March 12, 2018
Diet vs. Exercise: Which is Better for Weight Loss? (StatePoint) What’s more important: diet or exercise? Anyone who’s tried to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle has likely asked this question. Sixty-eight percent of people want to lose 10 pounds or more, according to a recent Harris Poll on behalf of Nutrisystem. March is National Nutrition Month, and a good time to get started on your goals. So, should you focus on diet, exercise or both? When it comes to weight loss, the split should be roughly 80 percent focus on what you eat and 20 percent on exercise. The logic is simple, say experts. “It’s all about calories in and calories out. If you’re eating less and exercising, you’re going to burn more calories,” says Courtney McCormick, corporate dietitian at Nutrisystem. “However, exercise often makes us hungrier, which is why many people who only change their exercise habits don’t see the scale move.” To achieve a healthier lifestyle and shed weight, consider these quick tips that combine both diet and exercise. • Eat more often: A 2015 study from the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that on average, people who ate six times or more daily consumed fewer calories,
had a lower body mass index, and ate more nutrient-rich foods than those who didn’t eat at least six times a day. Eating smaller meals every three hours keeps you feeling full, controls blood sugar and helps boost metabolism. • Watch portions: American portions have become too big; and those used to dining out may consider restaurant portions to be correct, when they’re often four times as large as what’s recommended. Learning portion control is key to losing weight. When eating out, ask for a to-go box and save half for later. You can also turn to plans, like Nutrisystem, which deliver portioncontrolled meals to your home. • Veg out: Vegetables are low in calories, high in filling fiber and loaded with nutrients. For breakfast, add spinach to an omelet; at lunch, pile your sandwich high with fixings like tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers, or use lettuce as a wrap instead of bread. During snack time, munch on carrots dipped in hummus or blend kale into a fruit smoothie.
• Drink more water: A study found that when people drank six cups (48 ounces) of cold water, they increased their resting calorie burn by up to 50 calories each day. Another study found that dieters who drank two eight-ounce glasses of water before meals lost 36 percent more weight over three months than those who didn’t sip before sitting down to eat. So, fill up that water bottle! • Get moving: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend 150 minutes of aerobic activity weekly, but research suggests that it doesn’t matter if you exercise for two-and-a-half hours straight or break it up into 10-minute chunks. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise per day then build up to 60 minutes when you’re ready. More diet and exercise tips can be found at leaf.nutrisystem.com. Remember the key to meeting your weight loss and health goals is to make sustainable lifestyle changes. Focus on eating better and moving more and you’ll be on the right track.
Keep Your Common Sense Q: As our political and financial leaders continue to make policies, I can’t keep up with the all the changes. I don’t feel in tune with everything that’s going on, especially with possible future repercussions. I’m afraid that I’m not making the best financial decisions. What guides your decisions? A: Our parents and grandparents made it through tough times like the Great Depression without much guidance. A great guiding principle is to follow their examples of thrift and perseverance. It’s easy to understand your confusion because there doesn’t seem to be much agreement about the causes or solutions related to our current financial situation. The media isn’t always helpful, as various sources are all in competition with one another for subscribers, watchers or listeners. They publish stories that will keep them in business, but not every story is relevant. Consequently, we are bombarded with information wherever we turn. It’s hard to filter through and see what’s important. The best way to cut through the noise is to use old-fashioned common sense and practical wisdom. Keep these three principles in mind: Anticipate; stay positive; and have a plan. When making your plan, you need to keep asking yourself questions. Does the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. cover all the money in your bank and retirement accounts? Are your investments diversified, or are all your eggs in one basket? Can you make changes in your retirement accounts? Should you consider paying off or refinancing your mortgage, or selling or renting your home? Figure out ways to keep your expenses down. Can you walk or ride a bike for short errands or excursions? Could you carpool with a neighbor for shopping and appointments? Are your food and entertainment expenses reasonable, or should you look at your habits? Don’t become too austere, as it’s likely unsustainable. You’ll find yourself making rash decisions out of frustration. Make daily decisions based on your needs, not your wants. Maintain social bonds with your family, friends and neighbors. They often have valuable advice for us! Live purposely every day. It’s impossible to predict the future, so don’t drive yourself to distraction by worrying. Keep positive and appreciate life! -- Doug Bridging The Gap! Q: My mother is in her mid-80s and in good health. She lives alone and appreciates her continued independence. We’re so fortunate to be able to live nearby. However, our 15-year-old daughter finds it difficult to form a bond with her. Whenever we spend time together, our daughter becomes impatient and bored. Mom wants to share her life stories and often repeats the same ones. Ally would rather spend time on her phone. How can they bridge the generational gap? A: Life has changed dramatically through the last few decades, and increasing lifespans means that more generations are living in the same eras than ever before. At the same time, change is happening more quickly than it did historically. These two factors make it difficult to make a connection. However, you don’t want your daughter to miss out on this opportunity to share time with her grandmother. Your mom has valuable lessons to share, although these pieces of wisdom sometimes take time to become relevant. You should take your daughter’s feelings into account as well. Teenagers have less free time than you probably did at that age, and there are many stressors and demands on their time. Work out a compromise: Your daughter doesn’t have to go with you for every visit, especially in busy times. In return, she should stay off the phone when she does attend. You can also explain a little about your mother so that the gap doesn’t feel so wide. Additionally, asking questions is the best way to get new information from your mom’s usual catalogue. Model this behavior and your daughter might feel more engaged and start asking her own questions. Giving your daughter choices will help her feel more positive about these interactions. -- Emma, Doug’s granddaughter
