Articles in the media show that use of crystal meth by young adult females has seen a steady increase in recent years.1 Also increasing is the number of young women facing depression. Meth provides an easy way to cope with these unwanted feelings as it provides a euphoric sensation and decreases inhibitions – but this long-term abuse often leads to dangerous behaviors like unwise sexual activity, random partners, and a stronger possibility of unprotected sex.
Methamphetamine causes the amount of the dopamine (a naturally occurring chemical affecting pleasure, attention, learning, and movement) in the brain to increase dramatically.
This quick and short-lasting boost to dopamine levels causes the user to seek more of the substance to further enhance the effects. But tolerance to these pleasurable sensations builds, and so too does the need for more of the drug, furthering use, and probable addiction.
Women and the Adverse Effects of Meth Use
Most people have heard about the common adverse effects caused by methamphetamine use: rotting teeth and gums, premature aging, loosening of inhibitions, exposure to STDs, and the like.
However, new studies are showing that there is another serious outcome of meth use, and it is particularly damaging to women at a greater rate than men.
In a study published by the RSNA, researchers found that “…women with stimulant dependence had a significantly lower gray matter volume (GMV) in the frontal lobe (orbitofrontal cortex, medial frontal gyrus, superior frontal gyrus), limbic regions (insula, amygdala, cingulate gyrus), temporal lobe (temporal pole, uncus, parahippocampal gyrus, hippocampus, occipitotemporal gyri, superior temporal gyrus, middle temporal gyrus), and inferior parietal lobule.”2
Simply put, this means that the study showed a marked reduction in gray matter volume (GMV) found in the brains of women who had used meth.
So…Just What is Gray Matter
Gray matter is part of the physical makeup of the brain and is really important to humans in two ways.
First, gray matter gives people their power to process information. Found in many areas of the brain, the three components of gray matter include “neurons, the cells that make connections and store information in our brain, glial cells that feed the neurons so they can work at their best, and capillaries, which provide cells with blood and oxygen.”3
Secondly, gray matter functions in what’s called “neuroplasticity” of the human brain, or the ability of one’s brain to change and adapt as a result of experience. With this capability, the brain will actually modify its own neural network in response to many events, including normal growth development (emotional development from a teenager to an adult), and sometimes to external input such as a traumatic physical injury to the head.
Why Does This Make a Difference to Females
Neuroplasticity acts to affect changes related to cognitive abilities, motor tasking, learning, memory, and more as children develop into adulthood.
In females, the activity of this neuroplasticity is complex and sex-specific. Changes happen in different areas of the brain than males, at different times, and in differing degrees.
For example, take changes that affect mood. Studies have shown that during puberty, females experience an increase in incidence of depression, caused by changes to the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis (HPA), which is a person’s central stress response system. “In females, there is an increased response of the HPA axis with advancing puberty, while in males, the response is decreased, possibly associated with increased testosterone levels. Schizophrenia is another disorder whose incidence rises markedly during adolescence and whose presentation shows significant sex differences.”4
Some researchers suspect that use of meth causes an actual shrinking of gray matter, which can lead to developmental issues and rocky recovery from later life stressors. Most agree that methamphetamine use causes permanent damage to the neural network, effectively interrupting messages transmitted by the brain’s neurons.
The female body is already loaded with its own complexities. Female teenagers who don’t use meth are already faced with complex and confusing physical and mental issues, especially those that relate to their emotional and sexual development. By introducing a chemical that works on the intricacies of the brain that control key developmental components, women who use meth place themselves at risk for developing serious physical and mental disadvantages that may last their lifetimes.
Live on American Addiction Centers
Once you’ve come to the conclusion that your teen needs help with a substance addiction, the type of treatment center to choose for their recovery can be daunting. There are several things that can play into your decision on which recovery center you select.
If your child has been diagnosed with a mental-health condition that is being affected by or affects their substance abuse, treatment facilities need to be carefully assessed with the help of your child’s physician. Not every recovery center may be able to provide exactly the right combination of care and attention that your teen may need.
Criminal Justice System Involvement
If your teenager has been ordered to seek treatment in lieu of incarceration, there are treatment facilities that have programs geared towards helping your teen resolve the issues that led them to substance abuse.
Type of Facility
There are two general types of recovery treatment centers to explore. Outpatient treatment centers allow the individual to remain at home while residential treatment facilities provide a long or short-term experience away from home.
Outpatient treatment is typically considered for people who have day-time obligations (i.e.: school or work) and have a large and solid social base that can help provide support. Outpatient recovery centers offer many of the same types of programs as residency-based centers, but the intensity of treatment is not always the same. Typically, low-intensity outpatient centers are modeled to provide drug education and group counseling, so one-on-one treatment should not be expected.
Short-term Residential Treatment
Originally founded to treat alcohol abuse and therefore based on a modified 12-step approach, short-term residential programs provide a short-term but intensive treatment option. In most cases, patients can expect to reside on location for a duration of three to six weeks. This hospital-based treatment phase works to help your teen to overcome the addiction and properly deal with any side effects while detoxing. Participation in therapy sessions, either individually or as part of a group, is a central component of the time spent at the facility while working to recover.
Long-term Residential Treatment
With planned stays ranging between 6 to 12 months, long-term recovery centers offer the most comprehensive care to their residents. Centers provide round-the-clock care, usually in a non-hospital setting often called a “therapeutic community” (TC). This type of treatment facility employs the use of everyone there (staff and other residents) to help the individual to overcome their social and psychological deficits.
Through highly-structured and sometimes confrontational treatment, residents are encouraged to be socially responsible and productive while developing their personal sense of accountability – all considered critical components of a successful recovery.
Therapy is also mandated here as well as it “examines damaging beliefs, self-concepts, and destructive patterns of behavior and adopt new, more harmonious and constructive ways to interact with others.” 1
Following stays in residential treatment programs, it is important for individuals to remain engaged in outpatient treatment programs and/or aftercare programs. These programs help to reduce the risk of relapse once a patient leaves the residential setting.
There are many other things that need to be considered when choosing a rehab center for your teen. Just some examples include the following:
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), “no standard definitions exist for specific types of programs. The programs are not regulated by the federal government, and many are not subject to state licensing or monitoring as mental health or educational facilities, either.”2
They advise visiting potential rehab centers and asking lots of questions. To help you with knowing what to ask, they have put together an excellent document Residential Treatment Programs for Teens (accessible online – see footnote #2) that address things you should be asking of the treatment facility and its staff to help you make a decision on what type of recovery center would be best for your teen.
Live on American Addiction Centers
Women in today’s society are under more pressure to be everything to everyone than ever before. Over time the media, entertainment industry and our own personal experiences have shaped what we recognize and define as a suburban housewife. The compounding stress on these women, plus the societal pressures they feel often leads them to look for a way to alleviate physical and emotional stress through medical means. In fact, since the 1800s women have been prescribed increasing amounts of anti-anxiety or antidepressant medication to combat the stresses they are dealing with in their everyday lives.
The middle of the 20th century saw a dramatic uptick in the drug-based treatment of women and their perceived anxiety. Often referred to tongue-in-cheek as “Mother’s Little Helper,” medications like Prozac, Librium, Valium, and Miltown were dispensed often too frivolously instead of working to get to the root of the problem.
The tranquilizer, Miltown (meprobamate in generic form), is an anxiety-relieving drug known for its marked effect, was made commercially available in 1954 and was once one of the most popular prescribed medications. By 1956, “doctors had written 36 million prescriptions for it. At the height of its popularity, one out of every three prescriptions called for this drug.”1
Women’s Lives Have Changed – So Have Their Drugs
Nowadays, women have different lifestyles than generations before them. They are often juggling many different tasks while trying to maintain their family unit and their sanity day after day.
With societal pressure and the common misconception that women are more emotional than their male counterparts, women are targeted constantly with medication that will enhance their mood and help them function to society’s definition of what is proper. Over the years, the idea of psychiatric help understood in Freudian terms, became a hugely popular concern. Everyone thought they should be better adjusted at work and be more mentally healthy.2
This mentality has caused increases in abuse of prescription mental health drugs in this community and a movement into drugs outside of the mental health category for women who feel that they need something else to help them get through their day.
The Power and Perils of Opioids
Currently, abuse of prescription painkillers by suburban housewives is greatly on the rise. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suburban housewives in today’s society are turning to opioids on a regular basis to help them numb the pain they deal with day today. It typically starts innocently, surgery on a toothache, giving birth to a child, or a pinched nerve in the back. Doctors then prescribe opioid-based drugs that resemble opium in their physiological effects. Demerol, OxyContin, Percocet, Kadian, Actiq, and Vicodin are just some examples, typically designed to be taken on an “as-needed” basis and for a short duration. However, for some women, all it takes is one prescription, as their pain and anxiety fall away and the begin to feel normal again, the addiction begins.
