Charity Finds A Unique Way To Battle Censors For Breast Self-Exam Video


(PCM) The anti-breast cancer charity MACMA has found quite a unique way to battle internet censors when posting a video demonstrating the proper way to conduct a breast self-exam. Many tutorial videos for breast self-exams are blocked or pulled down from the internet due to complaints about indecency, as most social networking sites have policies against featuring images of topless women.

After tiring of having their videos removed, MACMA came up with a new approach. They decided to use a male model to create their demonstration video, as apparently male breasts are really not all that different. Way to stick it to the internet censors! Check out their creative video below:

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Rock Music Being Used To Maximize The Efficiency Of Cancer Drug Delivery


(PCM) Vibrations caused by rock music have been found to increase a drug’s therapeutic window by creating a Teflon-like coating over the micro particles used in drug delivery.

Researchers from the University of South Australia used AC/DC’s Thunderstruck to cause porous silicon micro particles to bounce in the air, which allowed for the entire structure to be coated with a plasma polymer overlay.

Senior research author Professor Nico Voelcker said completely coating a micro particle was difficult but essential in ensuring the optimal amount of a drug was delivered to the cancer cell.

“The micro particles are porous, basically they are like a sponge. You fill them up with a drug, but of course you want to prevent the drug from escaping, and that is why we create the coating,” he said

“Normally we would ignite a plasma onto the surface. The problem with doing that is you only form the coating on one side of the particle, the side that is exposed. But the side of the particle on the surface, the other side, is not going to get coated.”

“That is where we came up with the idea of using a loud speaker that we would play into the system. We would turn that loudspeaker to a song that it would vibrate and the particles would bounce up and down. The chaotic frequencies worked well and gave you a more homogenous coating.”

Researchers filled the micro particles with a chemotherapy drug called camptothecin and found that when it was coated using the rock vibrations there was a markedly slower release of the cytotoxic drug. This effect correlated positively with the plasma polymer coating times, ranging from two-fold up to more than 100-fold, revealing a significant time delay in cell death onset.

Professor Voelcker said although the technique had so far only been used on anti-cancer drugs were, it could potentially be used for other treatments.

“This is something that has not been done before, particularly not with plasma coatings,” he said. “We only tried this with a chemotherapy drug that we use for the treatment of cancer because you can visualise it so easily. We might end up using different types of drugs; we might use drugs that are anti-inflammatory or antibiotic. It was just one model application for us.”

“We have done some work with cells and now we will move on to the next stage of research.” Professor Voelcker said the use of the Australian rock band’s song Thunderstruck was intentional because he felt it was a perfect fit for the study because of its upbeat tempo and title. “Plasma is the fourth stage of matter, it is an ionised gas,” Prof Voelcker said.

“We used a cold plasma, but an example of a hot plasma would be the rays of thunder. We ended up using Thunderstruck because we liked how it linked thunder and plasma gas.” The proof of concept paper was co-authored by Dr Steven McInnes and Thomas Michl from the University of South Australia’s Future Industries Institute.

The article titled “Thunderstruck”: Plasma-Polymer-Coated Porous Silicon Microparticles As a Controlled Drug Delivery System was published in the American Chemistry Society.

South Australia’s capital Adelaide has three-long standing public universities, Flinders University, the University of Adelaide, and the University of South Australia each of which are consistently rated highly in the international higher education rankings.

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My Journey To Health, Books

BooksBooks are the probably the most important item that I use in my journey to health.  I have mentioned several books while working on this column since the beginning of the year, I have never talked about their importance.

When I was in first grade my teacher Sister Joan Marie was worried about how badly I was coming along in my reading skills.  She encouraged my mother to buy me comic books.  My mother took that advice and in so doing opened up to me world after world of adventure, science, history, romance, horror, mystery, discovery and the list could go on forever.

Comic books back in the 1960s had gotten a bad name mainly because of Senator Joseph McCarthy’s unrelenting scare tactics to rid the world of the communist threat in the 1950s.  Slowly the industry would regain its good reputation, but not in suburbs of Philadelphia in 1967.  Letting comic books into the house was almost equal to pornography, but a nun had made the recommendation, my parents had no choice.  And I thank the good sister to this day.

It took a long time for my reading level to get where it should be, but by the eighth grade I was moving a long quite nicely and I had a collection of comic books to prove it.  For me, though, comic books would be a stepping stone to a world that I would begin to find more and more fascinating.

