Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Our Daily Sudoku

Sudoku puzzles seem to be all the rage right now. Our local paper has been printing them (easy on Monday, very hard on Friday), but we don't subscribe; my husband brought one home from work one day and I was hooked.

The website www.sudoku.com has a Sudoku program you can buy, but www.sudoku.com.au has four levels of free Sudoku puzzles a day, which you can play online or print off. Thank God for the Australians! First The Wiggles, now Sudoku. What will they think of next? Also www.sudoku.org.uk has daily puzzles, and what appears to be a Sudoku blog, although the entries are not dated so I'm not quite sure if that counts as a blog.

And speaking of blogs, a Google search turned up:
sudoku! sudoku!
Dan Rice's Sudoku Blog
Sudoku Blog
Sudoku Strategies
Blog-Doku

and

Sudoku Webring

Enjoy at your peril!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Nestle Forumula Recall

Nestle infant formula has been recalled all over Europe, due to the milk being contaminated with ink from the packaging.

Links:
Italian police seize Nestle baby milk (Reuters)
Baby milk scare widens in Europe (BBC)
Nestle Press Release
BAby Milk Action Press Release

What To Do With Leftover Turkey


In 1950, my grandmother won the Dallas Morning News' recipe contest for leftover turkey. A few months back when our family was together, my mom unearthed the newspaper article and my grandmother informed us that she made up the recipe and had never cooked it herself.

That's right. She made up the recipe in her head, submitted it to the newspaper without testing it, and managed to win first prize. My grandmother was always a pretty handy homemaker, and had studied home economics in college, but still. Gee whiz.

Here's her prize-winning recpie:

Turkey Pie

2 tablespoons fat
1 cup rice broth
1 cup milk
2 cups leftover chopped turkey
1 cup leftover mashed potatos
salt and pepper
1 recipe rich biscuit dough combined with 3/4 teaspoon rubbed sage
almond slivers

Make cream sauce of fat, flour, milk and broth. Add turkey, potatoes and salt & pepper and place in baking dish. Cut small sage biscuits and place on top of turkey mixture. Top biscuits with slivers of almonds. Bake at 385 degrees until biscuits are brown.
Enjoy! If you try it, let me know how it turns out.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

C-Section Rate Hits All-Time High

The CDC's National Center for Health Statistics has come out with 2004 statistics, and the rate of Cesaraian Sections has hit an all-time high - 29.1% of all births. This is up from 27.5% in 2003. Just for some perspective, the c-section rate was 5% in 1970, and the World Health Organization stated in 1985:
Countries with some of the lowest perinatal mortality rates in the world have caesarean rates under 10%. Clearly there is no justification in any specific region to have more than 10-15% caesarean section births.
Even more troubling, the VBAC rate (vaginal birth after cesarian) has dropped 13% since last year and 67% since 1996. In many areas of the country, it is extremely difficult to find a doctor or hospital who will take on VBAC patients. The number of preterm and low birth weight babies is also increasing.

What's the cause of this disturbing trend? Ah, well, we can always blame the lawyers:
"The increase in the cesarean births is due to three things — malpractice, malpractice, malpractice," said Dr. Joshua A. Copel, director of Maternal and Fetal Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine.

Copel believes that the decision to do cesarean deliveries is largely based on doctors' fear of litigation. "Not that much has changed about the American population to account for such an increase in cesarean birth rates except the fear of obstetricians of being sued," he said.

...

"Most disturbing are data showing a steady increase in the rate of cesarean delivery," [Dr. David L.] Katz added. "While the so-called c-section can be invaluable when used to address complications of labor and delivery, it appears to be used increasingly for mere convenience, or to avoid liability associated with the natural risks of birthing."

"That we are doing more surgery, but not delivering more prenatal care, is quite concerning," Katz said. "Pregnancy-related care should be a national priority, and delivery a matter of Nature's timing, not the obstetrician's convenience. The trends in this report call for a reassessment of our priorities."
(HealthDayNews via Baby Center)

In response to the CDC statistics, the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN) has issued a press release (PDF) focusing on what it terms "forced" cesarean surgeries:
Over 300 hospitals and thousands of physicians across the country have banned vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) based on cost concerns and fears over liability. These bans mean that women are pushed into cesareans they do not want and likely do not need...."Every medical and regulatory organization espouses the principles of patients' rights, yet we're finding that the realities these women face don't jive with what's on paper," says Katherine Prown, Ph.D., ICAN's Director of Advocacy.
Some related links of interest:

Red State Moron weighs in and links to the New York Times article.
Experts on the High Rate of Cesareans from vbac.com.
The Assault on Normal Birth: The OB Disinformation Campaign by Henci Goer

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Carnival Roundup

Blawg Review #31 is up at the IPTA Blog.

Grand Rounds 2.07 - with a Star Trek theme - is up at MSSPNexus Blog.

Cytotec Blog

Parker & Waichman, a medmal/products liability lawfirm, has a Cytotec (Misoprostol) news feed on their website. Not updated as frequently as one would like, and no original content; though their are a couple great articles written by Ina May Gaskin and Henci Goer a few years ago that are worth checking out.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Prenatal Care Behind Bars

Via FamilyLawProfBlog and Blogging Baby, NPR's Linda Wertheimer has done a piece called Prenatal Care Behind Bars:
Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in upstate New York houses the oldest prison nursery in the country. Pregnant inmates are given prenatal care and parenting classes. Some women are permitted to keep their babies with them in prison for up to 18 months, in an effort to create bonds between mother and child.

It's natural, healthy -- and it's law

Chip Johnson of the San Franciso Chronicle writes this article about the effects of California's two-year-old law requiring employers to provide a space where nursing mothers can express (pump) milk. He writes:
Too often, the law is violated, though more often out of ignorance than contempt.

"The law is out there, but a lot of people, including breast-feeding moms aren't aware of those rights,'' said Pam Tellew of La Leche League, an international breast-feeding advocacy organization started in Chicago nearly 50 years ago. The group provides support, education and a community forum for new and expectant moms.

To promote and advance the law, the Contra Costa Breastfeeding Coalition, which works toward widespread acceptance of one of humanity's most natural acts, last week honored several employers that provide a safe, clean and private environment for their nursing employees.

Two local Contra Costa County offices -- the Children and Family Services Division and the county administration office -- as well as the Nurture Center, a Concord business that sells maternity clothes and infant supplies, were commended by the group for their efforts.

...

But for all the comfort the Nurture Center provides, such accommodations are rare in a workplace, never mind that it's technically against the law to deny mothers such an environment.

Most advocates agree that enforcement of the law will be carried out by the same breast-feeding mothers it was written to protect.

Both Tellew and Levy tell stories about mothers who had to enforce their right with an employer or inform someone in a public setting that they have the right to breast-feed anywhere, anytime they want.