Category Archives: Cool people

My New-ish Expertise

Being a fake medical expert has become a bit passe, frankly.  And that expertise came after my rarely discussed time as environmental science expertise honed as a lowly paralegal/legislative & regulatory assistant/lobbyist.

So I figure I’m ready for a new challenge.  And just in time for World IBD Day, I’m takin’ on physics!

The Physics of Poop, of course.  And I think you will agree that I do have the expertise.  And the, ummm, credentials.  And I don’t have to go far for sample collection.

You see, there’s an article I read.  (Of course there’s an article.)

The Physics of Poop

You know it’s a good article, because this is the photo that accompanies the article:

Elephant Poop

This critter has nothin’ on me.  Except maybe on my shoes  Credit: Barry Kusama Getty Images

The authors, David Hu and Patricia Yang, studied poop every which way but Sunday.  Well, maybe Sunday, too.  Because there are some chores that simply must be done 7 days a week.

They discovered that herbivores produced “floaters” and carnivores plopped “sinkers.”  And apparently “stinkers” too, as tigers apparently have the stinkiest poop and panda poop is positively precious.

Bigger animals, not surprisingly, are more prodigious poopers, but interestingly, the speed of poop production is similar regardless of the size of the animal:

Assuming a bell curve distribution, 66 percent of animals take between 5 and 19 seconds to defecate. It’s a surprisingly small range, given that elephant feces have a volume of 20 liters, nearly a thousand times more than a dog’s, at 10 milliliters.

In all honesty, the attraction of the article wasn’t the significant increase in my already vast knowledge and understanding of poop.

Nope. There were two reasons.

First, it’s the fact that this article alerted me to the existence of NASA’s

Space Poop Challenge

I think you will admit that I should be an automatic contender.

More importantly, this article gave me something to write about to celebrate World IBD Day.  And while I personally celebrate every day, you, personally can have fun with poop on World IBD Day.  Don’t say I never gave you anything.

***

But WAIT!  There’s MORE!  After this post went to press, I found this article.

When Birds of a Feather Poop Together

Golly.  Studying poop has become a 24/7 commitment for me.

You’re welcome.

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Have You Thanked a Nurse This Week?

As a professional patient, I deal with nurses regularly.  And believe it or not, just yesterday when I was having something embarrassing done to my butt, I remembered to say thank you to the nurses who helped me.  Well, except for the one who was there when I woke up from anesthesia.  I think I said something weird to her, but I don’t think she’ll recognize me with my pants on.

Anyway, it’s National Nurses Week.  Say thanks, now while you’re feeling good.  Because usually when they’re helping you, you don’t feel so good.

And I’m rerunning this post.  Because I can.  And to say thanks, again.

***

Nurses, The Beauty of Seamless Teamwork

Naturally, I was just settling down in my recliner for a nap when the commotion started.

Yesterday I had my Remicade infusion in the outpatient infusion center at the hospital.  I was in one of my favorite spots — near the nurses station and the bathroom.  The room is a bay of about 15 vinyl recliners designed for easy cleaning.  Unfortunately, once the leg rests are up, getting out is nearly impossible.  That’s why I like being by both the nurses’ station and the bathroom.  No need for a change of clothes.

Anyway, as I was settling down for my nap with my curtain partially drawn when another patient walked towards me from the other end of the corridor.  As she neared the nurses’ station, she looked up at the ceiling, and I saw her legs buckle, her arms flap out birdlike, and in slow motion she started to faint.

Luckily for Mrs. Smith, a nurse was there to catch her.  That nurse, Brittany, called out for help, and I then witnessed one of the most professional exhibitions of teamwork I’ve ever seen.

Google Image

Google Image

Immediately, Molly, my nurse ran to help, calling out, calmly for assistance, and specifying the location.  Brittany and Molly gently lowered Mrs. Smith to the floor, with Molly saying “Mrs. Smith, open your eyes,” repeatedly

Other nurses went different directions towards strategically located equipment which was quickly and efficiently brought to the aid of Mrs. Smith.

