Monday, September 27, 2010

end of the hiatus,,, WOW!!!!!

Holy Smoke... it seems this blog was a little neglected... time to dust it off... cause i posted intersting brica-brac here. and it was a nice diversion .. We;ll alot of time and life have passed since the last time i was here... had a prostate scare, thankfully all is fine... another grandbaby was born... Mary and i passed the faith community we gave leadership to  for over fifteen years off to some fine young folk... We moved out of our home of  seventeen years... I retired from my paying gig, took the benifits and ran, will post about that another time.. we have moved to our homstead, and living a life long dream, see truth is we're a couple of back to the earth hippy kids... plan to start a blog to journal bout that... Wow.. been busy... we'll lets give er another shot...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ho-ho-hold on there! Poinsettias aren't poisonous? Sugar doesn't make kids hyper?

By Helen Branswell, Llpmedical Reporter, The Canadian Press

TORONTO - Are you one of those who knows for a fact that poinsettias are poisonous and that candy canes and sugar plums will have the kids dancing on their hyperactive heads this Christmas?

You wear hats in winter because you know most of your body heat is lost through your head? You avoid eating at night because you know it will make you fat? You are certain that suicides peak over the holidays and that somewhere there exists a nostrum that will cure the hangover that will threaten to crush your head New Year's Day?

Ho-ho-hold on there!

All those commonly held beliefs are untrue, say myth busters extraordinaire Dr. Rachel Vreeman and Dr. Aaron Carroll in a paper published Thursday in the Christmas issue of the British Medical Journal.

The duo, co-authors of the pending "Don't Swallow Your Gum: Myths, Half-Truths and Outright Lies About Your Body and Health," have taken another run at testing the truthiness of commonly held medical beliefs for the journal's light-hearted holiday issue.

Last year they made waves by dispelling the notions that we should all drink eight glasses of water a day, we only use one-tenth of our brain and our hair and fingernails continue to grow after our deaths, among other accepted, if erroneous, "facts."

The feedback - some of it quite heated, judging by the journal's website - prompted Myth Busters 2.0, this time with a seasonal theme.
Carroll and Vreeman admitted that when they embarked on this year's collection of accepted wisdom they expected to find some of the items were actually true.
"I have three kids... I was sure that sugar made kids hyperactive," says Carroll, director of Indiana University's centre for health policy and professionalism research.
"It just seemed like common sense.... So that was shocking to me and I still think that most of my friends probably don't believe me."

In addition to being pediatricians and pediatrics professors in the university's school of medicine, the pair teach medical students how to critically assess scientific literature. And it was that work that inspired this project.
"There are a lot of things that we take for granted that if we actually think about critically and look into, it turns out we're not quite correct," Carroll says.
So they mined the scientific literature, looking for proof for or against their list of medical truths.

First up was sugar and kids. Everybody believes this one is true, despite the fact that there are reams of randomized controlled trials - OK, at least 12 - that show sugar consumption doesn't make children behave differently, says Vreeman.

In fact, kids' sugar consumption seems to have a bigger impact on parents than on their kids. At least one study has shown that parents who think their kids have eaten sweets rate their behaviour as more hyperactive, whether the kids actually ate sugar or not.

Dr. Donald Redelmeier, a Toronto epidemiologist, says parents aren't completely off the mark - they're just blaming the wrong thing for their children's frenetic energy.
"I think it's a product of the circumstances, i.e. the types of settings where sugar is often served are like birthday parties and festivals," says Redelmeier, who is with the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and who was not involved in this study.
"And so that what's going on here is that under those circumstances, yeah, children are often running around and yelling and screaming, having a good time. But it's the fundamental attribution error. It's not so much a reflection of the sugar that they're eating but just other aspects of the circumstances."
As for poinsettias, a study that looked at data from 22,793 calls about poinsettia ingestion made to U.S. poison control centres found no deaths and no one who really even needed medical care.
"There's no evidence that poinsettias ... are toxic, that people die from them," says Vreeman, but she adds that "they taste horrible" and they should be left off the holiday menu.

Eating at night is like eating in the daytime - a calorie is a calorie, whenever it is consumed. Though people who eat more at night may be eating more all day long.
The list of hangover cures is long and imaginative, but there is no evidence any of them actually work, Vreeman and Carroll say.

And as for losing body heat through the head, they say the issue there is that any part of the body that is uncovered will lose heat at the same rate - it's just most people don't expose their navels or legs during the winter. Bare heads, however, are commonly seen.
"There's nothing special about the head compared to another part of the body of basically the same surface area," Vreeman says.
"Whatever's uncovered is going to lose heat. So if you're cold and your head is the only thing uncovered, sure, you should put a hat on."

As for the idea that suicide rates rise during the holidays because of loneliness, the stress of family dysfunction or depression over the bleakness of the winter months, Carroll and Vreeman say that the multitudes of studies that looked at this issue don't support the claim.
"There's just no peak associated with the holidays," Vreeman says. "And in fact suicides are actually more common during the warm and sunny parts of the year, wherever people tend to be - which I think was a real surprise to us."

Redelmeier reserved judgment on that one, however, saying he thinks the pair didn't analyze all of the studies that exist on this topic and "the jury's still out on that one."
His reluctance to accept Vreeman and Carroll's assertion on that issue nicely illustrates how hard it is to dislodge ideas like these that have become accepted parts of the collected societal knowledge.

