Monthly Archives: November 2011
Something we don’t often think about when it comes to health is pest control. But having pests in your home can do a number on your health in many ways. There are always sanitation concerns with things like cockroaches and rats, hantavirus concerns with mice, the fear of waking up with new bites, or losing sleep with bats living it up in your attic all night long.
Particularly as winter approaches, pest control services are more important than ever. As the Northeastern United States begins to experience dipping temperatures and snowfall, pests make their way indoors. So, what are the three biggest issues for Massachusetts pest control professionals? Keep reading to find out.
1. Mice - These little fellas can sure be cute–but don’t let those furry faces fool you. Mice belong out in the woodlands, not in your home. As the winter weather intensifies, mice often do their best to nest inside warm structures like homes and office buildings.
Mice are problematic because they reproduce quickly, carry diseases, and cause damage to buildings. Be sure to contact a professional if you seem to have an infestation. You don’t want your family sharing space with these pests.
2. Spiders - Spiders are high on the list of creepiest, crawliest, most fear-inducing creatures around. Homes near woodlands in Massachusetts are often plagued with these pests, which like areas heavy with shrubbery, trees, and bushes.
While the average spider bite is harmless, some spiders can and do cause serious damage to humans and pets alike. Nobody likes to see one of these 8-legged arachnids crawling across the floor of their home. The best method is prevention–be sure to spider-proof your home with the help of a professional before the winter storms hit hard.
3. Termites - With winter comes the need for firewood, and as firewood piles up in our yards, so does the threat of termite infestations. You’ve heard it before, but termite infestations are one of the most damaging to wood structures, making older homes of the Northeastern US a perfect target.
If you think you hear chattering inside your walls, see a winged “swarmer,” or find their shelter tubes anywhere near your home, call a professional immediately. This isn’t a good opportunity to DIY. Before the damage costs you an arm and a leg, take care of the problem.
Now is the perfect time to pest-proof your home. With winter upon us and the holiday season bringing family and friends into your home, there’s nothing more important than being proactive.
Have you ever gazed deeply and lovingly into you significant other’s eyes? Have you found yourself lost in them, seemingly drowning in their perfect depths and not caring if you ever come back up? Even with such deep and careful observation of someone’s eyes, there may be less perfection and more problems than, well, meets the eye.
Did you know that your eyes are not perfectly round, despite Hello Kitty and company’s appearance to the contrary? Our eyes are actually egg-shaped, being slightly taller or more vertical, than longer or horizontal. Did you also know that the more “unround” your eye, the more vision problems you can have? Axial myopia, or nearsightedness, is caused by having an eye that is too long, front to back. Likewise, having an eye that is too short causes hyperopia, or farsightedness. Since eye shape is one of those things determined by heredity, this is why many people in the same family often end up with similar vision problems and thus end up with glasses or contacts.
Another eye problem we can get from our parents is color blindness. The proper term is color vision deficiency. No matter what you call it, it means that you can’t see or process some colors. Some people only have trouble with certain colors, or in certain lighting. Others can’t perceive the differences between certain shades, or even between entire color families. Color reception is the job of the rods that make up your retina. There are S, M, and L rods. Each one “sees” or absorbs certain wavelengths of light, and the colors in those wavelengths. Deficiencies in one or more types of these rods lead to color blindness. So, the kind and extent of the color blindness depends on which types of rods, and how many of those rods, aren’t properly doing their job.
Ophthalmologists have an entire arsenal of high-tech toys and gadgets to look long and lovingly into our eyes to spot the perfections and imperfections lingering there. They have everything from ultrasounds to wavefront aberrometers. The latter is a machine that measures the aberrations, or imperfections, in your eyes. Depending on the type and extent of the aberration, you may get away with a pair of nifty specs, or you may have to face the surgical suite. In there, your ophthalmologist is likely to have something like the UniPulse COL-1040, a handy-dandy surgical laser designed to “beam you up” to perfect or near perfect vision.