Social Security and You
Observant Reader Notices Fluke in COLA Payments
Q: The recent cost-of-living adjustment to our Social Security checks got me wondering about something. As you’ve always pointed out in your column, the checks come one month behind. So, for example, the check we got in January is actually the payment for December. But the 2018 COLA increase showed up in that January check. So did we get the 2018 increase for one month of 2017? In other words, did we get the first 2018 increase one month early in our December 2017 benefit payment? And if so, why? A: Bingo! You got it right. And surprise, surprise: Politics is the reason for what happens with the COLA payment. The annual cost-of-living adjustment used to be paid properly. In other words, Social Security beneficiaries got their first increase for the year in the February check -- which was the payment for January. But about 30 or so years ago, seniors got up in arms because they (incorrectly) assumed Congress was delaying their COLA increase by a month. Someone should have splashed some cold water in their faces and explained to them that they were properly getting their first annual cost-of-living increase in the January check -- paid to them in February. Well, that’s not how politics works. Members of Congress, then and now, sure hate to upset senior citizens (i.e., the most reliable cohort of voters). And they couldn’t act quickly enough to appease them. So they changed the law to say that Social Security beneficiaries would get their annual cost-of-living adjustment one month early. Ever since then, senior citizens have gotten a once a year gift from Congress. And that is why the 2018 COLA is actually figured into the December 2017 benefit -- payable in January. Q: I am 64 and started getting my own Social Security about three months ago. I just learned my ex-wife, who owned her own realty company and made big bucks, has recently signed up for her Social Security. I have never remarried. Can I now suspend my Social Security and then apply for husband’s benefits on her record and save mine until 70? A: No, you can’t do that. If you had waited until age 66 before applying for any Social Security benefits, then you could have applied for spousal benefits and, at the time, saved your own retirement benefits until age 70. This is the “file and restrict” maximizing strategy that is all the rage among baby boomers. (For other readers, you can only use that strategy if you turn 66 before January 2020.) But you may not have totally missed the boat. Anyone who files for Social Security retirement benefits has up to 12 months to change his or her mind. So you still have a chance to jump on that maximizing ship if you want. What you would have to do is withdraw your current claim, repay all benefits received, and then reapply for spousal benefits at age 66. Beginning at that point, you would get 50 percent of your ex-wife’s Social Security rate. Then at age 70, you would reapply for your own retirement benefits and get a 32 percent delayed retirement credit added to your monthly benefits. But before doing all of that, I suggest you sit down with a calculator and run the numbers and decide if it is really worth it. Q: I turned 66 in January. When I filed for benefits online, I said I wanted my benefits to begin in February, knowing the January check comes in February. After reading one of your recent columns, I now realize I made a huge mistake. I should have said I want my benefits to begin in January (the month I turned 66), with my first check to come in February. So now I will be missing out on one Social Security check. I am losing sleep over this. What can I do? A: I think you are worrying way too much about this. There is really nothing special about starting your benefits exactly at age 66. If they start the following month, it is no big deal. In fact, there is a small advantage to starting your benefits one month later. You will get a two-thirds of 1 percent “delayed retirement credit” added to your ongoing monthly benefits. So if I were you, I wouldn’t try to change anything. But if this is really bothering you, your only recourse would be to withdraw the claim you already filed and then file a whole new claim stating you want your benefits to begin in January. If you have a Social Security question, Tom Margenau has the answer. Contact him at thomas.margenau@ comcast.net.
4 health. Don’t assume that no news is good news. Be sure.
Looking Out for Number 1
All across the country there are veterans who might be ill and not know it. The reason: They don’t have the results of their medical tests. If you have medical tests done at a veterans’ facility, before you leave, ask when the results will be ready. You’ll likely be told, “Someone will call you.” Get a name and write it down. Later if you start getting anxious because you haven’t gotten a call, give it one more day ... then go on the hunt. Leave messages for your care manager, if you have one, and your doctor. Give it another day. If you don’t hear back, try again. Call the medical facility and ask for the lab. They’re not likely to give you the results, but ask when the results were ready, and get that person’s name. That’s part of your ammo ... knowing that results were ready and when. Then call the care manager or doctor back and state that the results were ready at a certain time. See how this works? Be proactive. Through all these steps, your name gets out there as someone who’s hunting for test results. The same is true if you have a My HealtheVet account. Once you get the results over the phone, ask that a copy be mailed to you (or print it from your online account), which you’ll then put in your file at home. If you have a condition that is regularly monitored, there’s a possibility that you can make pals with someone in the lab who will just read the results to you. The bottom line is that you don’t stop until you have the results. Stand up for yourself and guard your
walking group? The point is to be out among people. Somewhere in the mix you’re likely to find new friends. The key to maintaining health is the number of interactions we have with others. But often we have to take the first step.