Within 1 minute, Mrs. Smith had 6 nurses as well as equipment protecting her privacy surrounding her.  Each nurse had a role.  Molly got Mrs. Smith to open her eyes, then to squeeze her hand, then to speak.  Another nurse contacted the ER to send EMTs with a gurney to get Mrs. Smith to the ER.  Another started her on a fluid IV while still another nurse took an EKG and yet another set up and constantly monitored vital signs, calling them out to the team.

Within 4 minutes, Mrs. Smith, awake and groggy, was wheeled out to the ER with Brittany, the nurse who originally caught her fall, holding her hand and walking with her.

*****

I can honestly say as an expert patient, that being sick sucks.  Often we grouse at our doctors and nurses and other caretakers.  We bitch about the hospitals, the costs, everything.  Because we don’t want to need these services.

But, like Mrs. Smith (not her real name), I’ve been in need of help before.  And when it’s you on the receiving end, it’s hard to appreciate the artistry.

I saw a the most amazing demonstration well-trained staff of caring professionals.  I have a lot of faith in my healthcare professionals, but it was fascinating and wonderful watching when I’m not on the receiving end.

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Doggie Bags

Today is Duncan’s birthday — his 3rd!  He is a wonderful dog.  Sweet, relatively obedient, and incredibly lovable.

Duncan Easter 2 2017

The Birthday Boy!

But I went a bit overboard with doggie treats for this good boy this year.  So I figured I’d share them with his friends at the park.  In a way that would be good for the earth.  In a way that positively shouts “DOG!” I made doggie goodie bags!

Goodie Bags

OK, in the stupidest way possible.  I used biodegradable dog poop bags, and filled them full of delicious brown dog treats.  That way, if I missed any of the morning friends Duncan and I usually walk with, I could leave one on their car.

A dog poop bag filled with brown stuff, left on a car.  What could possibly go wrong?

Luckily for me, we saw his friends, and they and their parents were delighted by the goodie bags.  They didn’t think me weird for

  1. Making doggie goodie bags,
  2. Using poop bags for party bags; or
  3. Expecting that if they found one of these on their car that they would open it up and feed it to their dog.

 

 

 

 

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Earth Day / Science / Judy

Earth Day.  The Science March (which I sadly can’t attend until Science gets around to curing my damn Crohn’s Disease).  My late sister Judy’s birthday.  So I’m reposting this.  Hey – Jude believed firmly in recycling!

***

She’s been gone now for 17 years, Jude.  Not a day has gone by since that I haven’t wanted to talk with her, laugh with her, or, alternatively because she was my sister, smack her.  There really isn’t a relationship like you have with a sister.  Even long after they are gone.

*****

Today, April 22, is Earth Day!  It’s the Anniversary of the very first Earth Day.  Here  is Walter Cronkite’s report on the first Earth Day, 1970:

It would also be my late sister Judy’s 65th birthday.

Whoever made the decision to turn Judy’s birthday into Earth Day chose wisely.  Judy was a born environmentalist and recycler.

On the first Earth Day, Judy was a new, very young mother who believed in saving the planet.  She was the first “environmentalist” I ever knew personally, and well, I thought she was nuts.  There was a recycling bin in her kitchen for as long as I can remember.  And this was back when recycling took effort.  She believed in gardens, not garbage, and she made life bloom wherever she was.

I’ve got kids,” she’d say.  “It’s their planet too!”  

But years later, Judy took recycling to a whole different level when she helped people recycle themselves.  In the 1990s, Jude, who was then living in Florida, began working with the Homeless, assisting at shelters.   Then she actively began trying to help homeless vets food, shelter and work — to enable them to jump-start their lives.

When she died in early 2000, the American Legion awarded her honorary membership for her services to homeless vets.  A homeless shelter was named in her  honor.  So she’s still doing good works, my sister is.  That would make her wildly happy.

Jude also gave me the Beatles.  So it is very appropriate that they wrote a song for her.

You see, the night the Beatles were on Ed Sullivan, it was MY turn to choose what we were going to watch.  And we were going to watch the second part of The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh starring Patrick McGoohan on the Wonderful Wide World of Disney.  My four (all older and MUCH cooler) siblings were furious with me.  But I was quite insistent.  You might even say that I threw a Class I temper tantrum over it, but I wouldn’t admit to that.  Hey, I was seven.  And it was my turn to choose.  Fair is fair, especially in a big family with only one TV.

