters

How to Make More Glutathione
You can't just eat more glutathione. You have to consume precursors of the molecule to help your body increase its levels naturally, Mass says. "That's why dairy products may have a potential connection to glutathione levels. They are rich in cysteine, one of the building blocks of glutathione." Unfortunately, few adults meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture's 3-cup recommendation for daily dairy intake, Choi says. She notes that, in the current study, the closer subjects' dairy intakes were to the recommended levels, the healthier their levels of glutathione in the brain. "The dairy connection makes great sense and shouldn't be ignored, but maybe this research on dairy is pointing us in a more efficient direction," says Mass, who notes that the pasteurization process can possibly harm and limit glutathione precursors in milk. "What other foods may also help provide the body with the building blocks to support our glutathione? We need more research and this study could be the beginning of something bigger." Currently, one of the most popular ways to raise glutathione levels is by consuming whey protein. In fact, in a previous study published in Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, patients with reduced liver function improved their liver function, plasma glutathione levels and total antioxidant capacity after consuming 20 grams of cysteine-rich whey protein isolate a day for 12 weeks. "When it's manufactured well and does not undergo any high-heat processing, it retains glutathione precursors such as cysteine, lactoferrin and glutamate," Mass says. To ensure that your whey protein is high in those precursors, she recommends choosing a product that has been produced using ultra-filtration methods and cold-processing techniques. "These methods allow us to consume protein powder that has higher levels of amino acids than other sources along with immunoglobulins, which support a healthy immune system to further prevent oxidative damage." Another benefit is that since whey protein contains very little lactose, or milk sugar, you may be able to consume the protein even if you are lactose intolerant. If it does upset your stomach, though, you can also get cysteine from meats, poultry, eggs and quinoa, Mass says. Sulfur-rich foods such as cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and other leafy greens), onions and garlic may also support glutathione synthesis in the body. Whatever you eat to increase your glutathione levels, for optimal Alzheimer's protection, you'll also need to integrate other brain-boosting strategies into your daily routine. "To optimally reduce oxidative stress and Alzheimer's risk, you have to hit from every angle," Isaacson says. In addition to dietary changes, he recommends regularly working out, reducing stress and exercising your brain with continual learning, games and brain teasers. But, come breakfast time, drinking a glass of milk is a perfect place to start. U.S. News & World Report Yahoo!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Polio, Cancer - One Nemesis May Counter the Other By Joseph Cooper

The polio virus crippled limbs and souls through April 1955. Sixty years later, it's a possible cancer crippler. For those of us born in the USA in the 1940s, there were three kinds of terrorism: the terrors posed by World War II enemies and the prospect of losing a (future) father, brother, nephew; the incipient terror of the atomic bomb and nuclear war; and the terror of paralytic poliomyelitis (a home-front home-grown terrorist). The polio virus twisted limbs, maimed and compromised the respiratory systems of its victims, mostly children, many of whom could only breathe with the aid of iron-lung encapsulation.

A 60th anniversary On April 12, 1955, Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine was officially declared to be effective and full-scale inoculation efforts were set in motion. Banner newspaper headlines proclaimed the godsend. In an informal survey of undergraduates conducted by me and several colleagues (at a university and a community college), we found that while some students have some awareness of polio, there was scant recognition of the name Jonas Salk. By contrast, a fair portion of those surveyed recognized the name Nick Jonas, the singer-songwriter "multi-instrumentalist" of the pop-rock band the Jonas Brothers. The fact that so few know of Jonas Salk, the medical researcher and virologist who developed the first successful vaccine against polio, is evidence of how effective his efforts at eradication were, at least in the USA. While the vast majority of students polled know of someone afflicted with cancer and understand cancer's consequences, very few had a clear sense of what polio wrought. As if the timing had been ordained, an experimental treatment for cancer is bringing polio back into the news.
Spring 2015: Polio virus makes news -- good news
By extraordinary coincidence, recent "60 Minutes" segments highlighted the cancer-eradicating potential of a genetically-engineered strain of the deadly polio virus. The modified virus, which is being infused into the brains of glioblastoma patients (at Duke University's Brain Tumor Center), seems to thwart those particularly lethal cancer tumors. The modified polio virus seems to deactivate the cancer tumor's ability to defeat immune capacities. Freed up, the immune system works at defeating the tumor. Miraculously, the immunotherapy workings spare healthy tissues, while killing cancer cells. An expensive undertaking, to be sure. The March of Dimes, which was founded in 1938 by polio-victim Franklin D. Roosevelt, was instrumental in raising funds that helped bring about a cure for polio. A 21st century March of Dollars will be needed to increase the arsenal of immunotherapy agents. Huffington Post

I Was a Dancer By Jacques D'Amboise

March 1, 2011  

“Who am I? I’m a man; an American, a father, a teacher, but most of all, I am a person who knows how the arts can change lives, because they transformed mine. I was a dancer.”

In this rich, expansive, spirited memoir, Jacques d’Amboise, one of America’s most celebrated classical dancers, and former principal dancer with the New York City Ballet for more than three decades, tells the extraordinary story of his life in dance, and of America’s most renowned and admired dance companies. He writes of his classical studies beginning at the age of eight at The School of American Ballet. At twelve he was asked to perform with Ballet Society; three years later he joined the New York City Ballet and made his European debut at London’s Covent Garden.

As George Balanchine’s protégé, d’Amboise had more works choreographed on him by “the supreme Ballet Master” than any other dancer, among them Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux; Episodes; A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream; Jewels; Raymonda Variations.

