from Raina … “The only thing that could make a sunset in Maui even more perfect…is the most magical and romantic proposal I could imagine. Looking forward to the rest of my life with the man I love!!”
Winner of Boyce & Hart Contest January 26, 2013
Rapidly Produced Flu Vaccine Wins F.D.A. Approval January 17, 2013
I want to share this as I found this article to be very interesting since I am one of those who cannot take the vaccine due to being cultured in eggs.
Published: January 16, 2013
SOURCES: Chicago Department of Public Health, Medical Director Dr. Julie Morita
Copyright © 2013 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC
A new type of flu vaccine won regulatory approval on Wednesday, and its manufacturer said that limited supplies are expected to be available this winter.
The vaccine, developed by a small company called Protein Sciences, is made with a process that does not require the virus to be grown in chicken eggs, as is now generally done. That means a vaccine could be ready weeks earlier in the event of a pandemic.
“This approval represents a technological advance in the manufacturing of an influenza vaccine,” Dr. Karen Midthun, a senior official at the Food and Drug Administration, said in a statement announcing the agency’s approval of the product, which is called Flublok.
The approval comes during one of the more severe flu seasons in recent years, with many Americans rushing to find diminishing supplies of vaccine and spot shortages being reported.
Manon Cox, the chief executive of Protein Sciences, said the company could have about 150,000 doses ready to distribute later this flu season. That is a relatively small amount, but it could be particularly helpful for people who do not get flu shots now because they are allergic to eggs.
A spokeswoman for the F.D.A. said the timing of the approval was unrelated to the current flu season.
Most flu vaccines are made by growing the virus in chicken eggs, then inactivating or killing it, a long process.
Flublok, by contrast, consists only of a protein — hemagglutinin — from the virus. The protein is made by putting the gene for hemagglutinin into a virus that infects insect cells. Those cells, from the fall armyworm, are grown in culture and churn out the protein. Neither eggs nor the live virus are used, though viral genetic information is needed.
While new for flu, such protein-based vaccines are used to prevent some other diseases.
Protein Sciences, a privately held company in Meriden, Conn., first applied for approval nearly five years ago. It was turned down twice, in part because of the novelty of using insect cells. “Every time we were asked to do more and more studies to prove that this cell substrate was safe,” Ms. Cox said.
The company was close to bankruptcy in 2009 when it received a federal contract worth tens of millions of dollars to help develop its vaccine.
The vaccine is approved only for adults 18 to 49 years old. In a clinical trial, Flublok was about 44.6 percent effective against all influenza strains, not just the three contained in the vaccine, the F.D.A. said. As with current vaccines, Flublok will need to change each year to match the flu strains in circulation.
10 flu myths
By Ellen Jean Hirst, Chicago Tribune reporter — January 17, 2013
I waited too long. It isn’t worth it anymore for me to get the flu shot.
Flu season still has many a week to thrive. It typically lasts from December through March. Getting a flu shot now will protect you for the rest of the season.
I already had the flu this season, so I don’t need a flu shot.
If you’ve had the flu, you’ll be protected from that strain, but several other strains abound. The flu shot protects against three.
My kid stayed home sick with the flu today, so I got a flu shot.
The flu vaccine doesn’t protect you same-day. It takes two weeks to reach maximum effectiveness for the season.
I didn’t get the flu shot, because it could give me the flu.
The flu shot does not give you the flu. The vaccine has a dead — inactive — virus, so it can’t make you sick.
I hate needles. I’m too scared to get the flu shot.
Needle-fearing healthy folks ages 2 to 50 can get a nasal spray vaccine, which has a weakened virus. The virus is so weak that you can’t get sick from it either.
If I wear a scarf or a mask, I probably won’t get the flu.
This generally will not prevent you from getting the flu. Though it’s recommended that you don’t touch your face too much, wearing a mask or scarf usually won’t prevent the flu.
I had the flu, but I feel better today. I must not be contagious anymore.
You are contagious up to seven days after the start of your flu illness. You also are contagious 24 hours before you show symptoms.
I got the vaccine, so I won’t get the flu.
You could still get the flu even if you’ve had the vaccine. You’re a lot less likely to get it, though.
I’m pregnant, so I can’t get the flu vaccine.
Pregnant women, especially, should get the flu shot.
I got the flu vaccine, so I don’t need to do anything else.
You should still be washing your hands, using hand sanitizer, coughing into an elbow, drinking plenty of fluids, getting enough sleep, eating healthfully and exercising regularly. And even then you might get it.
Tips for Throwing a Safe & Fun Football Party January 10, 2013
My State Farm Insurance Agent sent this to me today; some great ideas here …
Everyone loves a party with friends to watch the big game—but some take the partying too far. Forty percent of the vehicle-related deaths that occurred after the big game in 2010 were due to drunk driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
These suggestions can help hosts and their guests keep the party—and the ride home—safer when the big game takes place this February.