For many, drug use invariably increases as tolerance to the opioid pain killer quickly builds up. For others, the injury requiring medication may last longer than first anticipated or become chronic. More of the drug is taken or it may be taken more frequently than prescribed. This leads the user to seek out even more of the drug to achieve a satisfactory effect. If they cannot get a prescription refilled, a crisis results. They may even start to look for other ways to alleviate pain, leading from use to misuse of stronger substances or medications used in conjunction with other substances such as alcohol, the once-familiar benzos from the past, or something even worse.
Per the CDC, “about 18 women die every day of a prescription painkiller overdose in the US, more than 6,600 deaths in 2010. Prescription painkiller overdoses are an under-recognized and growing problem for women. Although men are still more likely to die of prescription painkiller overdoses (more than 10,000 deaths in 2010), the gap between men and women is closing. Deaths from prescription painkiller overdose among women have risen more sharply than among men; since 1999 the percentage increase in deaths was more than 400% among women compared to 265% in men.”3
Notwithstanding a more demanding lifestyle with greater risks for pain, pain stemming from things as commonplace as dental procedures or childbirth sees physicians actively prescribing strong and potentially addictive drugs. When women can no longer acquire pain medications from their physicians, their need may lead them to find an alternative source on the street, not only for pain reduction but also for the euphoric feeling that comes with this type of drug.
Typically, this fix is found in heroin, a stronger and cheaper alternative to the pills they were once prescribed. A recent article in Marie Claire illustrates the story of one such woman, “Donna.”
Donna started on the road to addiction by borrowing some of her husband’s Percocet pills to help with an old back injury. At $25 per pill, Percocet was pretty expensive for them. She found that she could purchase heroin on the street for much less. According to Donna, she realized that “she and her husband could split the $10 bag and feel the same euphoria as with two $25 pills. That’s $50 or $10—what would you spend?”4
The stories of women like Donna are not uncommon. A simple pain, a need for an escape from the stress of everyday life, and a search for a feeling of normalcy have suburban housewives looking to increasingly harder substances to find that feeling of relief.
Live on American Addiction Centers
Everyone had their favorite television shows in the 60s and 70s. Thing was, we didn't have access to binge watching and seeing the shows over and over like kids today can. We had to sit down at a certain time each week to catch our favorite show and if we missed it, maybe we could catch the episode as a rerun - months later...if we were lucky.
So, how else could we get our fix? Good 'ole board games - and it turns out there were tons of them made in the 1970s.
A recent search online turned up some pretty weird games that are still hanging around some 40+ yerars after they were first sold.
Let's take a look!
Leave it to Beaver | Rocket to the Moon Space Game
Yeah - you read that right. "Leave it to Beaver" and "Space Game" together in one title. This was a board game made in 1959 that had two players flip a small rocket shaped "die" then move their small marker chip around a board as they explored space. I think Eddie, Lumpy, and even kind, well-mannered Wally would have been laughing themselves silly at the idea of this game, especially since I don't recall any time that Beaver ever talked about playing a spaceman or the like.
The Love Boat | World Cruise Game
Tell me you don't hear the voice of Jack Jones singing the theme song at the mere mention of this show, especially this part which everyone seems to know:
"The Love Boat soon will be making another run
The Love Boat promises something for everyone
Set a course for adventure
Your mind on a new romance"
The game follows on the same basic theme of the show by having different players assuming the roles of the ship guest (played by famous celebrities on the show) each of who has certain traits. These traits come into play as the cruise ship travels to different ports of call, and players use them to gain advantages over the others. In essence, this is a strategy game and has little to do with the TV show except the branding and some of the graphic on the game pieces. But that's okay - it gets us singing that great tune and wistfully dreaming again.
Barnabas Collins | Dark Shadows Game
Based on a soap opera that ran from 1966 to 1971, this game has a video advertisement that gets the kid whipped up in me. I just watched it for the first time and thought the game looked so cool!
Who wouldn't want a game that comes with a vampire, a stake (watch our for it!), and even glow in the dark teeth!! Seriously Milton Bradley Company - you had me at the cool coffin shot.
Lost in Space Game
Like the popular show from the 70s, the object of this game is to travel through space to unknown planets, explore, and not get killed.
Unlike the TV show, this game has only a board, player tokens, and a spinner to work with. Hazards of various types are printed on the board.
All I can say is that Lost in Space doesn't work for me without the Robot, of course. And Dr. Smith. Poor, pathetic, whimpering Dr. Smith.
Starsky & Hutch | Detective Game
This game from 1977 was based on the hit series about two Bay City police detectives that ran on ABC TV from 1975 through 1979. The show starred Paul Michael Glaser as David Starsky and David Soul as Kenneth "Hutch" Hutchinson. And who could forget their bad ass red Ford Gran Torino with the white stripe, a car that, to this day, many of us who love muscle cars still lust over.
In the game, the two cops are once again chasing after the bad guys but without the car, Starsky's cardigan, and the ever-present chance that Hutch might break out a rendition of his #1 Billboard song, it's just not the same.
Ben Casey M.D. Game
Aaaaah, Ben Casey. Who's mom didn't have a wild crush on this guy? The show, known for its opening titles, which consisted of a hand drawing the symbols "♂, ♀, ✳, †, ∞" on a chalkboard representing "man, woman, birth, death, and infinity, starred Vince Edwards as the handsome, idealistic neurosurgeon working at County General Hospital. The 1961 board game based on the show is pretty simple - roll a die, move from room to room in a hospital, collect "symptom" cards, then make a successful diagnosis. Leaves plenty of time for chasing after that dreamboat doctor the game is named after now, doesn't it.
Got Any You Want to Ad to the List?
Let me know if you have any old favorites you'd like to see included.
Posted on ThatVintageSite.com
If you've taken a shot of hard liquor, you know how badly it burns on the way down. But how can a room-temperature or even a cool liquid cause this burning sensation? The answer isn't what you might think.
If You Can't Stand the Heat
Your body's normal temperature hovers at, or very close to, 98.6 degrees (37 degrees Celsius). When you drink something cold, that beverage becomes slightly warmer as it travels down your throat and into your stomach. When you drink a hot beverage, the opposite happens: Your body absorbs some of that heat.
And your body can take a lot of heat. For example, coffee drinkers prefer their cup of joe around 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius), according to a study published in the Journal of Food Science. So even when you sip on something nearly 30 degrees hotter than your core body temperature, you don't feel like your throat is on fire.
To protect your insides, your mouth and throat both have pain sensors called vanilloid receptor-1, or VR1. VR1 are finely tuned to react to food's temperature and acidity by stimulating neurons to transmit the sensation of pain to the brain. These receptors are super sensitive to both actual high temperatures and perceived heat from compounds like capsaicin, making them react similarly to a sizzling hot slice of pizza as they do to a habanero-laden scoop of salsa.
Fool Me Once
Things change when alcohol comes into play. Ethanol is the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages such as tequila. Unlike capsaicin, which makes VR1 think a food is hot to the touch, ethanol binds to these receptors and makes them more sensitive to heat. This bond actually changes the heat threshold, lowering it to just 93.2 degrees Fahrenheit (34 degrees Celsius). This might not seem like a big swing in temperature, but it's enough to cause a flurry of responses in your skin, esophagus, and spinal cord, giving you a sudden sensation of warmth all over and a nasty burn in your throat.
The human body has warning signals in place to protect you from danger. Whether it's a sudden release of adrenaline in life-threatening situations or a pain signal when you eat something that's too hot, reactions in your body are there to tell you not to do something. In the case of downing a shot of liquor, that burning sensation isn't real heat; it's your own body's warning signals gone awry.
Live on Curiosity.com
Whether you are an art connoisseur or just like checking out what local artists have created, Medellin has a thriving art scene not to be missed.
Respect the Artist, Not the Medium
Starting at street level, Medellin has a huge array of what is normally considered graffiti, but in this city, this artwork is well-respected. Having been built into an abundance of hillsides, Medellin is a city of retaining walls and buildings with vast expanses of exposed outer walls. Many of these have become canvases that portray stories about the city’s past, most notably when the area was ruled by drugs and the gangs that sold them. Larger than life portraits, embellished in bright colors, some highly artistic, others more novice in appearance, they are all colorful monuments to the city, woven within buildings, streets, and alleys. Many are visible from several different places, providing the observer with a changing sense of perspective and interpretation when seen from a different vantage point. To see a good sampling, it is suggested that visitors to the area check out “Street art in Medellin, Colombia – in pictures,” a pictorial example of street art in Comuna 13, once one of Medellin’s most notorious neighborhoods.
