scheduled re-post: Christmas Spirit

This Christmas, mend a quarrel.
Seek out a forgotten friend.
Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust.
Write a letter.
Give a soft answer.
Encourage youth.
Manifest your loyalty in word and deed.
Keep a promise.
Forgo a grudge.
Forgive an enemy.
Try to understand.
Examine your demands on others.
Think first of someone else.
Be kind.
Be gentle.
Laugh a little more.
Express your gratitude.
Welcome a stranger.
Gladden the heart of a child.
Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth.
Speak your love and then speak it again.
Christmas is a celebration,
and there is no celebration that compares
with the realization of its true meaning
--with the sudden stirring of the heart
that has extended itself unselfishly in the things that matter most.
-Howard W. Hunter


The Dirty Post

The bridal shower held for me last month was very tame, or so i thought, until I finished opening the gifts (all kitchen-related). Apparently, while i was opening my presents, some of Aaron's women-folk had been writing down things I said about each one. Then, they listed them all under the title of, "Things that Might be Said on your Wedding Night." Oh dear!
Here's a sprinkling of some of the phrases:

"I think I know what this is..."
"What a nice, hearty size" (quart-size measuring cup)
"He's really good actually" (aaron, at cooking)
"Aaron really wanted this."
"Holy cow that's so big!"
"Oh wow!"
"It doesn't slide." (non-stick mixing bowl)
"Hold on, I can't figure it out."
"I've never seen one of these before." (cookie frying pan)

Moral of the story! Next time, just say things such as, "oh thanks, this is very nice" and put it aside, rather than trying to be descriptive and exclamatory.

Good times.



Aaron [my fiance] [i only get to use that word for another week so i better make the most of it] cooks wonderful things. Lately, salmon. I never thought I would love a fish. He buys it at costco, where it is bounteous and pink- salmon pink.
here are some cell-photos:

1. Cinnamon & clove rice, red curry salmon, edamame
2. Potatoes, asparagus, and i forget what kind of salmon
3. Orange glazed salmon (my plate) & mixed veggie salmon (his plate)

Salmon is a wonder-food. Any possible flavor seems to mesh with it. It goes with any side dish. It is healthy beyond belief. The texture is heavenly- it pulls apart with the nudge of a fork. And the flavor is light and sweet and just barely perceptible as fishy.

Does this sound like a commercial yet?
Buy your salmon today!


Disease Dialogues: Malaria

Today i will blog about a terrible parasitic disease for my global health class. It's called malaria. Funny thing about malaria- it's not something you or I ever think about. Before i became a public health major, i thought it was only found in tropical jungles in africa. That's actually mostly true, with 80% of the cases today occurring in sub-saharan Africa. Other places of high infection rates include the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, Indian and Pacific Ocean Islands, and the Amazon Basin. Yikes! That means that 40% of the world is at risk for malaria! These countries have on average a 1% lower GDP because of malaria, and in sub-saharan Africa it is the leading cause of missed school and work days.

You can't talk of the dangers of snake poisoning without mentioning snakes. Infection occurs when a person it bitten by an infected anopheles mosquito, and then the parasites enter the bloodstream and reproduce asexually. You heard me right, asexually.

Some quick stats:
*350 to 500 million cases of malaria occur each year
*approximately one death every 30 seconds due to malaria
*90% of malaria deaths are of children less than five years of age
*90% of malaria deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa

While we may count our many blessings our feet are securely planted in healthy, safe, american soil...because speaking of which, on the glass-half-full side, malaria has been eradicated from the US, Europe, parts of Asia, and the Soviet Republics. But there's no reason it has to stop there...

This disease is dang preventable! These are some things I would do if I lived in sub-saharan africa:
*kill the larvae with insecticides...yes, the babies. They are death breeders in training you see.
*reduce human & mosquito contact by using insecticide-treated bed-nets & indoor residual spraying. Holy effective.
*Make people wear long-sleeved shirts and pants...i know it's africa, but lives are at stake
*advocate staying indoors at night (AC is preferred to keep mosquitoes from nestling)
*Visitors to at-risks countries can take chemoprophylaxis drugs to prevent infection

So there you go. Should you ever visit countries where malaria is present, remember this blog and perhaps you can train other people on ways they can stay mosquito-free. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.