Tips for the Home Team
- Serve plenty of food to help offset the effects of alcohol. Salty snacks can make people feel thirsty, so set a pitcher of water on the table as well.
- Stock coolers with non-alcoholic beverages for designated drivers and other guests who aren’t drinking.
- Stop serving alcoholic beverages when the fourth quarter begins.
- Avoid offering mixed beverages. Some mixers cause the body to absorb alcohol faster, and most make alcohol easier to drink.
- Reward designated drivers with perks like the prime parking spot or first dibs on seating near the big screen.
- Limit the number of drinks you yourself enjoy.
- Help your guests make travel arrangements with a designated driver or taxi. Make sure guests feel comfortable spending the night, if necessary.
Tips for the Visiting Team
- Leave your keys at home if you plan to drink. Arrange to have a designated driver pick you up and take you home, make plans to stay overnight or plan ahead and input a cab company’s number on your phone.
- Don’t drink on an empty stomach.
- Alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
- If you’re sober, keep an eye on friends who are drinking. Don’t be afraid to take away their keys.
- Extend a kind gesture to your designated driver, such as offering to pay for gas.
- Watch for drunk drivers during your ride home, and report suspects to the police.
- Always wear your seat belt.
And from the September 2, 2011 from the blog @ http://handymanconnect.wordpress.com/tag/football-party/
It’s that time of year when the nights are getting cooler, the days are growing shorter, kids are back in school and FOOTBALL SEASON IS HERE! With football games come football parties and we’re going to help you host the perfect shin-dig this fall.
Alright, let’s assume your party is going to be all planned out ahead of time, not just a spontaneous gathering. Main considerations to take into account when hosting a football party are; invitations, food, TV’s, seating, decorations and beverages.
Since football parties are rather informal affairs, the best invitation options are to create and send a private Facebook event request or to use email invitations using free invites options such as www.evite.com.
When you think of football, the second thing that comes to mind is food. You cannot even consider hosting a football party without the proper sustenance for guests. The best foods for football parties are snacky finger-foods like; wings, pizza, snack mix, nuts, veggie trays, fruit trays and chips and salsa. One of my favorites from a football party last year was cheese fondue with cut up bread to dip in it. Surprising and delicious. Brownies, cookies, ice cream and chocolate are excellent dessert choices. No one wants to barbecue, because unless there is a TV outside, they’re gonna miss the game. That brings us to the next topic. Watching the game.
There needs to be enough TV’s so with each room you walk in, you can see the game. Advice from an avid football watcher was that for a good football party, there needs to be a TV in the living room, the kitchen and if there’s one outside, that is cool too. Most families don’t have this many portable big-screen TV’s so you can always rent one if necessary. It goes without saying, but the bigger the screen, the better.
Be sure there is ample seating in the main viewing room so all your guests are comfortable. If there isn’t ample seating, consider folded chairs— or create a second viewing area in another room or outside.
Decorations aren’t necessary but they do add an element of fun and excitement to your party. Consider colored chips (in your favorite team colors of course), streamers, balloons and team branded hats or beads. Visit your local sports store for additional ideas.
Last but not least, remember your guests will be thirsty. This may be the only time they cut loose all week. Be sure to have beverage options for various drinking preferences; beer, wine, water and soda. Don’t forget the ice. If you serve alcohol beverages, advocate that each guest has a designated driver to make sure everyone gets home safely.
Cheers to you for throwing a successful party— and hopefully, your team will win
Received this from my State Farm Insurance Agent today and thought it was worth passing on.
Chances are you have security software on your PC to protect your emails against “phishing”— fraudulent messages that attempt to get you to reveal sensitive information such as account numbers and passwords.
But now there’s a new venue for these types of scams: your smartphone.
What Is Smishing?
“Smishing” is phishing that’s conducted over short message service (SMS)—or your texts.
The Pew Internet and American Life Project found that on average, mobile phone users send and receive approximately 40 text messages a day. That means at some point, you’re likely to encounter smishing. And if your smartphone isn’t secure, your personal information could be vulnerable.
Messages You Might Receive
Common smishing messages often appear to require immediate attention. They may take a format such as:
- A message “from your bank,” telling you your account has been shut down and asking you to call a number to reactivate the account.
- A notification that you’ve been signed up for a service and will be charged unless you take some form of action, such as visiting a bogus website.
- A confirmation of a purchase that directs you to call a number if the confirmation is inaccurate.
If you take the actions as prompted by these messages, you may be sending your personal information right to the scammer. Some programs will spread malware or a virus on your phone or PC. And others may give the scammers the means to eavesdrop on your phone calls.
How to Protect Yourself
If you get a text that’s unsolicited or from an unidentifiable source, protect yourself with these tips:
- If the message appears to be from a legitimate source, contact that source’s main phone number—not the number provided in the text—and verify. Legitimate businesses, such as banks, do not send out texts that elicit a response.