More Traditional Vibes
Still on the upswing from its heyday as a crime haven, Medellin has been working hard to revitalize its economy and reputation. Working towards this goal, there has been a surge in tourism and, with that, a steady growth in art galleries and museums. Medellin has a good selection of galleries providing smaller installations of local artists. However, at the other end of the spectrum are two traditional museums hosting galleries of artists who are becoming more famous each year.
Medellín Museo de Arte Moderno (MMAM), a repurposed steel factory said to be “rapidly gentrifying Ciudad del Rio neighborhood” is the first not to be missed. In a 2016 Travel + Leisure interview, chief curator Amiliano Valdes, discusses the growth of the MMAM, relating that the museum’s collection of mostly Columbian artists would be on permanent display with the new building extension that had recently been completed. Featured at MMAM is the extensive collection of Debora Orango, a late feminist painter that used themes of social commentary along with confrontational depictions in her work.
Besides permanent installations, the museum also has a state-of-the-art film and music theatre, allowing the hosting of more varied types of art.
Second is Medellin’s Museo de Antioquia with the notable collection of abstract artist Fernando Botero, best recognized for his signature stylizing of rounded, “fat” people – also called boterismo. On display at the museum are 168 pieces of work by Botero in mixed media, both in the galleries and on the plaza in front, aptly named Plaza de Botero.
In the Eye of the Beholder
Regardless of personal taste, anyone who loves, appreciates, or is just curious about different styles of art will find plenty to see and discuss in the artwork on display in and around the city of Medellin.
Posted live on GoToMedellin.com
As a byproduct of the popularity of science fiction movies, books, and games, an entire subculture has entrenched itself in our current culture. This avid following of all things science fiction is more commonly called “SF Fandom” and has some interesting roots.
In the Beginning
In the late 1800s, science fiction stories were first published in book form. Jules Verne is credited as the first to write what is considered “pure science fiction” where stories solely centered on technological, futuristic, fantastic, and alien or otherworldly content.
Celebrating Science Fiction Day – A Look at the Growth of Science Fiction Fandom1/1/2019
As a byproduct of the popularity of science fiction movies, books, and games, an entire subculture has entrenched itself in our current culture. This avid following of all things science fiction is more commonly called “SF Fandom” and has some interesting roots.
In the Beginning
In the late 1800s, science fiction stories were first published in book form. Jules Verne is credited as the first to write what is considered “pure science fiction” where stories solely centered on technological, futuristic, fantastic, and alien or otherworldly content.
Sci-fi Fan Interest Grows
Science fiction started making more headway into the public eye in the early 1900s as magazines would sometimes run single stories or serialized versions of a story mixed into their normal content to capitalize on the growing interest in the topic. Magazines like Argosy, a children’s weekly publication, would publish stories with science fiction themes, but, as a whole, there were no genre-specific publications like we have available today.
Despite an influx of new science fiction stories being published in those early years by Argosy and other similar magazines, science fiction fans of all ages were looking for lots more material.
To meet the demand, the mid-1920s saw the explosion of what was called “pulp” magazines. These publications were typically issued monthly and featured short stories produced and illustrated mostly by fans but sometimes featured works by already established science fiction authors.
A well-known example is the 1926 pulp magazine Amazing Stories which featured only works of a true science fiction nature. Not commonly known is that Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, and Edgar Allen Poe all provided significant contributions with stories published in early copies of Amazing Stories while many authors found their first publishing success in the myriad of other pulp magazines.
Even More Fan Access
While this may seem strange now, science fiction fans reading Amazing Stories were encouraged to contact each other via a letter column included in the publication. Amazing Stories’ letter column provided the the names and addresses of its fans in print. Publishing such information meant fans could contact each other (and sometimes professional authors or artists) via mail to discuss characters, stories, and plots or to arrange for the swapping of magazine issues. This connection of like-minded science fiction buffs became the first organized type of fan club for the genre’s enthusiasts. Essentially, this was an early equivalent of social media helping to boost and share information on a beloved topic
A further outgrowth of the fan clubs was the creation of fanzines. Fanzines were typically amateur magazines often produced to provide further exploration of the genre via elaboration on story lines or to provide outlets for artistic contributions like character or scene illustrations. Additionally, fanzines afforded a platform for novice writers who hoped to join the ranks of professional science fiction authors.
An example of one of the earliest fanzines was The Comet, created in 1930 by Raymond Arthur Palmer who was a member of the Science Correspondence Club of Chicago.
After the introduction of The Comet, many other fanzines came as went as the creators often found keeping up with the publishing of them was too demanding of their time and sometimes too costly.
However, while short-lived, fanzines did make a significant mark on the genre with some of the most successful writers being Robert E. Howard, H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Rice Burroughs (Mithra series), and J.R.R. Tolkein (Lord of the Rings trilogy).
Today, science fiction fandom has taken on a life of its own. Some popular outlets include Sci-Fi conventions, themed events such as weddings or graduation parties, role playing games, and many others where attendees can hear or converse in fanspeak, a jargon used by die hard fans to communicate with each other about all things science fiction.
Original article on ThatVintageSite.com
If you’re lucky, or maybe not, you’ve encountered somebody at a New Year’s Eve party dressed like “Baby New Year.”
Typically, you find it’s an adult male who’s donned an over-sized diaper and wearing a sash emblazoned with the year to come. This can make for lots of good fun for those who have already had a few libations (Moscow mule anybody?!). But did you ever think about why a baby is associated with the coming of a new year?
As it turns out, the association of a baby and a new calendar year goes way, way back. It can be traced to around 600 B.C. when the Greeks chose to use a baby to symbolize rebirth.
Through the years, images of Baby New Year have been used across posters, cards, invitations, books, calendars, advertising, and the like.
But one publication chose to feature Baby New Year in a very unique way.
The Saturday Evening Post, most commonly associated with covers featuring beautiful PG-rated illustrations by Norman Rockwell, placed very beautiful and yet somewhat thought-provoking images on its first cover of the year from 1907 until 1943. These covers featured the art of J.C. Leyendecker, predecessor and mentor to Rockwell, who was considered to be one of the preeminent American illustrators of the early 20th century.
The first four covers by Leyendecker were general in theme but in 1910, this changed. From then on, each cover featured Baby New Year in a way that was reflective of the mood of the United States at the time. For example, the 1912 Saturday Evening Post cover features Baby New Year holding a sign that states “Votes for Women” as a way of depicting the nation’s interest in the women’s suffrage movement.
In 1934, Baby New Year is seen looking like a business man, wearing a bowler while closely watching a stock ticker tape - hopefully to see a positive upswing as a result from the recently approved National Recovery Act which was designed to regulate industry for fair wages and control prices in an effort to stimulate economic recovery.
Most provocative though are the four covers released in the 1940s. Though the United States was at peace when the decade began, there was concern over tensions abroad and a growing concern about the possibility of U.S involvement.
Donned in military gear and surrounded by symbols of “the enemies,” Baby New Year was portrayed in a way that was not as gentle as it once was depicted. Forthright references to the Axis powers of Germany, Japan, and Italy were included and Baby New Year was used to convey deep, dark, and fearful messages.
While the artistry Leyendecker's covers is beautiful, it's amazing that Baby New Year, a character that was once simply a sweet iconic figure with a cherubic face, symbolic of hope and rebirth, would change over the years to become a messenger of something as tough and distasteful as a world war.
Original article on ThatVintageSite.com
From 1883 when the Temple Court Building and Annex was built, a 9-story building that was the third ever skyscraper in New York City, to the 2014 completion of One World Trade Center at 104 floors, elevators have been bringing people to and from high-rise offices, restaurants, apartments, and observation decks. In fact, commercial goods have been moved up and down floors of factories, warehouses, and the like in NYC for well over a century.
Most early elevators were more simple in their engineering, operation, and maintenance than those created according to today’s standards. To remain current and to ensure safety for passengers, today’s elevators may need to be replaced or require elevator modernization.
Signs that Elevator Modernization May Be Needed
Various things can occur to indicate that it’s time to consider modernizing existing elevators. These can include:
Common Modernizations to Expect
Power units, controllers, braking and traction components, signal equipment, and door equipment are all items that may need to be addressed to modernize an existing elevator. Additionally, the cab enclosure may need to be addressed as it, plus the signaling on the inside and outside, should be ADA compliant.
Who Handles Elevator Modernization?
When upgrading and modernizing an elevator, this service should not be trusted to just anyone. Elevator Consulting companies, have the full suite of services needed to do any elevator modernization project properly. A good option for an elevator owner who needs to upgrade is to look for an elevator consulting firm that can cover everything from the machine room to the pit, including the hoistway, hoistway equipment, overhead, and the elevator cab.