"These are widely and strongly held beliefs that are not quickly extinguished," Redelmeier says. "You know, many superstitions in our society are just awfully hard to eradicate."

Monday, December 8, 2008

Happy 36th. Love ya Mare. I bless the day i found you...

Today also marks the 28th year since the assasination of John Lennon.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Great Miscalculation

We'll the back lash has begun. Recent polls tell us that if an election was held today the Conservatives would win a clear majority. The opposition has clearly succeded in polarizing their constituants.

I think we are wittnessing the results of blind ideological fanatisim. Rather than using their position to shape the buget. The conservatives backed down on there plans, i'm convinced the same pressure would have given the opposition parties a voice in shaping the next budget.The NDP and the Liberals dropped the ball. Instead they acted like frenzied sharks smelling blood. I believe they have lost credability with a large percentage of Canadians. All the hi-minded rethoric doesn't not seem tobe leaving much of an impretion on the hearts and minds of Canadians.

Polls would indicate that many are being pushed into the arms of Harper and his conservatives. I'm concerned the worse case senario could become the next realtiy. In seven weeks an impasse will pricipated an elction call. An election that the Harper conservatives will win.

I'm concerned that in retrospect the opposition coalition will be remembered as one of the great political miscalculations in Canadian history. Compromise and leverage will then be out of reach and the country will be plunged into greater political darkness.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

How Now Brown Cow

I'm not a conservative. I didn't vote conservative in the last election. I can quit frankly say I've never voted conservative. I don't support conservative policies.

Yet I'm not to sure about this three party coalition. I'm not sure that it's a wise move in such a voltile economic climate. I'm not to sure the majority of Canadian's really want this at this time. I'm not sure I'm comfortable with Stephen Dion as priminister. He tendered his resignation. His own party had lost faith in his leadership. I'm not sure Gil Dusepe isn't playing both sides. He certainly makes it difficult for the liberals and the NDP who are trying to quell fears that they are selling out to separatists. When the leader of the block says things like " I'm am for what is good for Quebec and what is good for Quebec is good for soverignty. I'm not to sure that what was originally triggered primarily by the the conservative attempted to stop public party funding hasn't been blown out of porportion and turned into a great moral crusade that it didn't start as.

I'm not to sure that after the dust settles Canada will be better off as a country. I'm not to sure that the violent polarization that's feeding into an alrerady strongly divided Canada can be healed. Things are getting said on both sides that will be difficult to take back. There is no easy partisan answer to this problem.

I think all of this will only eroded trust in the liberal's and NDP and could turn the tide of popular opion. The coalition members need to calm down and think rather than react . Be a wonderful opportunity for the opposition to get some of the same iniatitives passed, simply by coming to the government and saying "ok lets talk...". We want this this and this included in the buget. If now we vote no confidence.

Did Harper and his conservative kronies precipitate this crisis? No doubt about it. By arrogantly acting like he had majority rule. Yet I fear the only clear winners will be the block, the cause of soverignty in the west and quebec and Harper.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Greetings little One

Well Mary arrived in Kelowna Thursday afternoon. Cresta and Glen picked her up at the airport. Eventually she made her way to Aaron and Kartikka's.

Shortly after Mary arrivied Kartikka went into labour and nine hours later little Arya Tara Devi Dasi Culver arrived on the scene. Talk about divine timing.

Monday Zack and T are coming in from Victoria, Cresta and Glen from around the corner and the bunch of them are going to celibrate Christmas early with little Arya as the guset of honour no doubt.

Spoke to Aaron yesterday, he was on cloud nine. We chatted for quite some time. He told me even though she was just twenty four hours old, as he held her sleeping his his arms it felt as if Arya had always been there. I remembered having related thoughts holding him. "Aaron", i added "in no time you'll be talking to her on the phone and she'll be telling you somthing simlar". He responded with an understanding chukle.

Eventually Mary got on and after we caught up she asked if I wanted to talk to my new Grand daughter. Oh course! "Greetings little one this is your Grandpa Culver, Lord Bless you, you wee dear soul. "

Oblah-de-badah life goes on...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

How sweet it is

Mary is going to be away for our 36th anniversary. Will be the first time in all those years we've been apart on that date. She's heading out west to attend the birth of our fourth grand child. Would have loved to have tagged along, just could'nt swing the time off.

We went out to Concordia club last night to dine and dance. We love dancing. We we're closet dancers for years. Some of the circles we spun in in our early days didn't approve of dancing. Late at night when the kids were in bed and the shades we're drawn we'd put the tunes on low and go for broke. On ocassion a glance toward the door way would reveal four or five giggling heads peeking around the corner. Good times..

We've never taken lesson's, but we're pretty good. We're really not umpa-pa people, but a party is a party and we love to party. There were some pretty serious customers dancing circles around us. We had a blast.

Couple of the things that drew me to Mary in the first place were her wit and free spirit. Not to mention her gorgious gams. She has a smile that lights up the room and a laugh that melts my heart. Get a couple beers in her and she becomes really animated... I digress. We had a hoot and she was full of mischief as we twirled around the dance floor.
As the evening went on i got to thinking about how much i thought i loved her thirty six years ago. I could never have imagined then what we have now. How deep, how full, how rich.
... how sweet it is to be loved by you.. oh yeah

the photo is one of a series shot by our daughter Maggie for our 30th anniversary