Losing Friends and Making New Ones
If we live long enough, we’ll eventually get to the age where we start losing people around us. Friends, neighbors and relatives succumb to serious illness, and our lives will never be the same. We end up going to more and more funerals. Our social networks get smaller and smaller, and that leaves us ... where? Alone ... unless we see the writing on the wall and plan ahead for our own futures. That’s not to say we should turn our backs on friends of a certain age or level of health. But protecting our own health needs to be uppermost in our minds. Extended loneliness and grief can take its toll, if we let it, and lead to depression, elder abuse, cognitive decline and more. The phrase “safety in numbers” might be one to consider. We can join groups where there are people of all ages, or at least be around people who share our interests. Is there a hobby you’ve always wanted to try? Maybe pottery or painting? Or a college class you’ve wanted to audit? Does the senior center host short travel expeditions, maybe to a big city for museums and shows? Do they have a weekly writing group? How about volunteering somewhere, on a regular schedule? The library can’t function without daily shelving. Can you read to a morning group of toddlers? Socialize cats and dogs at the shelter? Do you like shopping enough to do deliveries from grocery stores to the homebound? Interested in a daily
* On March 30, 1775, King George III formally endorses the New England Restraining Act, requiring New England colonies to trade exclusively with Great Britain. Another rule banned colonists from fishing in the North Atlantic. * On March 28, 1814, the funeral of Guillotin, the inventor and namesake of the infamous execution device, takes place in France. The machine was intended to show the intellectual and social progress of the Revolution: By killing aristocrats and journeymen the same way, equality in death was ensured. * On March 31, 1836, the first monthly installment of “The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club,” by 24-year-old writer Charles Dickens, is published under the pseudonym Boz. Only 400 copies were printed, but by the 15th episode, 40,000 copies were printed. * On March 27, 1912, two Yoshina cherry trees are planted on the bank of the Potomac River, as part of a gift of 3,020 cherry trees from Japan to the United States. After World War II, cuttings were sent back to Japan to restore the Tokyo collection that was decimated by American bombing attacks during the war.
5 * On April 1, 1984, Motown singer Marvin Gaye is shot and killed by his father as a result of a longstanding feud. The father, a preacher, was a hard-drinking cross-dresser who envied his son’s success, and Marvin Jr. clearly harbored unresolved feelings toward his abusive father. * On March 26, 1997, police in Rancho Santa Fe, California, discover 39 victims of a mass suicide. They were members of the “Heaven’s Gate” religious cult, whose leaders preached that suicide would allow them to leave their bodily “containers” and enter an alien spacecraft hidden behind the Hale-Bopp comet. * On March 29, 1999, the Dow Jones industrial average closes above 10,000 for the first time, at 10,006.78.
When Your Cat Cares a Little Too Much
DEAR PAW’S CORNER: I had animals all my life until my wife and dog died seven years ago. I got a cat two years ago when a neighbor moved. Last year, another neighbor gave us her cat after having a baby. The two cats -- both fixed females -- got along fine from start. What’s curious is, one jumps up on my bed every night and walks up to my face. When I put my hand out to pat her, she starts licking my arm, wrist to
elbow, with her sandpaper tongue! Seems she is checking that I have not deserted her! Do I taste that good? What’s so tempting about my arm? -- Dr. William H., Central Falls, Rhode Island DEAR DR. WILLIAM: You may taste pretty good to your cat, but I think you’re on the right track when you say she seems to be checking that you have not deserted her. Many experts believe that cats groom their housemates -- both felines and humans -- as a way of showing they accept you as family, that they trust you and that they are caring for you. Sometimes excessive licking is a sign that a cat wants more attention. It can also be a sign of anxiety or stress. However, that seems unlikely since your cat does this routinely and seems calm. So the only question that remains is: Does it annoy you? If so, try gently redirecting the cat from your arm, maybe to snuggle against your shoulder. If it’s really annoying or she doesn’t stop after a few redirects, get up and walk away for a few minutes. She may eventually get the message. Send your pet care tips, questions or comments to ask@pawscorner. com.