Elevator consultants typically work with clients who own, or manage buildings that have elevators, lifts, moving walkways, and escalators. The consultants work with the client to provide evaluation and design of these forms of vertical transportation. When existing equipment is involved, these consultants can evaluate and provide solutions for existing systems that can help the building owner utilize the latest techniques and technologies to optimize their existing structure. Elevator Consultants remain independent of elevator mechanic companies allowing clients to have confidence that the work will be done properly and on budget.
Vertical Systems Analysis (VSA)
Vertical Systems Analysis (VSA) is a consulting and engineering firm whose services include surveying, design engineering, feasibility studies, test witnessing, traffic analysis, permit expediting. VSA completes elevator modernizations in New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Miami. Their elevator modernization services begin with a comprehensive visual examination. VSA then prepares specifications, meets with the client to discuss scope of work, and finalizes a list of bidders. They then manage drawing approvals, fixture/cab selections, and oversee construction through the completion of punchlists.
VSA is known as a firm that will lead and manage an elevator modernization project in-house from initial consultation through completion. This will help ensure that any elevator modernization project they are involved with is done properly to spec every time.
Currently live on VSAConsulting.com
If you were a kid in the 60s or 70s, there’s a really good chance that your mom was leaving the house at least once a week to go to a ceramics class. Ceramics was really popular back then and there were little shops set up where women went to get away from the house and kids, get creative, and bring home something decorative for the house. Maybe there was even a little wine involved.
These shops offered up plain white porcelain molded figures to pick from and then mom would spend her evenings painting it however she wanted. Based on some of the color combos and painting tactics I’ve seen on these pieces in thrift stores, I think there’s even more fuel for the argument that wine may have been involved! Once the painting was done, the item was fired and it was on its way home to a new place of honor on the dining room table, mantle, or wherever else she felt it would look good.
We had quite the assortment of hand-painted ceramic goods in our home. There was the huge cornucopia (or horn-o-plenty, the alternative name that always seemed to put my brother into fits of giggles when it was said aloud) that was on display at our Thanksgiving table every year.
A tower of fruit and some other weird stuff in a footed urn turn up in our living room.
There was a really glossy red and black speckled owl whose head could be removed (sorry - I can't seem to find a picture quite like ours). My dad stored his pennies in that thing and would pay me one penny for every two bags of garbage I took out to the trash can. I guess child labor laws were looser then. We also had the big cabbage soup tureen with a dish like a giant leaf under it.
There were tons of these things. Even a porcelain Christmas tree that had plastic lights that actually lit up when it was plugged in. I loved that thing but at some point, my mom chucked it in the trash. She went through this crazy phase in the early 80s where she wanted nothing. She used to actually say "I want to live like Ghandi. I want to have nothing and be able to dust without lifting anything up." Strange comment but good advice, I always thought.
Retro Christmas and Ceramic Trees
About ten years ago when I started picking up retro Christmas decorations, I’d see those trees all the time in thrift stores. I resisted getting any for many years though I’m not sure why. Eventually, I ended up forking over maybe all of three dollars and got quite a nice ceramic tree. Mine was green with the colored lights and had some white paint on the tips of the boughs that was meant to represent snow. Kind of the ceramic version of a flocked Christmas tree.
Popularity in ceramic figures hasn’t been there for the most part from what I can tell. However, in case you’ve missed the posts all over the place in the past few days, these things are suddenly highly sought after now. Brand new ones are being made by several manufacturers and sold in stores and online for roughly $50 or less. But the vintage ones, the ones truly dating back to being “homemade” in that they are hand-painted and often “signed” on the bottom by somebody’s mom – WOW!
I’ve seen prices in the hundreds for just one. It’s funny how for so many years my friends have turned up their noses at my love of mid-century kitsch stuff and now the world is taking notice - driving up the prices for everybody else. For those of us who got this type of design long before it was cool, well, we’re grinning from ear to ear right about now.
If the ceramic Christmas trees see a lot of success in demand, then maybe, just maybe the cornucopia will be going for big bucks by next year’s Thanksgiving. Better run out and get one now!
Posted on ThatVintageSite.com
When looking to travel or live in another country, considerations for a senior's destination include the safety of an area, healthcare availability, easy access to transportation, and an abundance of entertainment.
Recently, Medellin, Colombia has been a location frequently recommended to seniors and others looking for someplace different. But, with its shaky past as a high-crime drug capital, one has to ask why.
As it turns out, the past 20 years have brought about a remarkable change for Medellin and the surrounding area. Great efforts have been made to transform the area, shed the bad reputation, and stimulate growth of all types. These changes have led to an upsurge of business development plus improvements in infrastructure, technology, healthcare, social amenities and more.
Of particular interest to foreigners is El Poblado, an upscale neighborhood located at the eastern side of the Aburra Valley and in close proximity to El Centro, Medellin’s city center. This area is best described as being more developed than others, making it more appealing to boomers while staying in the region. According to Medellin Living, “It is essentially a wealthy suburb that offers Medellin’s elite a western lifestyle with all the creature comforts money can buy.”
Safety measures have been stepped up in El Poblado. The neighborhood has an increased police presence, allowing visitors and residents added comfort and security when going about their activities, both day and night.
There are several medical clinics located right in El Poblado providing services from general medical care right on up to plastic surgery and, according to International Living and the World Health Organization (WHO), Hospital Pablo Tobón Uribe in nearby Medellin is higher ranked than comparable facilities in the United States and Canada.
Getting around Medellin and El Poblado is easy for seniors with transportation options that include access to taxis, bus service, the metro, and even Uber.
As the most well-to-do neighborhood of Medellin, El Poblado’s tree-lined streets are dotted with modern high-rise buildings offering mostly luxury apartments. High-end shopping can be found in several malls and many small boutiques. Restaurants and bars are plentiful and the nearby Zona Rosa features several nightclubs with a hip and vibrant nighttime scene.
For seniors interested in adventurous activities in and around the area there is much to consider. There are numerous parks with hiking paths, streams, and even ocean views to entice those who want to explore nature. Laguna de Guatape, provided by Tours Guatape, is a day trip takes participants up 650 steep steps up a rock to provide spectacular views of the coast and its surrounds.
Not to be missed is the chance to see an Atlético Nacional football (soccer to Americans) game – considered an electrifying experience even for those who don’t like the sport of soccer.
Other more adventurous activities in the area include horseback riding, parasailing, a cable car excursion, ziplining – the list goes on and on.
The El Poblado and the city of Medellin have each made a strong comeback and travel to the area should be high on anyone’s bucket list of places that provide a safe, comfortable travel experience with an abundance of things to do for all involved.
Original article on GoToMedellin.com
When people think about the bodily harm that results from drug abuse, they most often consider things like damage to the brain, lungs, heart or stomach. What is less known is the serious harm that drugs and substances cause to a person’s teeth and gums.
While almost any drug, legal or illegal, can affect a person’s system and cause harm to their teeth and gums the greatest damage comes from the use of common street drugs: methamphetamine (meth), heroin, marijuana and cocaine.
What Drug Use Does to the Teeth and Gums
Using of drugs frequently causes dry mouth – a serious lack of saliva production. Saliva is a key protector that wards off bacteria overpopulation. Without enough saliva, dry mouth irritates the soft tissue in the mouth and the gums. Once the gums are inflamed, they can recede from the tooth wall. This then allows bacteria to enter the gaps, resulting in infections and tooth decay. For people who abuse substances, poor oral hygiene is common due to multiple factors -an inability to afford proper oral care, a lack of concern for oral health, or a lack of nutritious foods. Stimulant drugs, such as ecstasy, meth, cocaine or heroin, cause the individual to clench or grind their teeth. This can result in jaw pain and the weakening of teeth -sometimes to the point that they end up breaking off. People who smoke in addition to using drugs are also at risk for infection and tooth decay since smoking negatively affects any part of the mouth.
Harm to Teeth Based on Specific Drugs
In addition to the general harm associated with substance abuse and poor oral health, each different street drug creates additional adverse health outcomes, resulting in rotten, discolored, broken, missing teeth and gum disease.
Methamphetamine is very acidic. Use can lead to upset stomach due to the drug’s acidity -causing reflux and vomiting. Excessive vomiting coats the teeth with acid, leading to further corrosion of the enamel and allowing more decay to set in. Additionally, meth sometimes makes people crave soda and sweets, another common element in tooth decay.
Use of heroin causes damage to the teeth that are nearly the same as those seen with meth use. Also, the drug’s pain-killing property can cause an individual to ignore symptoms of damaged teeth and gums, leading to further problems.