He writes of his boyhood—born Joseph Ahearn—in Dedham, Massachusetts; his mother (“the Boss”) moving the family to New York City’s Washington Heights; dragging her son and daughter to ballet class (paying the teacher $7.50 from hats she made and sold on street corners, and with chickens she cooked stuffed with chestnuts); his mother changing the family name from Ahearn to her maiden name, d’Amboise (“It’s aristocratic. It has the ‘d’ apostrophe. It sounds better for the ballet, and it’s a better name”).

We see him. a neighborhood tough, in Catholic schools being taught by the nuns; on the streets, fighting with neighborhood gangs, and taking ten classes a week at the School of American Ballet . . . being taught professional class by Balanchine and by other teachers of great legend: Anatole Oboukhoff, premier danseur of the Maryinsky; and Pierre Vladimiroff, Pavlova’s partner.

D’Amboise writes about Balanchine’s succession of ballerina muses who inspired him to near-obsessive passion and led him to create extraordinary ballets, dancers with whom d’Amboise partnered—Maria Tallchief; Tanaquil LeClercq, a stick-skinny teenager who blossomed into an exquisite, witty, sophisticated “angel” with her “long limbs and dramatic, mysterious elegance . . .”; the iridescent Allegra Kent; Melissa Hayden; Suzanne Farrell, who Balanchine called his “alabaster princess,” her every fiber, every movement imbued with passion and energy; Kay Mazzo; Kyra Nichols (“She’s perfect,” Balanchine said. “Uncomplicated—like fresh water”); and Karin von Aroldingen, to whom Balanchine left most of his ballets.

D’Amboise writes about dancing with and courting one of the company’s members, who became his wife for fifty-three years, and the four children they had . . . On going to Hollywood to make Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and being offered a long-term contract at MGM (“If you’re not careful,” Balanchine warned, “you will have sold your soul for seven years”) . . . On Jerome Robbins (“Jerry could be charming and complimentary, and then, five minutes later, attack, and crush your spirit—all to see how it would influence the dance movements”).

D’Amboise writes of the moment when he realizes his dancing career is over and he begins a new life and new dream teaching children all over the world about the arts through the magic of dance.

A riveting, magical book, as transformative as dancing itself. Amazon.com The New Yorker

Monday, April 6, 2015


Tilt-A-Whirl at Coney Island Amusement Park

7 Things No One Told You About Having Kids By Denise Geelhart

When I imagined becoming a mom, I knew it wouldn't be all cuddles and kisses. I knew it would come with lots of diaper changes, messes, dreaded potty-training and temper tantrums.
When I was pregnant with my first child, I heard over and over again from friends and family that we wouldn't sleep again for at least 18 years once the baby arrived. We also learned that my personal hygiene would get neglected (it did) and that we would become obsessed with our new baby's bowel movements. Magazine articles and blog posts only reiterated what those close to us said. However, there were a few things that these well-meaning people forgot to mention. You know, things no one told me about having kids.
1. Moments of privacy? Ha!
Forget it. Children have an innate sense of when you want (or need) time to yourself or a moment with your spouse. They don't understand why anyone would want to be alone. They feel like it is their job to keep you company, especially when you need to use the bathroom. I suggest a lock. Seriously.
2. Personal space? What's that?
Babies and toddlers have no clue what personal space is. They have no misgivings about getting right up in your face. Not only will their face be right on top of yours, but every part of their body will be, too. For some reason, my 3-year-old loves sticking her butt up in the air. Inevitably, it ends up closer to my face than I ever wanted. Never mind the fact that my youngest doesn't understand that sitting on my face might cause me to suffocate.
3. Whatever you are eating, they will want it. Now.
My girls are master moochers. If I want to eat something I love and not have them share it, I have to hide in a locked bathroom (see #1) or wait until they are in bed for the night. Since the latter usually happens after 9 p.m., I don't get to eat what I want very often. It has gotten so bad that I've been known to put off eating lunch until my girls are napping so I can eat my lunch without little hands and fingers grabbing at it.
4. Your stuff = their stuff.
At least, that is what they believe. We used to keep some things, like coasters, puzzle books, and pens, in our end table drawers. No more. My girls thought everything in a drawer was one of their toys. I've had to be creative in hiding those items. By the time they were tall enough to touch the top of tables, I had to hide everything I kept on there, too. Any kitschy stuff has been hidden until they are much older. I'm thinking until at least 21.
5. You will lose your mind.
I'm sure you've heard of "pregnancy brain." Ha. That's nothing compared to "Mommy brain." Focus is a thing of the past with all that you need to keep track of now. I blame my kids.
6. There will be bodily harm.
Be prepared to be harmed physically by your adorable bundles of joy! I've lost count of the number of times I have been head-butted by a child, whacked in the teeth and stepped on. I'm a bit amazed that bruises haven't yet appeared on my face. My husband has seriously considered buying a cup for protection. (I'm thinking that might be the perfect birthday or Christmas gift.)
7. Your boobs will never be the same!
I'm not talking about the sag that happens after having a baby. (Although that does happen, too.) My girls have stepped on my "girls" (who saw that coming?) multiple times, randomly grabbed them, pulled them to help them get up and rubbed them for comfort, long after breastfeeding came to an end. If I had a dollar for every time I told youngest, "Hands off my boobs!", I would be able to afford a whole new wardrobe for my post-baby body.
And, despite all the torture my little ones put us through, my husband and I decided to have a third. I blame #5!
Are there some things you've run across as a parent that no one told you about?
This post originally appeared on Adventures of a Jayhawk Mommy  Huffington Post