* It was French poet, journalist and novelist Anatole France who made the following sage observation: “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.” * If you’re planning a trip to North
Carolina in June, try to make it to the small town of Spivey’s Corner for the annual Hollerin’ Contest. If you’d like to participate but are worried about straining your vocal cords, you can always enter the conch-blowing contest instead of one of the ones that involves actual yelling. * You might be surprised to learn that famed British author Aldous Huxley, best-known for his dystopian novel “Brave New World,” was a consultant on Disney’s 1951 animated film version of “Alice in Wonderland.” * After the vows have been said in a traditional Korean wedding, the groom formally introduces his new wife to his parents. The bride’s father-in-law then pelts the bride with red dates, which is supposed to ensure fertility. * Jazz musician Glenn Miller was the recipient of the first gold record ever awarded, for the big-band hit “Chattanooga Choo-Choo.” * You might be surprised at some of the seemingly innocuous things that arouse passions in a group of people. Take the venerable 1960s television show “Mr. Ed,” for example. Evidently an evangelist named Jim Brown took issue with the show’s theme song, claiming that when played backward, the tune contains the message “the source is Satan” and “someone sang this song for Satan.” His preaching on the subject was so persuasive that members of a church in Ironton, Ohio, made a bonfire of recordings of the song. *** Thought for the Day: “Men of genius are often dull and inert in society, as a blazing meteor when it descends to earth, is only a stone.” -- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
6 Stefan came face-to-face with Abigail’s other personality. Wait to See: Steve and Kayla share a touching moment during a medical crisis.
THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL Eric and Quinn were shocked and appalled to learn of the terrible deeds Bill had been bestowing upon their friends and family. True to his word, Bill served Katie with papers seeking full custody of Will. Emmy confirmed to Justin that Bill’s wishes pertaining to Wyatt and Liam were being fulfilled. A concerned Eric tried to track down Quinn. Brooke attempted to contact Ridge. A frazzled Liam finally arrived at Steffy’s house for dinner. Wyatt started drinking after coming home to an empty house. Sheila pressed Ridge to share his troubles. The gravity of Bill and Steffy’s affair became a main topic of conversation for many. Charlie urged Pam to get back on her meds. Wait to See: A mysterious woman appears in town with a serious score to settle. DAYS OF OUR LIVES Gabi was stunned by Eli’s confession that he cheated on her with Lani. Jennifer consoled Hope about Rafe. Brady tried to trick Eve into marrying him. Lani was rushed to the hospital in distress. Abigail was confused when Chad mentioned an incident she didn’t remember. Gabi made a shocking discovery. Tripp tried to talk Ciara out of getting revenge on Claire for ruining her mother’s happiness. Rafe was taken aback by Hope’s surprising decision. Gabi was caught committing a crime. Stefan was forced to confront “Gabby” about her true identity. Maggie gave Victor an ultimatum.
GENERAL HOSPITAL Sam looked to Jason for help. Harvey turned his back on Franco. Kiki supported Kevin. Drew got a clever idea. Jordan reminded Curtis that all was not OK. Griffin took charge. Ava got some time with Avery. Kim was worried about Oscar. Dante arrived in time to help. Jason was put in a precarious position. Dante proved an unlikely ally to Franco. Ned took himself very seriously. Alexis just wanted the best for Molly. Finn did all he could. Monica checked in on Nelle. Sonny made a bold move. Peter extended his support to Maxie. Anna made progress. Sam was ready to take the next step. Liz expressed her gratitude to Jason. Wait to See: Franco risks losing everything. THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS Devon discovered that Hilary was mentoring a young girl named Shauna and paying for her brother to go to drug rehab. Jack planned to fly to London to bring Dina home after she fled and got lost. Victoria put her plan in motion to get rid of Ashley by showing Victor some fake evidence that implicated her. Later, J.T. found the documents that Jack and Victoria planted. Billy needled Phyllis about being too involved in Nick’s business. Charlie struck up a flirtation with Shauna. Victoria wouldn’t give Lily the day off and accused her of writing negative comments about her on an employee website. Billy ordered Phyllis to stay away from Nick. Wait to See: Tensions rise between Victor and J.T.
