Lifestyles:

Health and Medicine, Travel, Gardening, Pets, Automotive

No-Waste Lawn & Garden

Minnesota’s motto reads L’Etoile du Nord—The Star of the North. Indeed to our American cousins it is known as the North Star State. If that is so, to judge by their website, surely one of the stellar organizations there must be the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).

By Wes Porter - Friday, September 28, 2007 - -- Lifestyles

New Support Group For Psoriasis Patients

Sir William Osler, one of this country’s greatest physicians, remarked that no doctor thoroughly understands a disease until he suffers from it. He could have added that this also applies to patients.

Children’s Gardening

Scientists call peppers Capsicum. The word comes from Greek kapto, which means ‘to bite.’ In different shapes, colours and sizes, they have been doing just that for over 9,000 years. Some South and Central Americans liked it hot.

By Wes Porter - Friday, September 21, 2007 - -- Lifestyles

Should You Buy Organic Food?

“Do you ever buy organic food?” I asked my wife. She quickly answered, “No”. Then I asked, “Why do some people buy it?” She replied what most people say, “Because it’s free of pesticides”. But is this true? And with increasing food prices is it prudent to spend hard-earned dollars on organic farm products?

More Limericks of a Vaguely Garden Substance

Some decried our previous publication of limericks both clean and bawdy, others only the latter. Given the nature of modern clergy, the following addenda certainly might be quoted in their company. Likewise to maiden aunts, in senior citizens homes, at gardening clubs, perhaps even to a bunch of Boy Scouts—most certainly to gatherings of Girl Guides. Only the politically correct must, alas, once again suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune ...

By Wes Porter - Friday, September 14, 2007 - -- Lifestyles

New “Sahara Desert” Drug Cures Head Lice

Why am I scratching my head? It’s because I’m writing about head lice and even the thought of having this crawly beast, “Pediculosis capitis”, in my hair triggers this reaction. It also makes me understand the traumatic, emotional and embarrassed reaction of parents (and child) when they’re told, “Sarah (or Johnnie) has head lice”. Now that school has started, over a million parents in this country will hear this news. Fortunately, a new “Sahara Desert” treatment rids families of this common pest.

Gardening in September

“The first three men in the world were a gardener, a ploughman, and a grazier; and if any object that the second of these was a murderer, I desire him to consider that as soon as he was so, he quitted our profession, and turned builder,” according to the English poet Abraham Cowley (1618-67). Somewhat earlier in his play concerning the melancholy Dane Hamlet, Shakespeare opined: “There is no ancient gentlemen but gardeners, ditchers and gravediggers; they hold up Adam’s profession.” Alas, as the days shorten and high summer turns to low fall, we occasionally reflect upon how others view us.

By Wes Porter - Friday, September 7, 2007 - -- Lifestyles

Ovarian Cancer, Scaring Women Half-To-Death

It’s been said that a little knowledge is an dangerous thing. A report from The Mayo Clinic shows that this is particularly true when the subject is ovarian cancer. And it illustrates how easy it is to both inform women and worry them at the same time.

Sacrifice Part of Your Stomach To Lose Weight?

“Desperate diseases require desperate cures”, wrote the immortal bard, William Shakespeare. For grossly obese patients this means putting part of the stomach and small intestine out of commission (bariatric surgery). But this is not minor surgery and patients should know the risks before making this desperate decision.

Where Was Oscar The Cat When I needed Him?

“Why don’t you go to lunch? I’ll wait here until he dies”, I suggested to the nurses. The patient was a 90 year old Baptist minister, and after days of futile treatment for cardiac problems I was sure the end was imminent.

Are You Damaging Your Liver?

“What causes liver disease?” Ask anyone this question and 99 percent will answer, “It’s imbibing in too much Cabernet Sauvignon or other alcoholic drinks”. But today the liver can be injured by a host of less known, but equally hazardous habits. So how are you being unfriendly to your liver? And what can we learn from the “Mayflower”, the ship that carried Pilgrims to this continent in 1620?