Smoking marijuana can cause mouth cancer. Additionally, some people develop a condition called “cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome.” This condition leads to nausea and vomiting that can wear away the enamel of the teeth, leading to tooth decay.
When snorted, use of cocaine damages the tissue that separates the roof of the mouth from the nasal cavity. Over time, this can cause a hole to form, making it hard for the individual to eat or speak. Also, cocaine is acidic. If it is smoked (as with crack) or if the powder is placed in the mouth, the teeth are coated with the acid and their protective enamel breaks down. For some people, rubbing cocaine on the gums produces mouth sores.
When you are looking to find jobs that allow you to work from home but don’t have the necessary equipment, don’t despair. There are plenty of companies that will provide you with the various types of equipment that you will need to get the job done. The problem though is – who does this?
A search on the internet will give you tons of results, almost too many to sort through. Lists of work-from-home jobs have been compiled and, as you pore through these, you start to see the same sources for work being listed over and over again. This could be good, in that the compiled lists will give you an idea of the types of jobs that can be done remotely. However, the downfall is that you and every other person out there that wants to work from home and needs help outfitting their home office is looking at the same lists – meaning you have tons, and tons of competition. So, what do you do?
For starters, it’s best to know what kind of work you like and are willing to do from home. Without narrowing that down, you can spend countless hours searching, reading through various sources that list a job as a work from home opportunity that really isn’t, or not even finding the actual jobs that are listed. Instead, you should first get to know the basic categories of remote work opportunities. Stay at home jobs most often fall under some of the following types of work:
Once you’ve researched these job areas and decided which interests you, it’s time to start your search. You can do this two ways – either search on the major job posting sites or do a lookup for the top companies that have the type of job you want.
Searching on the Major Job Posting Sites
If you start by using large job posting sites such as Indeed, SimplyHired, Glassdoor, or FlexJobs, you will need to structure your search to narrow down the results. Take for example, Indeed.com. Now known as the biggest source for nearly all jobs, the site can be overwhelming if you just search for “work from home.” You’ll have to pore through listing after listing until you come up with a company that offers the equipment needed for the work. However, refine that search! Try “work from home equipment provided” and you’ll see the number of results is greatly reduced. From there, hit Ctrl-F and enter “equipment” and see which listings have that word showing up. Your search just got a whole lot easier.
By doing exactly this daily, you will find newly posted work from home positions to choose from that will provide you with what you need. The best part is that while they may be jobs for the same type of work as seen on so many of the list sites, these listings are the most current as they are updated continually.
Here’s a sampling:
Telehealth/Work from Home Registered Nurse for Wellbox
According to the listing, you would be working from home providing telephonic encounters centered around chronic care management to patients. Further, the company listing says the job operates from the worker’s home and uses standard office equipment like computers and headsets. They provide all the equipment and the employee only needs to provide a high-speed internet connection.
Virtual Travel Consultant with American Express
If you are a well-seasoned traveler or somebody who was once an agent in a brick-and-mortar travel business, then this job may be right up your alley. With the only provision being that you live in an area that falls within the west region of the United States (Pacific, Mountain or Hawaii–Aleutian time zone), everything is outfitted for you. Per this job posting, consultants will be working for the American Express call center to help premium card members with all things travel related. You provide the space, and American Express will install both business class high-speed internet and a landline phone which is to be used exclusively for business purposes. This job opens up frequently in other time zones so keep an eye on their job postings if you live outside of this specific area.
Payment Solutions Associate for Alliance Data
Alliance is looking to fill positions for collections account representatives who can work from a home-based office. As a worker with Alliance, you will be handling calls, both inbound and outbound, aimed at negotiating settlements or securing payment arrangements on past due credit card accounts. To facilitate this work, Alliance Data states that they will provide all business equipment needed for the job, the exception being that the work-at-home employee needs to self-provide internet access.
Bilingual Member Service Representative with BroadPath Healthcare Solutions
If you have the ability to speak and read both Spanish and English, this fluency can land you a remote work position with BroadPath. This job also requires current working knowledge of Medicaid and/or Medicare health plans as the employee will be dealing with accounts related to these. BroadPath’s job listing states that work-from-home talent is typically hired during seasonal “surges” but getting your foot in the door often leads to a long-term position with the company. They will provide you with all equipment needed except for an internet connection. BroadPath Healthcare Solutions has several other work at home job categories (not all are bilingual) so be sure to check out their list of current positions.
AppleCare College Program Advisor for Apple
Apple has many work-from-home opportunities with this being just one of them. As an AppleCare At Home Advisor, it would be your job to work as a customer care representative using your knowledge and love of Apple technology and products to field questions from Apple customers. What’s unique about this particular position is that it is open only to students who are currently enrolled at a state-funded university (i.e.: Arizona State, Penn State, University of Alabama) that is designated as a partner in this program. So, if you are a student, love Apple products, and are looking to make some extra money to help with your educational costs, this might be a great fit. Apple only requires that you have a high-speed internet connection, as they will provide you with an iMac and a headset for the work you will be doing.
Work-From-Home Jobs Known for Providing Equipment
There are a few work-from-home jobs known for providing a computer, headset or other equipment necessary to complete the job remotely. I’ve already mentioned Apple and American Express. Here are a few more:
ABC Financial – this company offers remote customer service positions in addition to administration, account management and more. They not only provide all equipment and hardware needed to their at-home customer service reps, benefits are also available to full-time employees.
A Place for Mom – this company hires at-home Senior Advisors. These are usually full-time positions paying a base rate plus uncapped bonuses. Per the latest job listing, “SLAs are provided with a laptop fully loaded with Microsoft Office, Outlook, access to our CRM and VOIP Phone system through VPN to enable connection to the Company.” A bachelor’s degree and three years sales experience is preferred.
Buffer – this is a company that loves their remote workforce. Not only will you be supplied with a laptop to do your work, you will also enjoy perks such as unlimited time off, learning stipend, health insurance, “working smarter” stipend that can be used to create your ideal workspace, stock options, retreats and more. (Heck yeah!)
Care.com – this is a well-known company known for being “flex-friendly.” Past openings have included everything from accounting and art to editing and member care specialist. Their recent job opening for a Backup Care Specialist stated a laptop was provided. Positions may differ.
Enterprise – this company almost always has work-at-home positions available though they are usually location-specific. These are customer service and sales positions. You provide the computer, internet and USB headset. They provide a VOIP headset and key fob.
World Travel Holdings – World Travel Holdings provides you a computer, monitor, keyboard, mouse, phone and headset upfront and then deducts the cost ($500 refundable deposit) from your first 5 paychecks. You do need a landline for this position. As you may have suspected, this is a travel-related gig. As an employee, you will also have access to benefits, paid time off and travel discounts.
Zapier – this company is 100% remote. Their workforce resides in over 17 countries. Like Buffer, this is another one that strives to make their employees happy. Not only are you provided with computer and software setup, but also unlimited vacation, healthcare, retirement, profit sharing and more. For those of you looking for employee positions, these are definitely two companies to try to get into if you have the experience and skills.
Original blog post on TheWorkAtHomeWife.com
So maybe like me, you don’t intend to move or you can’t afford one of those great homes you see for sale all as you scroll through one of your Facebook groups dedicated to all things mid-century. I long to be able to revamp and outfit a whole home with lots of kitschy things that I see, but unfortunately, I don’t expect that to happen anytime soon. Well, there is an alternative. “What is it,” you say?
Get a dollhouse. That’s right – a doll house. In more recent years, the trend of interest in dollhouses has grown as well as a change of design – towards traditional mid-century styles.
Once dominated by Victorian designs, new dollhouses reflect the minimalistic and clean lines that define many homes of the mid 20th century. For people interested in this style who may never actually work as an architect or interior designer, crafting a home and the entirety of its contents in miniature can often fulfill a long-standing dream.
One thing to know though is that furnishing a dollhouse can be as expensive as a real home, or maybe even more so in some cases. According to an article published in SFGate, “PRD Miniatures, for example, can cost anywhere from $35 (a tiny cowhide rug) to $350 (a kitchen unit with color-changing LED backsplash).” Also noted was “a classic Barcelona chair, shrunk to 1:6 scale, is $430.”
There are tons of sites to let you gawk at and admire the creative works of others. For example, take Modern Mini Houses, a site with some truly remarkable miniature houses, all designed and outfitted precisely according to what appears to be strict mid-century guidelines by Megan Hornbecker, a self-proclaimed “minimalist” who has been chronicling her work with miniatures since 2007.