Q: Can you tell me what is going on with the new “Charmed” series? -- Cassie T., via email
A: Well, all three Halliwell sisters finally have been cast in The CW’s “Charmed” reboot. The first iteration of this witchy series ran for eight seasons from 1998-2006 and starred Alyssa Milano, Holly Marie Combs, Shannen Dougherty and Rose McGowan (who came aboard for seasons four through eight after Shannen’s character was killed off at the end of season three). This time around we have Madeleine Mantock (portraying Macy), Melonie Diaz (Mel) and Sarah Jeffery (Madison) playing the supernatural sisters who discover they are witches after the death of their mother. According to character descriptions provided by The CW: Macy is a geneticist who is described as practical, driven and brilliant, and she’s completely shocked by the discovery that she’s a witch. Mel is a lesbian and an outspoken activist who loses her way after her mother’s death. And Madison is a bubbly college freshman whose new life
7 as a witch conflicts with her goal of being a sorority girl. The pilot of the series is currently in preproduction, so there’s no word yet on when or if it will air. *** Q: I loved the TV series based on Charlaine Harris’ “Midnight, Texas” books. Will it be back for another season? -- Valentine F., via Facebook A: You can bet that NBC renewed the previous summer’s No. 1 broadcast drama for another season. For those unfamiliar with the series, it’s directed by Niels Arden Oplev, the visionary director of “Mr. Robot,” and based on the hit book series from author Charlaine Harris (“True Blood”). The story takes place in a remote Texas town where no one is who they seem. From vampires and witches to psychics and hit men, “Midnight” is a mysterious safe haven for those who are different. As the town members fight off outside pressures, they all band together and form a strong and unlikely family. *** READERS: There have been some release-date changes for a few big movies due out this spring. “Avengers: Infinity War” has moved up its release date from May 4 to April 27. Upon hearing that news, Warner Bros. bumped the release date of the Rock’s latest sure-to-beblockbuster “Rampage,” which is based on the popular video game of the same name, from April 20 to April 13. This will give the movie a full two weeks to try to get its boxoffice numbers up before “Avengers” comes to take away most of its audience. Amy Schumer also posted on Instagram that her new movie, “I Feel Pretty,” will open a week earlier, on April 20, instead of April 27, so as not to have to compete with the “Avengers” audience. Amy jokingly wrote, “I forgot I had a thing. ‘I Feel Pretty’ will now come out April 20 to avoid any Avenging!! So exciting!” Write to Cindy at King Features Weekly Service, 628 Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL 32803; or e-mail her at email@example.com.
HOLLYWOOD -- Don’t mess with Meryl Streep! When Harvey Weinstein’s attorneys, trying to get him off of racketeering charges, quoted her as saying, “He has always been respectful to me,” she shot back, “Harvey Weinstein’s attorneys’ use of my statement -that he was not sexually aggressive or physically abusive in our business relationship -- as evidence he was not abusive with many OTHER women is pathetic and explosive!” She added, “The criminal actions he is accused of conducting on the bodies of these women are his responsibility, and if there is any justice left in the systems, he will pay for them.” P.S. The Weinstein Company is currently up for sale. *** Netflix is resurrecting more old shows. It will launch a reboot of the classic sci-fi series “Lost in Space” (1965-1968) on April 13. A screener has already sent it to the International Space Station for the astronauts to watch. The series takes place 30 years into the future, when colonization in space is a reality. Starring as John Robinson (played by Guy Williams in the 1960s) will be Toby Stephens, Pierce Brosnan’s 007 villain in “Die Another Day” (2002) and also Starz “Black Sails” series. His wife, Maureen, will be played by Molly Parker (of “House of Cards”) and Will Robinson (Billy Mumy) now will be played by 12-year-old Chicago-born Max Jenkins. Dr. Zackary Smith (Jonathan Harris) has undergone a gender change and will be played by Parker Posey, best known for the Woody Allen films “Irrational Man” (2015) and “Cafe
Society” (2016). Not content to be “spaced out,” Netflix also is reviving “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” with Kiernan Shipka (Sally Draper in “Mad Men”) as Sabrina (played by Melissa Joan Hart from 1996-2003). Her aunts will be Miranda Otto (Eowyn in the second and third “Lord of the Rings” films), taking over for Beth Broderick as Zelda Spellman, and Lucy Davis (Etta Candy in “Wonder Woman,”) handling Caroline Rhea’s role of Hilda Spellman.
*** Even though CBS has Tom Selleck in the hit series “Blue Bloods,” the network is intent in revisiting his days as Thomas Magnum in “Magnum, P.I. (198088). For the pilot to sell the series, it has cast Jay Hernandez in Selleck’s star-making role. Hernandez starred in “Hostel” (2005) and the 2007 sequel, and most recently was in “Suicide Squad” (as Chato Santana/El Diablo) and “Bad Mom’s Christmas,” with Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Susan Sarandon. Finally, billionaire Bill Gates has filmed an appearance in “The Big Bang Theory” that will air later this month. In the show, Penny hosts Gates at her work, and the guys do everything they can to meet him. Gates’ last sitcom appearance was in “Fraser” in 200l. How can anyone survive with only two sitcom appearances in 17 years?
