Saturday, February 09, 2008

Body Worlds

I was REALLY excited to learn that this exhibit is coming to the Telus World of Science, Mike and I had thought it would be fascinating, and I was jealous that it hit Toronto and Vancouver and not here. But its coming! They have posters up at the Science center announcing it, and I was doing a jig of joy when I read them lol.

See the human body like never before as TELUS World of Science™ - Edmonton presents Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS: The Original Exhibition of Real Human Bodies, the most highly attended touring exhibition in the world. From individual organs to whole bodies, BODY WORLDS offers visitors a rare opportunity to see the complexity of human anatomy and physiology.

BODY WORLDS features authentic human specimens preserved through a revolutionary process called Plastination. This remarkable preservation technique replaces bodily fluids and fat with reactive plastics, thereby preserving human tissue in its natural state. Visitors who embark on this amazing journey below the skin's surface will view an extensive collection including more than 200 authentic organs, systems and whole-body displays.

Body Worlds

Its pretty damn pricey, $27 which includes general admission, but my desire to see this exhibit actually overpowers my cheapness LOL. I think we are going to co-ordinate with Kandice and Dan and go, I asked if it was going to Calgary and they didn't think it would. I think its too scarey for Mr K, if he was older I would take him for sure. I also would like to take the time sans kids to read and learn and poke around. They have evening ones, so I think we will buy tickets for one of those and have a certain Uncle babysit :)

I just read on the site that it takes 1500 hours to plastinate one body, no wonder its that expensive! That a huge amount of man hours and the cost must be insane.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Chocolate Hotdog

I couldn't make this stuff up any better if you paid me to, I swear. Somedays its just a three ring comedy circus around this house! I was putting the Princess down for a nap the other day, when the door creaked open, and this little hand with a hotdog bun curled around the corner. Then Mr K whispered

" Mom!"

"Ssssh K! I am trying to get Ivy to sleep"

"But Mom! I made you a chocolate hotdog"

Oh crap. Now this I have to see, waking the Princess be damned. He tiptoed over and put a hotdog bun in my hand, which I opened to see:

"oh, um YUM, K, now let me get your sister to sleep. DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING ELSE DOWNSTAIRS!"

"ok mom"

So the Princess slept, I went downstairs and found this at the bottom of the stairs:
And this on the counter, the remnants of HIS chocolate hotdog, which he claims was fantastic.

So yes, my son literally had a chocolate hotdog for lunch on Monday. Parent of the Year Award, here I come! I shouldn't be surprised, he is very much into his "experiments" lately, (not sure why he calls them that) the last one was mixing Cajun seasoning with rice milk, then soaking a piece of bread in it. And he actually tried a bite. (gag)

Other than that, Auntie K, Uncle Dan and the girlies are up, so off to the mall we go today...and I think the Science Center tomorrow, that should be fun!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Screwing Around..

And yah I am screwing around with the blog template etc so maybe one day I will finish it.

No link between autism and MMR vaccine

LONDON - A vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella does not cause autism, according to the largest study yet showing there is no evidence linking the childhood shot to the development disorder.

The study, published on Tuesday in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, found no evidence of any abnormal biological response from the shot that could point to a link between the vaccine and autism.

"This study really supports the view these are safe vaccines," said David Brown, a researcher at Britain's Health Protection Agency who worked on the study. "The evidence is now so solid there really isn't a need for further studies here."

In 1998, Dr. Andrew Wakefield of Royal Free Hospital in London and colleagues sparked a fierce worldwide debate among scientists and a health scare by suggesting the MMR jab caused autism. Outbreaks of all three diseases followed.

Autism is marked by a variety of difficulties in social interaction and behavior, from the awkwardness of Asperger syndrome to severely debilitating repetitive behaviors and an inability to speak.

The British study looked at nearly 100 autistic children, a group of 52 with learning difficulties and 90 who were developing normally.

All the volunteers chosen from a sample of 57,000 children in southern England had received an MMR vaccination but not everybody got both doses, said Gillian Baird, a pediatrician at the Newcomen Centre for Child Development, who led the study.

The researchers took blood samples from the children and found no abnormal immune response in any of them marked by higher antibody levels or presence of a measles virus still left in the body from the shot, Baird added.

