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Monday, July 31, 2006

Doggie carriers

I realize they have dog carriers shaped like handbags from the top designers but I never thought I would see man's best friend in steel cage on a bike. The pooch didn't seem very nervous about the ride. No pacing or yelping that I could hear. Not sure if he is too comfortable as he can't turn about in the cage. Hope the rider doesn't have too far to go.

Cooking by my honey

Chef Hippo made a beef and veggie stirfry for dinner. Okay, he did serve the stirfry with a potato salad and bread. Quite shocking as firstly he doesn't really cook but "heats things up" and secondly, most of his meals consist for bread and cheese washed down with Guiness. Regardless, it is the thought that counts. Bon Appetite.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Recycling Human Tissue

I realize that the rejuvenating qualities of fetal cells have been used to treat patients with Parkinsons but using placental cream to reverse the ageing process is a whole other kettle of fish. Naturally I am kicking myself as having the cornerstone to an endless supply of the stuff, I had never thought to sell this "by-product" of birth. Human placentas are generally incinerated in North America. I have heard a whole cornocopia of other uses from burial in the backyard (fertilizer) to injestion of the tissue (sustenance).

Other superstitions is keeping the placenta in a jar for luck. The membranes and placenta were of "read" at birth by wise women to forecast the fortunes of the child. If the baby was born with its membranes wrapped around its...."born in the caul", this is considered quite lucky as the child was not likely to drown. Others viewed such "veiled births" are individuals who are born with second sight. I guess the placenta cream is just another in long list of superstitions about the mystical properties of fetal tissue.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Window to my soul

So today I finally went to get my eyes checked after three long years. The recommended interval being about 2 years at maximum. My prescription hadn't changed much which wasn't much of a surprise as I didnt' notice any obvious changes either in my day to day function.

The really shocker though is the process I had to go through to get my eye pressure assessed and to get my retina examined. There were two solutions. One was to dilate my pupils. Suddenly, my vision was somewhat fuzzy and the bright lights of the office really stung my eyes. My optometrist was quite professional and did inform me of the effects of the drops before hand.

After a detailed retinal examination with the opthalmoscope, she told me that I had a cupped optic nerve which was likely normal. In the near future, she would like to do visual field testing (best done when I could actually see more precisely) and to use a optic scanner which essentially take a detailed picture of each of my retina. A second solution of topical anesthetic and fluoroscene solution was next added. weird to be able to touch our eye ball with your whole thumb and not feel anything. My eye pressure is low which means no glaucoma.

I then put on the darkest pair of sunglasses I had and drove home on what is probably one of the hottest and sunniest days of the summer to lock myself in my dark basement until the solutions wear off....probably in the next hour. Can't really do much else as my visual accomodation does not allow my to read at present and I really don't think I can cut veggies when I can barely focus on this computer monitor. It is amazing how much our lives depend on our vision (and good vision at that). Society has certainly taken this seriously as there is a whole field of medicine dedicated to the eye: ophthalmology. But why eye exams no longer part of the public health care plan in Ontario! Outrageous!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Only in Vancouver

Well I wouldn't believe if I didn't see it. A sharps container (for used needles) in a public bathroom in Vancouver. No this is not for diabetics necessary. This caused great controversy along with the needle exchange, but together, this is a new area of public health...harm reduction. After all, do you really think the fear of contracting HIV or Hepatits C prevents addicts from shooting up?

Musings on the West Coast

Well, it back to the Eastern Canada after a week out on the west coast of (yes, it is beautiful) British Columbia. The trip was blessed with great weather which naturally colours my impression of the land. Vancouver and Victoria are very laid back cities and environmentally conscious. The public buses in Vancouver have bike racks on the front to facilitate use of public transit by cyclists. To reduce the number of cars, there is a car co-op to join. You can rent car for a few hours (to perhaps pick up a friend or relative at the airport) or for a day's getaway to the mountains.

I did have a run-with nature. The birds, the birds...more specifically the crows. Near my friend's home in Vancouver, there are a pair of crows. As it is nesting season, they are quite agressive about protecting their territory. They swoop down on unsuspecting passerby's such as myself. The doppler effect of the screech is quite alarming. But I did manage to duck as the last minute. It caused great distress and confusion on my part such that I inadvertently tried to enter the house adjacent to the house where my friend resides. One wonders what the deaf do in such neighbourhoods. As I recall this story to my friend later that evening, she did share a similar "attack" story a few days earlier. Two days after my encouter with the birds, the above sign was posted on the tree in front of her home.