Comic books would regularly refer to classic literature.  There were many references to Shakespeare, Lewis Carol, Charles Dickens, Herman Melville, Jules Verne, and Mark Twain.  There were even some comic books that told some the great novels in such a way that a kid could understand them.

It was while reading the quotes from various classics that I began to get interested in where those quotes came from. So I began to read.  I read all kinds of things.  I found delight in Barrie’s original Peter Pan.  I tried to understand Hamlet and Lewis Carroll and many others.  Before he was really popular, I got lost in Roald Dahl’s Chocolate Factory, and wanted to run away and live in a tree with the hero of My Side of the Mountain.  I was hooked and it never left me.

Because, of the writings of John Eldredge, amongst others, I found that fictional stories can have great truths in them.  And so I saw the deeper lessons of The Wizard of Oz and The Lord of the Rings.  I found many hidden truths in, perhaps my favorite book of all time, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.  I went so far as to write my final project for my psychology degree on using fiction in therapy.  A Christmas Carol figured prominently in my paper.

In fact I want to take a moment here to say thank you to my favorite and my best English teacher as well as one of my home room teachers, Mr. David O’Connell.  I do credit him for much of my delight in reading because when he taught on a book he taught with passion.  I may never have learned much about diagramming a sentence, but I did learn that books could take you anywhere.  I also learned being passionate about reading didn’t make you different.  Mr. O’Connell was the football coach, and he had his feet firmly planted in two worlds, sports and literature, I never thought the two could be united, but he did it.

So books help me find my way through some of the hardest paths that this journey toward health has put me on.  I can draw on Dorothy and Frodo and many others to gain the belief that that hard things can be done.  In looking at a story I can see myself in it and I identify with it and the story becomes part of who I am.  I also find that in helping others I can draw references from story after story to help shed light on their paths.  It is wonderful what a good story can do to transform ourselves and others.  In the film version of Shadowlands one of the characters states that “We read to find we are not alone.”  This is a great truth.

I was going to go through a couple of books that hit the mark in helping me and how and why, but I have changed my mind.  Instead I am going to list books that I feel should be read and let them teach you the lessons that they have for you.  NOTE.  It is cheating to watch a film version of anything except those books that are plays.  One does not simply read Shakespeare, one must experience him onstage or screen as his work is only complete when it is performed.

Here is the list, A Christmas Carol, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Hamlet, Alice in Wonderland, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Secret Garden, The Shell Seekers, The Harry Potter series, The Berlgariad, The Wind in the Willows, Sherlock Holmes, My Side of the Mountain, Peter Pan, Tom Sawyer, The Stories of Damon Runion, Anna and the King of Siam, Little Women, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Once and Future King, All Things Bright and Beautiful, And The There were None, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, The Stories of Hans Christian Anderson, The Phantom Tollbooth, 101 Dalmatians, John Son of Thunder, Greek and Norse Mythology and perhaps the most important book of all, if you believe in God or not, The Bible, yes the whole thing.  Most of our society is based on it’s pages it is worth the time to read.

I think that is enough to get you started.  If you have a book that I have not mentioned that has influenced your life, of if you have a story about reading something I have mentioned, please leave a comment here or on the Facebook page that you found the link to this column on.  I would love to know what you are reading and, or what, has helped mold or shape you.

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My Journey To Health, Friends

AjlaFriends!  I sometimes have a hard time seeing what is exactly in front of my face.  I don’t think this is a new phenomenon, I think it is the as old as time itself.  How many of us have looked and looked for something, we then go and call for someone to help, and the person sees it immediately within an inch of where we are standing.  We just can’t see it for some reason.  Of course, the person we called upon for help will not leave us without the favorite “#DUH.”   As if we are either totally blind or totally nuts.

This past Wednesday I published a column where I stated I was on my journey alone.  That statement wasn’t true and it hurt someone I care about.  I’m not alone and really never have been.  Much of my time this is true in the physical sense of the word, but it is not true in the support, prayers and good wishes of others that read this column or know me.