Dutch lawmakers have approved a new measure that signs up every citizen as a potential organ donor unless they choose to opt out. It’s an effort to ease the global, chronic shortage of donor organs and reduce transplant waitlists. Under the new law, every Dutch citizen over the age of 18 who hasn’t registered as an organ donor will receive a letter asking if they’d like to become one. If they don’t respond, they will automatically be considered to be organ donors. Other nations are considering similar measures, though critics assert the approach places too much government control over an individual’s body. In the U.S., similar efforts were introduced in Connecticut and Texas last year, but neither became law. Body of Knowledge The surface area of the average, healthy human lung -- that is the tissue lining that exchanges inhaled oxygen and exhaled carbon dioxide -- is comparable to a tennis court. Get Me That, Stat! Basic science research is fundamental to modern medicine. Case in point: Between 2010 and 2016, at least 210 new drugs were approved for use in people. More than $100 billion in funding from the National Institutes of Health went, directly or indirectly, to development of those drugs, according to a study by researchers at Bentley University. More than 90 percent of the scientific publications during this time were related to identifying and describing biological targets of drugs. Life in Big Macs One hour of running up stairs burns 1,020 calories (based on a 150-pound person) or the equivalent of 1.4 Big Macs. Or 34 carrots, if you’re so inclined. Stories for the Waiting Room The abbreviation for “prescription” is Rx, whose origin is often attributed to the Latin word “recipere,” meaning “to take.” Physicians have other, similar bits of shorthand: Sx for signs or symptoms, Dx for diagnosis, Tx for treatment and Hx for history. Doc Talk Gorillacillin: a very powerful antibiotic Phobia of the Week Mageirocophobia: fear of cooking Never Say Diet The Major League Eating record for chicken spiedies is 20.5 8-ounce sandwiches in 10 minutes, held by Matt Stonie. Spiedies are to upstate New York what cheesesteaks are to Philly: a toasted bun filled with grilled cubes of chicken or other meats. Despite their name, they are meant to be savored. Best Medicine A doctor put a stethoscope to his patient’s chest, then frowned. “Well, doc,” asked the patient, “how do I stand?” Replied the doctor: “That’s what puzzles me.” Obser vation “The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.” --American humorist Mark Twain Med School Q: What is the purlicue? A: Rarely used, it refers to the space between the forefinger and thumb. The word is thought to derive from the Scots term “pirlie,” meaning curly or twisted. Last Words “I can’t sleep.” -- Scottish author and dramatist James Barrie (1860-1937), best known as the creator of Peter Pan
Unnecessary Procedure on Terminal Patient DEAR DR. ROACH: My mother has stage 4 cancer. She just went to a dermatologist, who performed Mohs surgery on her nose. I am BEYOND upset by this unethical behavior. The country is already deeply in debt, and Medicare is paying for this? Unconscionable! Not to mention the pain and suffering of my mother, who is now at risk of a secondary infection. I was sickened by the entire ordeal. -- J.B. ANSWER: I agree with you completely that often patients with terminal diseases receive unnecessary care. There have been studies clearly documenting this. However, the studies don’t answer why, in a particular case, a physician performed these treatments, which add only pain, anxiety and expense. I suppose it is possible that the motivation is simple greed; however, I still have enough faith in my colleagues that I think that is a very unusual reason; I think it’s far more likely that a specialist just doesn’t see the big picture. There’s an old expression that when all you have is a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail, and I think some specialists see a problem and fix it without realizing that the problem they are fixing isn’t likely to ever cause symptoms. For example, primary-care doctors order unnecessary tests, especially screening tests. I see mammograms ordered for women with advanced colon or ovarian cancer who are in palliative care, and this makes no
sense. I have heard some physicians mention that insurance companies monitor the frequency of “quality indicators,” such as mammograms, which affect their ratings and reimbursement. That’s an example of a well-meaning system motivating wrong behavior. I should emphasize that not all care for terminal patients is useless. If the goal is to improve quality of life or reduce suffering, then I am all for it, after a consideration of the costs (pain and inconvenience as well as dollar costs). *** DEAR DR. ROACH: I have heard of yeast infections, but I don’t know what causes them. How do they affect the body, and what can be done to get rid of them? -- C.R. ANSWER: Certain yeasts, but especially the Candida species, are found on our skin, mucus membranes and GI tract. They normally live in balance with the 100 trillion or so bacteria we carry around. However, yeast can cause disease that ranges from fairly mild, like thrush of the mouth or vagina, to life-threatening, like a bloodborne, widely disseminated invasive infection. Candida infection of mucus membranes is usually caused by changes in our bacteria, especially after the use of antibiotics. The antibiotics kill the bacteria they are supposed to (hopefully), but they also may kill the healthy bacteria that assist us in digestion (leading to diarrhea or worse), and this allows the other bacteria and yeast to grow. Some people with genetic faults in their immune system are predisposed to chronic candida infections. These are uncommon but can be severe, and may require treatment by specialists, such as infectious disease doctors and immunologists. The life-threatening yeast infections generally happen in people with severe illness and with poor immune system function. ***
Seal Your Asphalt Driveway
Dear James: I was told not to reseal our new asphalt driveway for several years. After three years now, it looks a bit worn. Is it time to seal it, and what is the best sealer and method to apply it? -- Juan T. Dear Juan: You are probably about two and half years late for the first sealing of your driveway. Although it will probably be fine, you really should have sealed it within the first six months for the longest life and best long-term appearance. It normally takes about three to six months for light oils and other volatile chemicals to evaporate from a new asphalt driveway. It should not be sealed during this time so as to allow these chemical to escape from the surface as it solidifies. After this initial period, the surface should be sealed to protect it from such things as gasoline, engine oil, dirt, and the sun. When it gets hot in the sun, these things can cause the surface to begin to oxidize and rob it of its natural oils. This, along with the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays, make the asphalt become brittle and discolored. An asphalt driveway is a mixture of sand, gravel and asphalt material. The gravel and sand provide the strength for the driveway to support the weight of cars. The asphalt itself is just the glue that holds the sand and gravel together. It is a similar concept to concrete, which uses cement to hold sand and gravel together for strength.