Wakefield, whose research has been widely discredited, had pointed to these two factors as a way to explain the link but the latest findings do not back up that case, Baird said. Wakefield said in a newspaper interview last year he believed it was biologically plausible the shot could cause autism.

"There was no difference across any of the groups no matter how you cut them up," Baird said in a telephone interview. "The response to the MMR vaccine was the same in every group."

Before Wakefield's study, more than 90 percent of British children received the vaccination, a figure that dropped to 80 percent before recovering to a current 85 percent, according to government figures.

Baird said she hoped the findings, along with a U.S. study last week showing that a mercury-based preservative called thimerosal did not cause autism, would bolster confidence in the MMR shot.

"It is a big study and we hope people can have confidence in the MMR shot again," Baird said in a telephone interview. "Measles has come back again because people have stopped immunizing their children."

Original Article

I always find these articles interesting, I delayed the kids MMR shots till they were older than 2, actually, I still have to get The Princess in to have hers. Hmm should book that..... I think part of the problem is a lack of informed physicians, I had a wonderful pediatrician who told me that if I felt uncomfortable, then I could delay the shots, but he recommended that they had them before school.

I reasoned that autism can start showing itself as early as age one, but around 18 months (MMR time) the indications become pretty clear in most cases. There is an actual screening checklist that physicians can do at the 18 months checkup. So it wasn't as much the fact that I thought the shot caused it, but why not wait until you are in the clear for Autism, then proceed with the vax, your mind can rest easier.

I also left in the links above because the ones about chemicals in baby shampoos were interesting, go have a read. Actually, they are all interesting but I don't have time to post them all LOL. Today I have something to DO! Hurray for preschool!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Love Actually..

I did a silly little movie compatibility test on Facecrack today, then of course, I had to see who was my movie match LOL. I looked at my favorite movie on the list, Love Actually, and was really surprised how many people did NOT want to even see it. Those who saw it, rated it 5/5, like myself. But a lot of people didn't even have it down as a want to see.

All favoritism aside (Alan Rickman, my acting god/old-man-crush, and Colin Firth, Englishman-who-makes-my-heart go-bumpity-bump) it has to be the best relationship movie I have ever seen. I laughed my ass off, I cried buckets, I loved the plots and I adored the characters.

The relationships aren't perfect, some are horribly painfully real, some are cutesy and fantasy-like. And if you like a movie full of vignettes that finally tie together in the end, this is the movie for you. Mike actually loved this movie as well, and now I have convinced him to watch it again with me this week sometime :)

Speaking of which, I really also want to see that movie Vantage Point. Not my usual fare, but I LOVE movies that piece together several points of view to come together to a shocking conclusion :) hehe I sound like a movie trailer. So see the actual one below.

Mother thanks her lucky star: Edmonton Journal

EDMONTON - Roxanne Follet sat in a wheelchair, clutching a bright red, heart-shaped pillow and a photo of her newborn daughter lying in a nearby neonatal intensive care unit.

Her voice cracked with emotion Saturday, as she talked about the miracle baby that saved her life.

Miracle Astra Alice Alfreda Follett was born prematurely, 35 weeks into the pregnancy, on Jan. 24 at the University Hospital. In a rare double operation, worthy of an episode of TV's Grey's Anatomy, she was delivered by caesarian section, moments before doctors started open-heart surgery on her mother.

Roxanne Follett gazes into the face of her newborn daughter, Miracle Astra Alice Afreda, at the University Hospital on Saturday after undergoing simultaneous open-heart surgery and delivery.

Roxanne Follett gazes into the face of her newborn daughter, Miracle Astra Alice Afreda, at the University Hospital on Saturday after undergoing simultaneous open-heart surgery and delivery.

It was the first such operation for cardiovascular surgeon Dr. Rod MacArthur and obstetrician Dr. Billy Wong, who both said it was so rare they don't expect to perform another one during their careers.

"There have been approximately 40 cases reported worldwide over the last 25 years and in only approximately half of those cases have both mother and baby survived, so it truly is an exceptional case," MacArthur said during a news conference at the hospital.

As far as MacArthur knows, it is the first such operation in Canada.