You know you were not going to get out of this column without fictional literature of different types being brought up.  I think I have an ideal of friendship being fueled by such books as The Lord Of The Rings.  The Fellowship broke up, but you know the Hobbits stayed together always and you also assume that Legolas and Gimli are never that long parted.  Then there is The Justice League, super powered, yes, but always there for each other, tackling big problems as a team.  More intimately we have Holmes and Watson, always together and indispensable to each other.  Batman and Robin, crime fighting friends, or even, despite the new film coming out, Batman and Superman they don’t leave each other

This list could go on forever, Lucy and Ethel, Laverne and Shirley, Fred and Barney, Ralph Cramden and Ed Norton, Historically Tolkien and Lewis as well as The Inklings, it is also said that John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were friends, and maybe two of the most famous people in the history of Israel Jonathan and David.  David said at the death of Jonathan that Jonathan’s love was better than the love of women.  David wasn’t gay and was not talking about sex, he was talking about a different kind of love, the kind that only comes in friendship.

GK Chesterton a famous English author and Christian was friends with George Bernard Shaw a famous English playwright and atheist.  They would publicly debate each other on whether or not there was a God fighting tooth and nail to make their points, but when the debate was over they went out and got a pint together and were there for each other.  When Chesterton died, he did not leave much to help to take care of his wife.  Shaw took care of her.  This is friendship that goes deep and allows for even basic differences.  This is love.

We, who speak English are very limited in our ways of looking at love.  In our eyes it is only romantic.  But this is not so.  There are different kinds of love.  There is a love that is reserved for your spouse, a love that is reserved for your friends, a love that is reserved for your family, and even a love for those whom we would categorize as acquaintances.   There are four distinctly different forms of love.  This is why saying your spouse is your best friend is not really accurate, and if it is true, than you are missing out on the love of friendship.  This whole topic will be discussed in a feature article in the near future.

I long for the love of real friendship.  The love that takes a few days just to wonder the countryside and talk of great things and ideas.  The kind of love that puts people there for you, right in your house, when you are hurting or ill, the love that makes you take the time to tackle big things together, maybe not fighting crime in spandex, though that might be fun, but big projects that take a team to do.  I long for discussion of books and music and other art.  These are the cries of my heart.

Now am I walking my road alone? No!  Many of you and others are walking with me.  The text messages and PMs on Facebook all help as do the phone calls, and as I said before the prayers and good wishes of others.  You guys that are a part of my life, but I so much more, I want it to go deeper.

There is a part of me that longs for the days of long ago where friendship was so much more.  Knowing that this kind of friendship once existed makes my heart long for it.  That longing is coming deep from my soul.  I doubt I will see it here and now.  But I will speak for it and when I can fight for it.  But you should too.  You incredible people that are reading this, fight with me.  Redefine what you mean by friends and if it is in your power, make it happen.

I am not alone as I walk the yellow brick road, or find my way to Mount Doom or Make my way to the stone table and to Aslan.  There are many with me.  Lorraine, Tom, Caleb, there are several James’, Joel, Steve, Maura, two Lisa’s and a Susan and more than one Kathy.  There’s Brad, Saundra, Manny, Kevin, Ken, Matt, Joe, Joy, Meagan, Gary, Daves, Tims. Mary’s, Anne’s Micki, Carol, and many other who I could list forever.  I am glad a friend took the time to kick me in the butt and remind me of this truth.  I love you guys, but I do dream of more.

If you have a moment take a listen.  Two fictional friends, as well as two lifelong real friends, singing about friendship.  Song by Cole Porter.

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My Journey To Health, The Wizard of Oz

Wizard-of-Oz-RSC-and-MUNI1-You may be wondering what The Wizard of Oz has to do with a journey to health, well I’ll tell you, just not yet.

I have started this column with the idea of always telling the truth when it come to what I am going through.  In Monday’s column I wrote again about depression which has let up a little bit but not much.  So today, though I am struggling to write something positive, when in truth my heart is heavy and I feel confused and a bit lost.

The second thing to be honest about is since Friday I have had a set back with my diet.  As a family we went to Shady Maple a huge buffet type restaurant in Lancaster PA.  And by huge, I mean the buffet is about half the length of a football field one quarter of it devoted to desserts alone.  My not eating sugar just went out the window. I have not been able to get back to a good eating pattern since, but I will have by the end of today.

Now as for The Wizard of Oz.  Most of you know the story of Dorothy, who is swept into the Land of Oz when a tornado blows her house away.  When she reaches Oz she has killed the Wicked Witch of The East as her house dropped on her.  Dorothy wants to go home, but she is told the only way for her to find her way there is to see The Wizard who lives in the Emerald City.

