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July 2008

Alien Nation

As parents interacting with our teens, or trying to, we may sometimes wonder if in fact they are aliens from another planet. Dealing with her own son prompted Judith Mackin to do this series.

From the CBC radio site :

A journey into the lives of Canadian teenagers through the lens of a mother. Judith Mackin is on a quest to understand contemporary teens because she wants to keep a connection to her own teenage son. Throughout the summer, well meet teens as they deal with all the challenging issues that are part of their daily lives. drugs, sex, home life, friendships, family, technology, spirituality, and the future.
This program is part of CBC Radio One's summer schedule from June 23 to August 31, 2008

I caught episode one of this 10 part series last Monday morning on CBC One at 9:30, it repeats at 7:30 pm Wednesdays. And on podcasts and/or streaming audio once that part of the CBC web site gets going –temporarily down. There were some very open and enlightening discussions –check it out.

The Ottawa Citizen had a good piece on this of this Monday morning, saying in part:

Judith Mackin doesn't oversell her qualifications for hosting a radio series about Canadian teenagers."I'm a mom with no answers," says Mackin, who is the creative force behind Alien Nation, a new 10-part CBC Radio series that begins airing today.

Alien Nation features interviews with dozens of teens, from a wide range of backgrounds, speaking frankly about spirituality, family, technology, friendship, love, sex and drug use.Mackin encouraged them to talk by saying, "No one is going to judge you. Just tell me, 'What is the real deal here?'"

In response, "they opened up like flowers."

Leap-of-faith healing

Interesting story in the Globe and Mail. The sub-headline is "One-third of U.S adults have experienced or witnessed a divine cure of an illness or injury, study shows". The study was a U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, which polled more than 35,000 U.S. adults.

Mormons were especially likely to say this (69%) as were half of those from evangelical churches and 54% of those from historically black churches. In addition, the numbers showed that 71% of Americans are "absolutely certain" of God's existence.

The article surmised that us Canadians would be less likely to believe in divine cures, partially due to less church attendance compared to our southern neighbours- 20% vs their 39%. Healing is part of our native tradition, but my impression of the approach is of being more earth centered, shared as part of a group working together - not the whimsical intervention of a superior being.

Those numbers are a little scary,especially with the state and church so closely intertwined in America. But maybe that's a way to reduce the health care crisis there -just encourage the spread of this belief in divine healing. 

Continue reading "Leap-of-faith healing" »

Signs of a stroke

No, not the Dragonboat kind, I meant medically.

Got an email today my sister forwarded on - one of these we often see that claim "a friend told me this, pass on to 10 friends and save a life". In this case, makes sense to me, so here's the info.

Apparently there's now medication that can reverse or at least reduce the damage of a stroke -if given within three hours. The key is recognizing a possible stroke -and calling 911. The cues they use are STR:

  • S - Ask the individual to SMILE.
  • T - Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently) (i.e. It is sunny out today)
  • R- Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS

If they fail any one test, call 911.

I did a Google check -apparantly the American Stroke Association does not endorse this - likely because it was based on only a small study. They don't dispute it either - just are neutral. They instead list a set of warning signs: 

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause

 Seems like more to remember - I'd say stick with "STR " (smile, talk,raise)

Continue reading "Signs of a stroke" »

Metro - Schooling artists on graffiti

Metro - Schooling artists on graffiti.

Once considered the juvenile pursuit of vandals and miscreants, graffiti art today is hip, artistically rich and most important of all, professional. Toronto-bred graffiti artist Mediah (pronounced with a silent h) has been doing graffiti since the tender age of 15 and says the skills he learned doing graffiti gave him the professional skills he relies on today as a digital media designer with his own company, IAH Digital. "Graffiti made me a professional and gave me the notoriety to jumpstart my artistic career," Mediah said.