For a more kitsch and less expensive way of furnishing a mid-century dollhouse, I’m happy to say there is an alternative. Remember Barbie? Well, she had a “Dream House” and, while any version of that can in no way compare to those coveted by dollhouse enthusiasts, they can provide a suitable and fun alternative.
Ebay is the place to start looking. There are often listings for the Dream House which was basically a room or two made from cardboard with furnishings made from cardboard as well.
I particularly like this one:
Even though the furniture and everything else is made from cardboard, like the description says, this thing is “Swell!”
I even got a kick out of the perma-image on the TV set.
So, yes, this is not really as fulfilling as working on the more expensive, scaled to size dollhouses. But I did remember something as I was writing this.
When I was a kid, I had a couple of Barbie dolls and I never played with them like most girls. I was interested in their home design, not the clothes.
My parents didn’t buy us many toys so I had to make things for myself. I used to take boxes and paint the insides with house paint, then I would cut out windows and doorways, then attached the boxes to each other to make my own house.
I then crafted all of the items that I needed to outfit any particular room that I was making. I used shoe boxes for beds that I cut down to size and then re-taped. I sewed my own bedspreads and curtains. I took yarn that I had and knitted or crocheted rugs. I made appliances out of things like Band-aid tins and I remember using a small, clear tackle case as shelving in the kitchen.
Back then we used to shop at Grants and would buy these plastic sleeves that held really small trinkets – like the prizes in the round plastic cases that you got out of a gumball machine. Enclosed in those were things like tiny plastic irons, cups, plates, utensils, dogs, shoes, mock food products, and more – all placed in the house I built.
Needless to say, while I’d love to be able to do a full-scale, money-is-no-object mid-century dollhouse, as I recollect, I had tons of fun creating my version when I was a kid on a budget.
Original blog post on ThatVintageSite.com
I had the goods. Lots and lots of them. I started collecting retro Christmas decorations years before the recent trend towards mid-century decor was a trend. I'm weird like that. I get on a kick about a good ten years before everybody else. So, starting sometime back in the last decade, I started hounding thrift stores, yard sales, and EBay, looking for weird and cute vintage goods to put out at Christmas time. This is one of the first things that got my attention - a really kitschy plastic and flock fireplace of sorts with the word Noel emblazoned above Santa's head, The materials, textures, and odd-sizing of the Santa, deer, lightpost, and the rest just made me delighted for some weird reason!
Fortunately for me the prices were beyond reasonable since nobody else really had an interest in this stuff. It seemed like lots of stuff dating from the 40s through the 70s was showing up en masse. Likely a bunch of people a generation or two older than me were dying off and their kids who were cleaning out their homes just saw these items as pure crap - excuse my French.
I was able to add to my collection quickly during the first couple of years. Things like glass ornaments, figurines, toys, and even old Christmas cards were up for grabs and came home with me.
In particular though, I sought old light strands and the old bulbs that went with those. To me, nothing is more soothing than the warm, fuzzy glow those lights cast off. Especially when you crawled under the tree and looked straight up into it - one of my favorite things to do each year.
Finding those lights was tough. They weren't being reproduced yet and getting originals that still worked or weren't jammed into a light socket was a challenge. But I pursued. Sometimes I'd find just a couple scattered in with a bunch of other things. Sometimes I'd find several boxes. But most times, they were attached to strings that wouldn't light up when plugged in. Even so, I'd buy the whole thing for a buck or two on the off chance that the bulbs still worked.
One of the interesting things I noticed was that there were differences in the colors of the bulbs based on the years they were made. Older bulbs are easy to identify - they have a rounder or squared tip and the colors are more gentle in nature. These are also better coated so they produce a different kind of glow than newer ones.
In this photo you can see differences in the blue bulbs. Those that are lighter have the more rounded end as well as being lighter in color to begin with. Those are the older bulbs. Also, the yellow ones are old, so much so that original vintage Christmas bulbs of this color are really hard to come by. Even white ones are different. Again, the coating is partly to play as it creates a much warmer light than today's mini-bulbs.
In the end, I acquired plenty of working bulbs and used the original strings until brand new versions started showing up in stores. I figured these were safer.
I also set out to find things like wire brush wreaths, old tree-toppers angels, plastic flower or bells woven into garland, and handmade decorations. I really loved those since I recall making some of the same things when I was a kid and I know and appreciate the effort put into their creation.
By the year 2014 I had amassed a huge collection. Box after box of items were jammed into a section of my basement. That year I put these items on display around the house, but the best part was in the old Billy bookcases from Ikea that I had.
These were 6.5 feet tall and had glass doors running the entire height. In essence, each shelf became its own shadowbox. I strung lights through each shelf then added items from the collection. It was amazing! I had friend and neighbors come over just to check out the display.
Here are some shots of each shelf - not well photographed, but you can get the idea of how they looked well enough.
Jump ahead to the very next year - one that I had very much looked forward to with new ways to showcase my vintage Christmas collection. In October, I split with my spouse (that was actually a good thing) and in doing so, it meant I was going to need to move out of my home - one that had 20+ years of accumulated stuff, including my extensive Christmas retro goods.
Timing being as it was, I realized that I could sell it, but I had to move quickly since as they say "the season is upon us." Ideally, I wish I had time to list the items on Ebay so I could get a better price on them (values had skyrocketed on many things by then) but that wasn't realistic. So, out went the ads on Facebook and in came the replies - like buzzards on fresh roadkill.
I managed to liquidate nearly the entire collection in just three days. It was crazy, and gut wrenching to see the items I'd worked too hard to gather getting dispersed like that. But, as much as I wish I still had these things, I know somebody else is enjoying them, and that in some small way I've helped to keep the spirit of kooky old Christmas decorations alive.
For those that love mid-century kitsch, why not dig deep into your wallet and get ready to roll on over to Hillsborough, California where you can once again purchase the iconic “Flintstone” house.
Visible from Interstate 280 and overlooking Crystal Springs Reservoir, the purple and orange residence is a local landmark. Created in the 70s by the original owners and local architect William Nicholson, this house is anything but conventional.
According to Realtor.com, “The swingin’ ’70s are evident in the stylized conversation pit, with an amoeba-shaped window that looks out to Crystal Springs Reservoir. The 2,730-square-foot home, nestled into a hillside, has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a game room, and a loft space. ‘It’s very comfortable. It feels cozy but airy,’ the agent says.”
Architect Eugene Tsui designed the “biologic” kitchen with storage compartments that seem truly cellular. Other unique features of the home, aside from its “prehistoric” outer design, include a game room, a conversation pit, a garden visible from inside, and the 3rd bedroom with a loft. This is an amazing opportunity for buyers who appreciate distinctly unique architecture and design elements and like a home that makes a statement.
In the past 2 years, the price of this home has dropped and currently, all of this can be yours for $2.8 million. If that’s out of your league, don’t worry! You can stay there as part of an Airbnb stay.
Want to see more? Take a look at this video walk-thru.
Original blog post on ThatVintageSite.com
As you’re walking towards your car on a blistering summer day, something catches your eye. Yep. It’s a dog locked up in a car. Now what? You look around and don’t see anybody that seems to be aware of the situation. Should you call for help? Break into the car yourself? Leave it and hope for the best?
If you’re a dog lover, your first instinct is likely to be to get help of some kind, so you call 911 to report the situation. But, as you wait, you can see the dog is in distress and you get more anxious. The urge to do something can be overwhelming. So you start to think about finding something nearby to help you break the window.
While this is an admirable thought, you need to be aware of the ramifications of such an action. In the past several years, there has been a spike in awareness of dogs being left in cars during hot summer days. Facebook is plastered with good intentioned images and stories reminding people to not do this. What’s scary though are the comments that are left on those posts. More often than not, people say they would break into the car to rescue the dog no matter what the consequences. However, those consequences can be surprising, and sometimes pretty harmful, to the person who was acting as nothing more than a Good Samaritan.
NOTE: At the time of this update (March 2019), laws shown in the image below have not changed. Please check with your local authority for updated information.
What Happens If You Break a Car Window to Save a Dog in a Hot Car?
In the US at the present, a few more than half of the states have some form of “Hot Car” legislation in place. Some states allow only law enforcement officers (and this can include animal wardens) to take action on a vehicle to release a dog trapped inside in hot temperatures. For some of these offices, relief actions can only be executed if the internal temperature is above a certain degree, assuming the officer can get a thermometer inside to check. Other states have laws or provisions that will allow a good Samaritan to take action but, and this is important, there may still be some consequences for that person – though they may not be as serious as those faced in states where no recourse is available.
For states where there is no permission allowed by either law officers or Samaritans, the penalties vary but can include felony counts revolving theft or vandalism, and the possibility of being sued is not protected against.