Dorothy begins her journey to see the wizard by following a road made of yellow brick.  On her way she makes three friends, The Scarecrow, who needs a brain, a Tinman who needs a heart and a Lion who needs courage.  She suggests to each that The Wizard may be able to help them too and they join her.

Through many struggles Dorothy does meet the Wizard, she kills the Wicked Witch of the West and finally is able to get home.  If you have seen the MGM film version you know it ends with Dorothy waking up and that her whole adventure had been a dream.  In the book, however, Dorothy comes home from Oz wide awake, eventually going back to Oz more than once until she finally settles there.  There are more than a dozen Oz books.

CS Lewis wrote, “Someday you will be old enough to read fairy tales again.”  What Lewis is saying here is that there is much to learn from Fairy Tales if we allow ourselves to see it.  When L. Frank Baum wrote The Wizard of Oz, he wrote it because American children didn’t have their own fairy tales and he wanted to fill the gap.  Almost every culture has its own fairy stories but The United States being a culture made up of different cultures had none of its own.  The Fairy Tales of Europe and Britain had centuries behind them, America is just getting started.

Every fairy tale has something to teach much of it at a more subliminal level then what is on the surface.  Snow White and Cinderella are not so much about the girl getting the guy as how much the characters change and at the same time remain virtuous despite the evil people around them.  So it is with The Wizard of Oz.

If you know the full story of The Wizard of Oz then you already know that the Scarecrow had a brain, in fact he was probably the smartest one in the bunch.  The Tinman had a heart as he knew how to love and The Cowardly Lion had courage because he faces his fears no matter how afraid he was.  And Dorothy had the ability to go home, but she had to learn about herself first.

You see it is the same with me.  I have the brains to become healthy, even if at times I feel worthless and stupid and I have many times like that.  I can love others as love isn’t a feeling it is a choice.  Love is very much a verb, it is something that we do, not some affection we feel.  Feelings fail us all the time.  Love is not a feeling and therefore it cannot fail.  Courage, there is a major misconception about courage.  Most of us think that having courage means you are not afraid.  Fear is not a bad thing.  It is a warning that what we are about to do may not be wise, but it is our brains that decides whether we are wise or not.  So courage is walking into something that we are afraid of, but doing it because it is good for us or because it is good for others.

Courage is not the absence of fear but the ability to face the fear and do what’s right.

Dorothy throughout the story grows up, little by little until she finds the power to go home.  We all have to continually allow ourselves to grow.  Many people come to a point in their lives where they say “enough, I’m done.” But those people tend to be the ones that become the crotchety old folks that most people avoid.  We have to grow to continue to live.

In front of me is more of the yellow brick road.  Right now, I feel pretty beaten up and companionless.  I have my dog, so like Dorothy I will continue along the road and hope that God will send companions to walk with me.  I still have the responsibility to grow, not outwardly, but inwardly.  Here is where courage must come in.  I must utilize a brave heart.  But that’s another story.

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National School Breakfast Week (March)

lunch time

(PCM) Happy National School Breakfast Week!

This week (the first full week in March) is celebrated in schools and communities to promote the School Breakfast Program (SBP), a federally funded program that provides nutritious breakfasts to school children for free or at reduced cost.

Healthy eating throughout the day is important for everyone, but children especially benefit from a nutritious, filling meal before the start of the school day. Studies link eating breakfast to better academic performance and overall physical and emotional well-being in kids and teens.

For this reason, groups like the USDA, the School Nutrition Association, and State- and District-level organizations strive to ensure that students throughout the nation have access to the healthy meals they need to succeed.

Though eligibility for free and reduced lunches is determined at the start of the academic year, schools report that participation in the School Breakfast Program spikes in March, thanks to National School Breakfast Week celebrations like decorations, school letters, promotional events, and fun menu items.

Each year focuses on a new theme, such as “Wake Up to School Breakfast” (March 2016).

If you are a kid, or were a kid, or know a kid, this week is a great time to celebrate the School Breakfast Program. Heck, if you see a kid today, chances are there’s an army of people working hard to keep that young person healthy and fed – not just loving family members but also government workers, cafeteria staff, and even tax payers like you. So thanks! Grab yourself a banana. You done good.

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