Wong said Roxanne Follett would likely not be alive today if she hadn't been pregnant because a tear in her aorta would probably not have been discovered otherwise. Within 24 to 48 hours an aortic tear usually ruptures and, 40 per cent of patients die without emergency surgery, MacArthur added.

The tear was discovered in Edmonton after Follett started struggling to breathe and doctors in Grande Prairie decided she needed to be seen by specialists here.

Doctors faced a Catch-22 situation: Follett likely wouldn't have survived delivery without the heart surgery, but her fetus likely wouldn't have survived the heart surgery, in which Follett's body temperature needed to be cooled to 17 C and the blood drained from her body. Doctors decided to do the caesarian first then the heart surgery, but opened Follett's chest first in case the aorta ruptured while the baby was being delivered. Approximately 12 doctors and nurses were involved in the operation which lasted approximately nine hours.

Follett, a nurse who works in the medical rehabilitation unit of the hospital in Grande Prairie, said she owes her life to her 10-day-old daughter.

"Astra means 'a star,' and that's what she is. She's my star, because if it wasn't for her I wouldn't be here."

The baby was conceived in vitro last year and was the only one of four embryos to survive "so there was a reason," Follett said. "She saved my life and I saved her life.

"I can't even express (what I feel) everytime I look at her. She deserves a million bucks every day for the rest of her life," Follett said, laughing.

Astra's dad, Doug said he feels like he's won a million dollars, "but I didn't get a million dollars. I got two lives."

Doug, who drives a cement truck, spent an emotional 12 hours in a waiting room alternately praying and crying during the operation. "The last time I cried so much, was when I was a baby looking for milk," he joked.

Roxanne said the couple, who are originally from Newfoundland, plan to donate a dollar for every day of Astra's life to the Heart and Stroke Foundation to give back for the miracle they were given.

Astra was scheduled to be airlifted to Grande Prairie hospital where she will spend up to a couple of weeks in that hospital's neonatal intensive care unit growing bigger and stronger. The baby currently weighs just over four pounds but must weigh 5.5 pounds for insurance purposes, before she can travel home in a car seat.

Astra's parents, and her maternal grandmother Alfreda Cunard, who came out from Newfoundland for six weeks to help Roxanne with the baby, were driving back home.

I found this more interesting than usual because Dr Wong is who did my c-section with the Princess. I guess I never really thought about how "high risk" a doctor he really was, holy crap, that's a crazy tandem operation.

Carseat Recall

Evenflo Co. issued a voluntary safety recall Friday of 1 million Discovery infant car seats after tests showed that the seat could potentially become separated from its base in high-impact side collisions.

VANDALIA, Ohio (AP) - Evenflo Co. issued a voluntary safety recall Friday of 1 million Discovery infant car seats after tests showed that the seat could potentially become separated from its base in high-impact side collisions.

The recall affects Discovery Infant Car Seat Models 390, 391, 534 and 552, made between April 2005 and Jan. 29, 2008.

"Evenflo has taken the appropriate action today in recalling the Discovery child safety seat," said Nicole Nason, administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. "Testing conducted by NHTSA and Evenflo has confirmed that these seats represent a potential safety risk to children in high-impact side collisions."

Rob Matteucci, Evenflo's chief executive officer, said the Discovery seat models have performed well to protect infants in side collisions, with no reports of any serious injuries or deaths since they were introduced. However, he said the company wants to take further steps to protect the safety of children.

Evenflo is providing owners of the seat models with a free supplemental dual-hook fastener to ensure that the seat remains attached in such collisions. Evenflo said consumers should continue to use their Discovery infant car seat and that it is not necessary to return the seats to retailers.

The privately held company, based in suburban Dayton, said it is also taking steps to improve future Discovery seat models. The updated seats will be available in the second quarter of 2008.

To order the fastener, owners of Discovery 390, 391, 534, 552 models should call Evenflo at 1-800-356-2229 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST or visit No shipping costs will be incurred, and orders will arrive in about three to four weeks, the company said.

Now the real pisser to this one, is that Consumer Reports FAILED these seats last year, then later had to recant, because they tested at too high of speeds, and came under fire for errors that they may or may not have committed. And now, gee, whoops, I guess they were right. What really chaps my ass, is that over one million of these units were in use for a WHOLE YEAR, possibly putting children at risk in accidents.

Moral of the story: Listen to Consumer Reports.