10 There are several types of sealers available and their quality and prices vary. You can probably buy some inexpensive sealer on sale at most hardware and home center stores. It is basically just liquid asphalt which you spread over the driveway. It typically has a life of about two to three years. The next step up in quality is the same basic type of sealer with additional additives which are more resistant to petroleum chemicals and the sun. Coal tars, sand and clay are common additives. If your driveway is hilly, the sand and clay will improve the traction in rainy weather. Acrylic-based sealer is probably the best product to use, but it can cost as much as double the price of basic sealer. Overall, it is less expensive because it can last up to eight years. It looks good when applied and maintains its good appearance. It is often used on tennis courts. It is not difficult to apply sealer, but it is messy. Wear old sneakers and plan on discarding them when you are done. The key to an effective job, as with painting, is cleaning the surface thoroughly. Sweep away the large debris and then spray it off with a hose. If you have a pressure washer, using it will deep clean the driveway. Use a special driveway cleaner on any spots of oil that still appear shiny. Use an asphalt patching compound in any indentations where you see standing water. Compress it as much as possible. Tamping it with a fourby-four wood post works well. Fill any wide cracks with several coats of asphalt crack sealer. It comes in a large jug with an application tip. When the surface is ready, wet it slightly and spread the sealer over the driveway with a stiff broom or sealer squeegee. Visit www.dulley.com.
A Greener View Dwarf Tomatoes
Q: I love fresh tomatoes. I moved into an apartment with a small patio. It gets a lot of sun, so it should be OK to grow plants, but I need small plants. Are there any really small tomato plants? A: I have good news for you. There are a lot of small tomato plants that have great tasting, full-size fruits. The only problem is that most people have never heard of them. First, we have to define a few terms. Tomatoes come in determinate and indeterminate varieties. Determinate tomatoes grow a stem or branch until it sets a flower bud cluster on the end. The plant stops growing leaves and starts growing fruit. All the fruit mature within a couple of weeks, and there are no more on that plant. Indeterminate tomatoes produce flower clusters along the sides of the branches. The trunks and branches keep growing in length and in a few varieties can reach over 15 feet long. The fruit are produced over a long time. One of these plants will take over your whole patio. What we want are indeterminate dwarf tomato plants that produce great-tasting tomatoes of different sizes and colors. That is where the Dwarf Tomato Project comes in. In 2005, Patrina Nuske-Small of Australia and Craig LeHoullier of Raleigh, North Carolina, started a breeding program that now involves volunteers from all over the world. In a normal project like this, you would cross some potential varieties and produce some seeds. This would get one cross per year. But with
volunteers north and south of the equator, you can get two summers in a year. In only a few years, you can get new stable varieties that come true from seeds. Incredibly, there are now over 40 new dwarf tomato varieties that have been created by this volunteer effort, and they show no signs of slowing down. The dwarf plants grow to around 4 feet tall and can be grown in a 5-gallon pot or bucket. Of course, they will not grow as many fruit as a 15-foot-tall monster, but there will be more than if you were to not grow any at all. They are not just for patios, either; any vegetable garden can grow these dwarf plants to allow for more room. You can try more kinds of tomatoes in the same space or add other vegetables. There is a lot less work involved because you don’t have to prune, stake and tie up the plants. A small tomato cage will work just fine. There are bicolor, black, orange, pink, red, stripes, white and yellow varieties. There are small salad tomatoes and full one-pound, slicing tomatoes for topping your summer hamburgers. For more information, check out dwarftomatoproject.net. LeHoullier is the author of “Epic Tomatoes” and “Growing Vegetables in Straw Bales.” You can find out more about his books and the Dwarf Tomato Project at Craiglehoullier.com. The seeds for the new dwarf tomatoes have been initially released through four companies: Sandhill Preservation, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, Tomato Growers Supply Company and Victory Seeds. Now there are varieties available through Heritage Seed Market and Tatiana’s TOMATObase. The dwarf tomato seeds are starting to be carried by a variety of other seed companies. Renee’s Gardens has heirloom container tomatoes including Dwarf Tomato Project’s Tasmanian Chocolate. Email questions to Jeff Rugg at firstname.lastname@example.org.