Keep Informed About Hot Car Laws Before You Act
It’s important to know what is allowed in the state you are in if you encounter such a situation. While anyone who loves dogs does not want to see them suffer or die due to heatstroke brought on by being left in a hot vehicle, considering the ramifications of taking action should be part of the decision in what can be done.
Fortunately, more and more states are putting Hot Car laws into place, making it less likely that anyone will ever have to make a decision about what should be done to rescue a dog left in the heat.
If you are going anyplace during the summer with your dog, you need to consider how to help keep him cool. You may think that having air conditioning in your car is enough – but what if it fails? Aside from that, you may be taking your dog to an outdoor activity like a picnic or party and there may not be adequate shade or water sources for your dog to use to keep cool. Some dogs even have medical conditions that hamper their ability to properly cool off. This inability to cool down can become a life-threatening condition called heatstroke.
Heatstroke happens when a dog’s panting is not enough to help their body eliminate heat. Aside from panting, your dog has sweat glands in his foot pads that help with the dissipation of heat, but this amount is minimal. A highly elevated body temperature can cause any of the following signs of an onset of heatstroke:
Heatstroke can happen in as little as 10 minutes and can cause irreparable damage to the brain, kidneys, and GI tract of your dog. It can cause death if not treated immediately.
Fortunately, there a plenty of products available to help. We’re going to look at just some of them.
Cooling Beds, Mats, and Pads
Dog cooling beds and pads are a great option for keeping in your car. Some are powered by electricity while most are not. These cooling devices contain super-absorbent crystals that can hold a large amount of water. Once filled with water, the crystals in the pad act via thermodynamics to provide a sensation of cooling as the pad absorbs heat from your dog’s body and helps to dissipate it into the surrounding area. This wicking of heat away from your dog is what helps to keep your pooch cool. While these are great products for helping keep your dog cool, it is recommended that they not be used outdoors in an open environment or exposed to direct sunlight. MyPetNeedsThat.com has a great list of cooling mats that have been reviewed to help you choose one that fits your needs and The Spruce has a list of beds to consider.
Cooling Collars and Vests
Cooling collars and vests, as the names suggest, are products that go around the collar area of your dog or are worn on the entire torso. This is key as these areas of your dog’s body are important in helping to prevent overheating. Some cooling collars look like a collar while others more resemble a bandana or towel that is wrapped around your dog’s neck. Vests are made to cover the back, stomach, and neck areas of a dog.
Regardless of the style, they all work basically the same way. Most are made of an extremely absorbent cotton material that can hold up to 400 times its weight in water. The collar is made wet by soaking with water then chilled or frozen. As the water evaporates, it works to keep your dog cool.
PawGearLab has a great article that talks about the best dog cooling vests and explains a bit more about the features to look for when making your choice on which wearable cooling device is best for your dog.
Crate fans are available to mount on a dog crate and can provide additional comfort for your pet while traveling. It helps circulate airflow and can bring cool air to the crate if the air-conditioning is not strong enough to normally reach that area. These are available is several sizes and the power of the fan can vary. Some crate fans are battery operated while others will need to be plugged int your vehicle’s electrical system (usually an adapter is made available with the purchase). There are even solar powered units available. Check out TopDogTips.com for a list of their best-rated dog crate cooling fans.
In general, for traveling, the beds, mats, pads, and fans would be suitable to have on hand while the vests and collars would be the choice for outings away from a vehicle. In part, this is because these products are readily portable, and, more importantly, they provide contact to the parts of the body that veterinarians recommend are addressed if signs of heatstroke happen. According to Dr. Karen Becker of Mercola Healthy Pets, “Concentrate the cooling water on her head, neck and in the areas underneath her front and back legs.” By nature of the design of these products, those body points are where both vests and collars should be making the most impact for a dog and therefore help to prevent over-heating in the first place.
Your dear, sweet pooch has gotten lost while you're away from home. Now what? First, review our Emergency page for a checklist of things to do and resources to help you get them done. One of the items on the list is a partially prepared lost dog poster. Why "partially?" This will make sense in just a bit.
First, there are many styles of posters you can use, but the best follow a very simple rule that comes from billboard design. Big, Brief, and Bold. The idea with billboards is that somebody going past at a rapid speed needs to get the message via a big image, with brief text, and from a bold typeface that is easily readable.
So, with that in mind, which lost dog poster do you think is better?
Simple But Informative
Here's what you absolutely should include:
Any other information can be included but can really clutter up your poster. Try to keep it as simple and straight to the point as possible.
Now, back to why this is "partially" prepared. You won't be able to fill out the last seen location and date unless and until this does happen. And if it does, and you are far from home, you will not have a clear enough head to think about pulling together something helpful such as a lost dog poster. However, if this unthinkable scenario does occur, whip out the premade poster, fill in those two lines, and get the poster in the hands of the police or dog search and rescue team that you called so they can get the search underway.
Every minute that you saved by having that poster ready puts you that much closer to getting your dog back quickly.
Planning on getting away this summer? Need to get a fix of a time and place reminiscent of days from your childhood? Want to introduce your kids to a style of living and a time when things were simpler and definitely more cozy? Then maybe you should look into taking a trip back in time at a mid-century motel.
Yes, there are plenty of them still out there. In this article, originally posted on Curbed Los Angeles, author Jenna Chandler features a series of motels in California and Nevada that were featured on old postcards and goes into the details of each location.
“In the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s, wholesome American families embarking on road trip vacations actually wanted to stay in motels. They weren’t just affordable and convenient—they were in fashion. They were modern and homey and optimistic, even futuristic, in their design, with dramatic angles, colorful interiors, and oversized neon signs. Sometimes, there was even a touch of fantasy.
‘For some travelers, the motel experience was the closest they might have to visiting the Hawaiian Islands… or a trip to the moon! Not everyone could afford a trip to Hawaii, but many could afford to stay at the Polynesian-themed Waikiki Motel.'”
Original blog post on ThatVintageSite.com
Nyquil is a common cold and flu relief medication that is sold over-the-counter in either liquid or pill form. It is usually used to relieve coughing but it also produces a feeling of relaxation and drowsiness. Additionally, some people who have conditions with associated pain use Nyquil to help maintain a pain-free state of sleep.
Because Nyquil is thought to produce a deep and enduring state of sleep, people often ask: can you take Nyquil just to sleep? Or: can I use Nyquil as a sleep aid? To answer these questions, a few aspects of Nyquil need to be considered.
What Makes Using Nyquil for Sleep Work?
The main component of Nyquil is Doxylamine Succinate, an antihistamine that causes drowsiness by blocking histamine from attaching to receptors in the brain. Because doxylamine succinate doesn’t discriminate between which histamine receptors they block, they cross the blood-brain barrier and inhibit receptors that are involved with the regulation of sleep (just one of the important functions of histamines). The disruption of this particular function of histamines in the brain results in drowsiness. Nyquil also includes the ingredient dextromethorphan HBr, which is included in the medication to suppress coughing. However, as it metabolizes in the body, it becomes dextrorphan (DXO) and levorphanol. Levorphanol is a painkiller, reported to be five times more powerful than morphine. Listed as a dissociative drug by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, DXO is an NMDA receptor antagonist psychoactive that acts primarily as an antitussive (cough suppressant) but has dissociative hallucinogenic properties –like those found when using ketamine, DXM (dextromethorphan) and PCP (phencyclidine).
Taking Nyquil to Sleep
Even though Nyquil contains components that are specifically designed to induce sleep, relying on the medication for sleep is not advised. Use of Nyquil, as with any drug that is said to assist with either falling asleep or maintaining sleep throughout the night, may lead to several problems.
Nyquil Effects on Sleep
Using Nyquil as a sleep aid is known to make people drowsy and fall asleep. The duration of sleep can vary depending on the person. For some, taking Nyquil is good for sleeping between four to six hours while for others sleep lasts between seven to eight hours. For most people, sleep is calm and continuous; however, some people have reported experiencing disrupted sleep, often involving lucid and weird dreams, increased anxiety, breathing stoppage and trouble falling back to sleep. This can lead people to consume more of the drug in a shorter time period in order to get back to sleep.
Addicted to Nyquil for Sleep
According to Dr. Neal Barnard of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, “When used as directed, Nyquil does not present substantial risks, even with repeated use. It is better to stop using it for sleep-inducing purposes.” So, while using Nyquil as directed is thought to be safe, taking it in ways that are not recommended can be dangerous. As one becomes more accustomed to the positive effects brought on by drinking Nyquil, they may become psychologically addicted to using Nyquil. For these people, the thought of attempting to go to sleep without using Nyquil brings on anxiety. This anxiety then motivates them to use the product. However, people who have become addicted to Nyquil sometimes notice that, over time, the typical amount that they consume does not produce the same effect. Instead, it may take longer to fall asleep or they may not be sleeping as long. Taking larger doses or more frequent doses usually indicates that the body has developed a tolerance to the drug, and is likely to have formed a dependence and addiction. As with any drug, this situation should be treated as a serious condition. Withdrawal symptoms can occur, and the individual should seek assistance from medical and/or mental health providers in order to overcome the addiction.