So, the next time you’re lost in someone’s eyes, take a moment to think about how these complex little machines work. And then go back to being a romantic sap. After all, that’s what eyes are for, right?
Breast augmentation procedures took the top prize for the most performed plastic surgery of 2010. So, it would seem that more women than ever have been getting breast implants. But, say some industry watchers, that doesn’t mean that the trend will continue.
Over the last 30 years, breast augmentation procedures have gone from the playground wishlist of the very wealthy to something many women can afford. That fact alone has seen an upswing in the number of breast implant surgeries nationwide. As certain celebrities’ stars rose and fell, their cleavage size was the “ideal” for many women. At times, it was the bigger the better, or so Hollywood seemed to say. And for those with less than average or small sized bust lines, breast augmentation was a way to have that “goddess bodice” just like the movie stars on the big screen.
Another thing that helped the rising trend in rising breast sizes was the development of safer, more natural-looking ways to increase the bust size. Plastic surgery breakthroughs developed the tapered breast implant, that shifted less, kept its position better, and looked more like the real thing than the previous rounded models of implants. Thicker, more stable shells now prevent filler loss and leakage, meaning less chance of an implant needing repair or replacement. And with variable sizes and types now available, any woman can have the cleavage of her dreams without the fears and worries, or dangerous side effects, of earlier breast implants.
So, with new, safer, more natural looking breast augmentation available, and lowered costs and medical risks for the patient, why do some say that breast implants are on their way out? Well, to be precise, no one is predicting an end to breast augmentation. But the extra large and unnatural look of the 90s is long gone.
More and more celebrities are having their breast implants replaced with smaller, more natural contour. As the women mature and age, they want a more natural, slimmer profile. They want to be able to age “gracefully” and naturally, and having va-va-va-vooms like a 20 year old while the rest of the body has reached 40, isn’t exactly the picture of health and fitness many stars want to portray.
Breast augmentation is the most popular cosmetic procedure in our nation, and it’s not going anywhere. Trends in the past thirty years point to today’s preference for a more natural look. Women want to feel confident and comfortable in their own bodies, not like over-inflated, obviously augmented vixens.
In elementary school, physical education becomes the foundation for a child’s physical growth and knowledge. In later grades, PE games become a way to inject daily activity into a student’s life.
Considering the skyrocketing childhood obesity rates, PE curriculum has become even more essential to young, developing minds and bodies. An estimated one in three children is at least overweight. Obesity puts kids at risk for numerous health problems, including diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
Strangely enough, in a society focused on health and concerned with the general well-being of children, PE resources are heavily lacking.
Standards and Lesson Plans
Despite the lack of monetary resources, the standards and lesson plans surrounding the nation’s physical education curriculum are still quite appropriate. As a general concept, the curriculum is designed to promote children’s daily activity while incorporating key social skills. This helps them develop a sense of fitness and a healthy mindset to support that fitness.
Standards help as a means of measuring the skills and progress of individual students while providing a template for progressive learning. The standards and activities in elementary school, for example, are not nearly as advanced as those for high school students.
As an example, here is a sample set of standards for elementary school students in California.
- Standard 1: Students must demonstrate motor skills and movement patterns necessary to perform various physical activities.
- Standard 2: Students must demonstrate knowledge of movement concepts, principles, and strategies and their application to physical fitness and activities.
- Standard 3: Students must assess and maintain a level of physical fitness to improve health and physical performance.
- Standard 4: Students must demonstrate knowledge of physical fitness concepts, principles, and strategies to improve health and performance.
- Standard 5: Students must demonstrate and utilize knowledge of psychological and sociological concepts, principles, and strategies and how they apply to learning and performance of physical activities.
As you can see, these standards interconnect, providing a steady sense of progress as students go from standard to standard.
Games and Activities
The great thing about these standards is that they are broad enough to allow for a wide variety of activities. For instance, the first standard, as complex as it might seem, could include a simple game of tag or hide and seek. The second standard could call for activities like a game of basketball or hockey or even line dancing.