Friday, January 16, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Ai, “Killing Floor” from Vice: New and Selected Poems. Copyright © 1999 by Ai. Reprinted with the permission of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., www.nortonpoets.com.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Monday, January 5, 2009
I need a hot tub.
I think the kids could use one too.
In Hot Water
A. While there are plenty of common-sense reasons to keep people with childish judgment out of heat and water at any age, studies (mostly in Finland) have not linked careful sauna use to serious medical problems in healthy children. The chief injury risk to children seems to be scalding.
Whirlpool baths appear to be dangerous to children — and adults — chiefly as a drowning risk, especially if a strong whirlpool mechanism traps a small body. Another possible risk is bacteria in a whirlpool that is not properly maintained, but again, the risk is not age-specific.
A Finnish review article published in 2006 in The International Journal of Circumpolar Health noted that children in Finland were first taken to the sauna at an average age of 5 months. A single physiological study of healthy babies with an average age of 7 months found no harmful cardiovascular responses after a three-minute exposure. But the review also said that a sauna put bigger demands on a child’s circulatory regulation than on that of an adult, and it reported that a study of 20 children 5 to 10 years old found moderate hormonal changes. The review concluded that healthy children older than 2 could be allowed in a sauna with adequate adult supervision.
There were some caveats for children who had specific heart disorders, but a study of sauna-like heat as a treatment to dilate blood vessels in some very young infants with heart failure because of ventricular defects found benefits that avoided surgery in some cases.
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Saturday, January 3, 2009
More than 1.4 million Gaza Palestinians are facing an impending health disaster from decaying sewage and water systems that lack vital spare parts, fuel, and maintenance work, due to an Israeli economic siege on the Gaza Strip.
"We are a one-generator-failure away from disaster," Michael Bailey, an Oxfam spokesman, told the Middle East Times.
"The situation is verging on critical. There are 35 sewage pumping stations operational in Gaza. If one of the pumps breaks there is no way to replace it, because of a lack of spare parts," said Bailey, whose organization works with Gaza's Coastal Municipalities Water Utilities. "This would mean sewage backing into homes and onto the streets and the resulting health problems associated with it."
the topic of Israel is so big and complicated.
the topic of war.
the topic of ownership of reparations of belonging of slavery. of what one person can do to another. about how homes and bones and lives are turned to dust one generation after another...
May the people of Gaza be safe. May the people of Gaza be happy.
today even the prayer seems like blasphemy.
that there is war is a tragedy unlike any other.
that what little water we have should be soiled by war
as if the poison from the gas chambers still prevented our breath...
prevents our breath still.
Friday, January 2, 2009
Metal Levels Found High in Tributary After Spill
By SHAILA DEWAN
Published: January 1, 2009
An environmental advocacy group’s tests of river water and ash near the site of a huge coal ash spill in East Tennessee showed levels of arsenic, lead, chromium and other metals at 2 to 300 times higher than drinking water standards, the group said Thursday.
“These are some of the most astonishing water-quality sampling results I’ve ever seen in my 10 years of working on rivers,” said Donna Lisenby, a spokeswoman for Appalachian Voices who helped collect the samples.A news release from the group included a statement by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., chairman of the national Waterkeeper Alliance, who said, “Although these results are preliminary, we want to release them because of the public health concern and because we believe the T.V.A. and E.P.A. aren’t being candid.”
By not being candid, of course, they mean people are still drinking.
Of course, what do you do if you know... start brushing your teeth with Coca-Cola? In Ecuador the water in one area has an oil-sheen -- everyone is dying of cancer -- but they drink it anyway. "What else can we do?"
Tomorrow I will look at the Waterkeeper Alliance. Didn't know we had one of those.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
I suppose really the idea is to understand something elemental...
to understand, too, our treatment...
By SHAILA DEWAN
Published: December 24, 2008
KINGSTON, Tenn. — What may be the nation’s largest spill of coal ash lay thick and largely untouched over hundreds of acres of land and waterways Wednesday after a dam broke this week, as officials and environmentalists argued over its potential toxicity.
The Tennessee Valley Authority has issued no warnings about the potential chemical dangers of the spill, saying there was as yet no evidence of toxic substances. “Most of that material is inert,” said Gilbert Francis Jr., a spokesman for the authority. “It does have some heavy metals within it, but it’s not toxic or anything.”
Mr. Francis said contaminants in water samples taken near the spill site and at the intake for the town of Kingston, six miles downstream, were within acceptable levels.
But a draft report last year by the federal Environmental Protection Agency found that fly ash, a byproduct of the burning of coal to produce electricity, does contain significant amounts of carcinogens and retains the heavy metal present in coal in far higher concentrations. The report found that the concentrations of arsenic to which people might be exposed through drinking water contaminated by fly ash could increase cancer risks several hundredfold.
J. Miles Carey/Knoxville News Sentinel, via Associated Press
For the past year I have often been baffled by the lack of common sense involved in conversations.
it isn't toxic or anything...
There are reasons to live in proximity to toxicity -- but not to deny it...