- Delete messages from unknown sources without reading.
- Do not click on links or download apps from an unverified source.
- Never provide sensitive information to an unverified texter.
- Avoid messages that appear to come from the number 5000. This may be an identity that hides a scammer’s real number. The message may have no number at all.
- Add security software to your mobile phone.
- Look into setting up a “text alias.” This cell phone feature hides your actual phone number from the smishing sender.
- Contact your phone provider and alert it to the messages you’ve been receiving.
Wow- very interesting and food for thought … This article created a buzz when I posted it on facebook; I will say — that many of my fb friends did testify that they believed it worked for them. Read the following article from Adonain Danny Rivera.
your thoughts welcome …
In 1919 when the flu killed 40 million people there was this Doctor that visited the many farmers to see if he could help them combat the flu…
Many of the farmers and their families had contracted it and many died.
The doctor came upon this one farmer and to his surprise, everyone was very healthy. When the doctor asked what the farmer was doing that was different the wife replied that she had placed an unpeeled onion in a dish in the rooms of the home, (probably only two rooms back then). The doctor couldn’t believe it and asked if he could have one of the onions and place it under the microscope. She gave him one and when he did this, he did find the flu virus in the onion. It obviously absorbed the bacteria, therefore, keeping the family healthy.
Now, I heard this story from my hairdresser. She said that several years ago, many of her employees were coming down with the flu, and so were many of her customers. The next year she placed several bowls with onions around in her shop. To her surprise, none of her staff got sick. It must work. Try it and see what happens. We did it last year and we never got the flu.
Now there is a P. S. to this for I sent it to a friend in Oregon who regularly contributes material to me on health issues. She replied with this most interesting experience about onions:
Thanks for the reminder. I don’t know about the farmer’s story…but, I do know that I contacted pneumonia, and, needless to say, I was very ill… I came across an article that said to cut both ends off an onion put it into an empty jar, and place the jar next to the sick patient at night. It said the onion would be black in the morning from the germs…sure enough it happened just like that…the onion was a mess and I began to feel better.
Another thing I read in the article was that onions and garlic placed around the room saved many from the black plague years ago. They have powerful antibacterial, antiseptic properties.
This is the other note. Lots of times when we have stomach problems we don’t know what to blame. Maybe it’s the onions that are to blame. Onions absorb bacteria is the reason they are so good at preventing us from getting colds and flu and is the very reason we shouldn’t eat an onion that has been sitting for a time after it has been cut open.
LEFT OVER ONIONS ARE POISONOUS
I had the wonderful privilege of touring Mullins Food Products, Makers of mayonnaise. Questions about food poisoning came up, and I wanted to share what I learned from a chemist.
Ed, who was our tour guide, is a food chemistry whiz. During the tour, someone asked if we really needed to worry about mayonnaise. People are always worried that mayonnaise will spoil. Ed’s answer will surprise you. Ed said that all commercially-made mayo is completely safe.
“It doesn’t even have to be refrigerated. No harm in refrigerating it, but it’s not really necessary.” He explained that the pH in mayonnaise is set at a point that bacteria could not survive in that environment. He then talked about the summer picnic, with the bowl of potato salad sitting on the table, and how everyone blames the mayonnaise when someone gets sick.
Ed says that, when food poisoning is reported, the first thing the officials look for is when the ‘victim’ last ate ONIONS and where those onions came from (in the potato salad?). Ed says it’s not the mayonnaise (as long as it’s not homemade mayo) that spoils in the outdoors. It’s probably the ONIONS, and if not the onions, it’s the POTATOES.
He explained onions are a huge magnet for bacteria, especially uncooked onions. You should never plan to keep a portion of a sliced onion.. He says it’s not even safe if you put it in a zip-lock bag and put it in your refrigerator.
It’s already contaminated enough just by being cut open and out for a bit, that it can be a danger to you (and doubly watch out for those onions you put in your hotdogs at the baseball park!). Ed says if you take the leftover onion and cook it like crazy you’ll probably be okay, but if you slice that leftover onion and put on your sandwich, you’re asking for trouble. Both the onions and the moist potato in a potato salad, will attract and grow bacteria faster than any commercial mayonnaise will even begin to break down.
Also, dogs should never eat onions. Their stomachs cannot metabolize onions.
Please remember it is dangerous to cut an onion and try to use it to cook the next day, it becomes highly poisonous for even a single night and creates toxic bacteria which may cause adverse stomach infections because of excess bile secretions and even food poisoning.
“Instead of New Year resolutions, which always have an implied sense of failure, why not make a list of “wishes”? Or a “What if ____?” List! Soooo what’s your top on the Wish List! Make a 2013 Wish List, stick it away and review it next December.
As for me I’m getting over a terrible cold; no sympathy necessary as my two girls bought me a ticket to celebrate my birthday with me in Hawaii. Now that’s a great way to start the new year!