Original blog post: TheRecoveryVillage.com
Whether you are watching television, browsing the internet, or reading a magazine, images of very thin people are very common. The result is a consistent messaging that the ideal body, particularly for women, is a very thin one that is often, in fact, unhealthy. Additionally, there are thousands of diet plans, workout videos, gym memberships and exercise equipment seem to be everywhere.
There has been a surge of sites over the past 10 years that are geared towards promoting a very thin body. They are called “thinspo” sites.
These sites have been created to support a movement that is known by a few names: “thinspiration” (or “thinspo” for short), pro-ana (pro-anorexia), and pro-mia (pro-bulimia). This movement supports and encourages people to get ultra-thin, in most cases below what would be considered as a healthy weight. While the assumption might be that these sites are only for women, this is not the case. The desire for a super thin body has crept its way into the male population as well and there are many “thinspo” sites directed specifically at men. In 2010, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health conducted a study involving 180 active pro-eating disorder websites, of which 98 percent were administered by women. Two years later, an article in GQ that was reporting on the rise in anorexia among men noted that ten years ago clinicians estimated that men made up around 5 percent of the anorexic population, while today it’s between 20 and 30 percent. Regardless of gender, the target audience of these pro-anorexia sites tends to be young adults.
Pro-anorexia websites feature photos of ultra-thin individuals and have captions with accompanying stories that, according to medical professionals, encourage and support the eating disorder. In addition, the use of social media outlets (Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.) and personal blogs have been cited as primary sources that assist teens in their goals of extreme weight loss and further complicate their eating disorders. As a means of offering support to each other, selfies are posted that show vast weight reduction, visible and protruding bone structure (collarbone, spine, ribs, leg bones, jaw bones), and tips on hiding purging methods, hunger suppression tactics, and even ways to prevent vomit from eroding teeth.
The Issue with Pro-Anorexia Sites
Treatment professionals are concerned that the population of young adults who partake in thinspiration feels that this is a lifestyle choice. In this way, anorexia or bulimia is their chosen method to attain the body they want – thereby giving them the lifestyle they choose. With names like “MyProAna,” “ProAna Tips and Tricks,” and “Male Thinspo – A Guide to Perfection,” these sites are a draw for individuals who suffer from eating disorders. Strangely, the site owners typically have some sort of disclaimer/warning statement on the front page that supports the idea that this way of living is a choice. One site called, for example, states the following message: “This site does not encourage that you develop an eating disorder. This is a site for those who ALREADY have an eating disorder and do not wish to go into recovery. If you do not already have an eating disorder, better it is that you do not develop one now. You may wish to leave.” Another similar statement is: “Heavy dietary changes and exercise can be a deadly hazard to your life. Nothing is more precious than your life. Please make sustainable changes only. It won’t happen in a day. It will take its time. Consistency and perseverance will get you there.” Professionals are concerned that pro-anorexia sites provide people struggling with an eating disorder with the methods to achieve their goals and perpetuate this body image ideal through an enabling “support” system that is hidden away from family and friends.
Original blog post: TheRecoveryVillage.com
Long before becoming an Emmy award-winning actor on Breaking Bad, Brian Cranston provided the voices of two villainous monsters for the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers TV series which ran during the 1990s. He was the voice of Snizzard, a reptilian monster with arms and legs made from snakes and also Twin Man, a character who has reflective powers plus can disguise himself and four others as the Power Rangers for the purpose of doing evil while posing as them.
Cranston was tapped by long-term friend Haim Saban, producer of the recently released Power Rangers movie to change course and this time play a hero. In this reboot of the Power Rangers movie franchise, Cranston will actually play Zordon, the Power Rangers’ mentor best known as the Red Ranger as a live-action character.
In the new movie, storylines and past relationships of Zordon have changed a bit but are well-explained. In a much darker setting than some of the other Power Ranger movies, Cranston’s Red Ranger stands out as a light for the other rangers as tragedy and difficulties befall them. The Power Rangers have had other mentors but none have matched the wisdom and guidance of Zordon, their original mentor and the character who, after all, was the one who started the Rangers.
Did You Catch the Latest Movie? What Did You Think About Brian Cranston as the Red Ranger?
Tell Us Your Thoughts
Add Red Ranger, Zordon to your collection
Original blog post for HappyDaysCollectibles.com
Not just a great tune by Dean Martin (one of my all time favorites) but "That's Amore" is how many people might express their sentiments about pizza. Today, Food Network Magazine announced their selection of the 50 Best Pizza Slices - one from each state - in a great pictorial review.
Without even looking I immediately decided that my favorite, a sausage and pepperoni marvel from a place in Stratford, CT called Paradise Pizza had to be on the list. The original owners of Paradise Pizza were from Greece and, to this day, I will swear hands-down that Greeks make the best pizza ever. Their pizza was like those found in New York City - fabulous dough that wasn't too yeasty, fresh, locally made meats, and scamorza. Scamorza is a type of mozzarella cheese that is harder to come by. It gets really stringy when heated and leaves a long trail when you take a bite of the pizza. Boy, their pizzas are good. I get back to the area once every couple of years and I make it a point to stop by and get a pie, savoring each bite since I know it may be years before I get it again.
Anyhow, I started going through the Food Network site to see if my beloved Paradise Pizza was selected. It wasn't. However...it listed something else that I hadn't thought of in years. White Clam Pie. Oh...let me tell you, this is a treat in itself. Thin dough with a good brushing of garlic oil, cheese, and then clams baked up nice. I LOVE this kind of pizza. The featured selection is from Pepe's, a great pizzeria in New Haven that people line up for. I've been there several times and always like whatever I got.
Anyhow, the site shows pictures of some very unique concoctions. Many look very appetizing (the Pizzaleta from Louisiana) and some look utterly strange (the Purple Pig from Indiana that has red cabbage on it). There's even a taco pizza from Kansas. To me that's cheating. Either it's a pizza or it's a taco. Pick one people! Maybe it was created in one of those places that have KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut all under one roof.
Any way you slice it (pun intended) the site presents a great look at the creativity that can be found pizza, one of America's favorite comfort foods.
Originally posted on Comfort Food Party, August 2011.
It's funny how certain foods can bring back memories. I have a lot of people around me that are trading the bounty of their summer gardens right now. Zucchini is at the top of the trading list. Whenever I think about this wonderful vegetable, I recall a particular woman that I used to work with. Her name was Lee but since she was short, older, and a bit of a pain in the neck with a rather shrill voice, we all called her Aunt Lee - you know, like Aunt Bea from the Andy Griffith Show.
In the building where we worked there was a really long room. She worked at one end of it and used a big old sheet-fed printer way at the other end. My desk was in a cube in the middle. On the days when she seem to be the most irritating, I would wait for her to get within a few feet of the printer then call her phone extension. Every single time she would stop midstream, turn, huff something under her breath, and walk all the way back to her desk. I timed the call so that I always hung up just as she got to the desk. She would then start back towards the printer and just as she got close - the phone would ring again, and back she would go. My colleagues would watch and laugh like crazy as this was repeated a few times in a row.
Yes, this was a bit of a bad prank to play on somebody. Never-the-less it was tons of fun and more often than not, Aunt Lee was in a decent mood so we didn't have to get her more riled up.
At this time of year, she was often in a fantastic mood since her own garden was providing lots of goodies for her to use in her cooking. She was a really good cook and liked to bring in samples for us to try and one of my favorites was a homemade zucchini bread.
Though she called it "bread" is usually was very much flatter in shape, like a casserole, and had a heavily concentrated taste and texture. No matter - it was GOOD! Just thinking about the great flavor of this concoction of hers gets my mouth watering. I've had the recipe on a small yellow scrap of paper that I've lost, found and since cherished since the mid 1980s and make faithfully every year.
Here's the recipe for what I officially call Aunt Lee's Summer's Best Zucchini Bread:
Mix all ingredients. Bake in a greased 9 x 11 casserole at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Originally posted on Ellery's Kitchen, August, 2011
I'm April Bailey, a freelance writer and editor for hire who has been writing about various topics for many years. Most of my early print work was destroyed in a major house fire. Luckily, I was able to pull some copies from an old PC and have posted them here. Other items on this blog reflect my current articles and blog posts written for online publications and copied here so I never lose my work again!