Somehow, Judy talked me out of my turn.  She was always very persuasive.  Thanks Jude.

Hey Jude, Happy Earth Day-Birthday.

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How Be a Friend

It’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day. And so, of course, Putin’s President, with the irony born of someone without a soul or a keen eye for history, chose today of all days to ban Muslims from entering the U.S.

Naturally, that means anybody who “looks” Muslim will become even more of a target than they have been since Trump took us all down the gold escalator into hell.  It is now open season on “others” here in our nation of immigrants.

So what can we do about it?

I will admit that the safety pin movement left me feeling decidedly unhelpful.  It’s a nice thought, but it never made me feel like I was actually standing up for anyone.  Or like I was doing something to help people being targeted.

But a while back I saw this article that offered some practical suggestions that have some meat on the bones.  Really!  Click on the link.  Cause I’m not going to tell you everything it says.

Anyway, I like to think that I would be the kind of person who would stand up in any situation to protect those in need.  But frankly,  I’m overweight, slow moving, and cowardly.  They don’t make superheroes who look or act like me.  So the odds are NOT in my favor.  Besides, when something happens around me, I never have a clue what’s happening.  I generally stand there, looking around, confused.  Immobile.  Saying “WTF” with my mouth hanging open.  Quick witted I may be with words, but actions?  Not so much.

But the Vox article showed me a way to help when someone is being verbally assaulted, in situations where I am most likely to see it happen.  It’s brilliant.  And relatively safe.  Win-win.

Here’s an example.  Say you’re in Target, passing by the children’s section, when you hear a man harassing a woman in a hijab.  He’s big and burly, and you want to help. You also don’t want him to target you.  Still, you can’t just walk away, turn a blind eye.  You’re a good person!  You wouldn’t be able to look yourself in the mirror if you didn’t help.  But how?

Why, act like an idiot, of course.  Me, I’m a natural!  At acting the idiot, that is.  Not being one.  That’s the role of the racist.

You interrupt the jerk.  Wander in between him and his victim as if you’re looking for something, and can’t quite find it.  Request his help.  Be totally oblivious.  Give the poor target the opportunity to get away.  Think Roseann Rosanna Dana.

roseann-roseanna-dana

Gilda Radner as Roseann Rosanna Dana.

Or, in an equally ditzy way, pretend to be the friend/shopping buddy of the woman being mistreated, and in an oblivious way whisk that woman out of the children’s department and into the table linens.

“Sylvia!” said in the most nasal tone imaginable, “THERE you are.  You were supposed to meet me in the shoe department … you come with me right now before they’re out of the size 7s…”

Read the article.  Learn steps you can take to help folks who may really need your help.  Because it’s a Brave New World out there.  And it helps to be prepared.

Today of all days, it’s important to recall these words, from the U.S. Holocaust Museum:

The Holocaust did not begin with killing; it began with words. The Museum calls on all American citizens, our religious and civic leaders, and the leadership of all branches of the government to confront racist thinking and divisive hateful speech.

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Oops. ;/

OK, so I’m quoting Rick Perry here.  I don’t often do that.

But I need to set the record straight.  I made a mistake.  I screwed up.  I led you astray.

Of course you read my last post.  That’s a given.

You did read it, didn’t you?

Well, in that post that you read but forgot, I suggested that during Putin’s President’s inauguration, that you deny Trump TV ratings by tuning your TV to another channel.

Ummmmm.  Well, perhaps I might have done some more checking.  Because I learned that I am wrong. It’s not true.  It’s an urban legend.  It doesn’t pass the snopes test:

http://www.snopes.com/change-channel-on-inauguration/

So apparently we don’t have to worry about where our TVs are tuned during Putin’s President’s moment in the sun.  Errr rain...  That means, of course, that tomorrow we can all Tune Out.

egg-on-my-face

Let’s make stuff stick!  Google image

Thanks to Jana of Stop Me If I Told You This who let me know that I had a Rick Perry moment.  As much as I dislike being wrong, I really appreciate being set straight!

 

 

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Zip Your Lip

To anyone who has said that 2016 can’t get any worse, may I respectfully say

SHUT UP!

debbie-reynolds

 

 

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