* “To make sure I’m drinking water throughout the day, I use a permanent marker to designate levels on my large reusable water cup. I labeled them 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. That’s for a big one that sits on my desk at work. I have another for at home. This way I am not trying to play catch up later in the day.” -- A.L. in Oklahoma * Three ways to save money on water-heater bills: 1) Set your temperature gauge to a lower setting. 2) Install a timer so that it’s not heating water when you aren’t there to use it. 3) Add an insulating cover to keep heat from escaping. * Game changer: “When dunking a sandwich cookie (e.g. Oreos), jab a fork into the filling. Then you can dunk the whole thing or part of it without getting your fingers all milky -- or your milk all ‘fingery.’” -- A.J. in Florida * When you microwave leftovers on a flat plate, be sure to spread them out for even heating. The classic ring of food is best -- leaving the center of the plate empty. Slice already-cooked potatoes, and cover with a moistened paper towel. * Need to light a pillar candle inside a hurricane glass? Use a stick of spaghetti! The pasta stick lights easily, and it’s long enough to give you the reach you need. It burns evenly, too. * “If you like to save money by buying large packs of meat -- say, ground beef or chicken tenderloins
-- here’s a great tip for storing them: Fill quart-size freezer bags, making sure to get out as much air as possible. Then stack flat on top of a pizza box in the freezer.” -- T.L. in Missouri
familiar, favorite movie. Most patients have different triggers for agitation and aggression. Caregivers should make note of the apparent triggers and try to set the stage of an afternoon of serenity.
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Arbor Day - The Royal Palm
Caregiving - Coping with sundowning Agitation, even aggression, that begins or gets worse in the late afternoon, is called sundowning and it’s a common problem for caregivers. Late afternoon aggression is thought to be the result of stress and fatigue, according to the National Institutes of Health. A dementia patient who isn’t sleeping might not be able to settle down in the afternoon and the behavior can become aggressive as the evening approaches. Dementia patients who, by definition, are already having a difficult time with their environment, can become stressed by extra activity or confusion. This can lead to agitation and aggression. To decrease the severity of sundowning, the NIH recommends that patients eat the largest meal of the day at lunch with a smaller snack in the evening. As the afternoon approaches, caregivers should be sure the house is brightly lit and quiet. There should be no visitors or excitement in the afternoon. Calm, soft music may help or a
The Royal Palm tree, the symbol of the South, is a hearty urban tree that can handle any weather except cold. This well-recognized tree sprawls across tropical areas or urban centers. Its large sprawling array of leaves, which span nearly 12 feet, are hard to miss. It grows from 60-100 feet. The 10 varieties of Royal Palm have a distinctive gray trunk. The Royal Palm is ever changing and growing. According to gardenguides.com, they grow a foot a year. Some varieties produce small budding flowers, others inedible fruits. Either way, it is associated with a southern pride, especially in states like South Carolina, where one variety of the Royal Palm shows proudly on the state flag. The sun-loving Royal Palm can take punishment. Heat, drafts, poor soil and even concrete don’t bother it. In some areas, such as Florida, varieties of bats and butterflies are drawn to the Royal Palm. Other tropical areas have hosts of animals drawn to its shade, fruits, and height. From rainforests to Miami streets, the Royal Palm has earned its place as one of the most recognizable trees and as a haven for critters and beautiful flying creatures looking for a hiding spot.
Kovels: Antique And Collecting Perfume Lamp In the unsanitary world of the 18th and 19th century, bad smells were everywhere. There was no garbage pickup, no indoor flushing toilets and no refrigeration to keep food from spoiling. In the 1800s, a special lamp was used to remove the strong odors in hospitals and mortuaries. It was a catalytic lamp that burned an alcoholbased fuel. A cotton wick burned for a few minutes to heat a stone. After the flame was out, the heated stone turned odors into carbon dioxide and water. In 1897, a Frenchman improved the lamp by adding perfume to the fuel to make a scented room. Many lamps were made in figural shapes suitable for a living room or bedroom. Today, perfume lamps heat with electricity. The best 20thcentury perfume lamps were made by French makers Robj, Aladin or Etling. A perfume lamp shaped like an Art Deco chorus girl sold at a Skinner auction in Boston several years ago for $1,968. The 10-inch lamp was marked “Meu Bach Aladin.” *** Q: Vintage sofas are much lower priced than new ones. I like Victorian sofas with curved backs, but don’t want to learn my bargain sofa has a problem I can’t fix. A: If you want a 19th-century sofa, you should buy from a knowledgeable dealer. So little of the frame shows that it is difficult to tell a 19th-century sofa from an early 20th-century one. We once told the boss at a house sale that we would pay the asking price for a sofa if we could slit the back upholstery to be sure the frame was old. The marks
This chorus girl lamp in a top hat and red dress was made in the Art Deco style of the 1920s. It sold for over twice the estimate at $1,968. from old tools said it was old, and we bought it. Smell any old upholstered furniture. Often, the smell will not leave. Decide if the upholstery is a color and condition you want to live with. Re-upholstering furniture is very expensive. Sit on the sofa to be sure it is comfortable. Some seats are low, bumpy, too narrow or much harder than most modern pieces. Some of that can be fixed with decorative pillows. Be sure you can get it in your van or car. If you want to use it in a basement or secondfloor room, the stairs may have too low a ceiling or a turn that makes it impossible to take it inside. But if all looks OK, you will have a sturdy bargain. *** CURRENT PRICES Jewelry box, embossed flowers and leaves, silver plate, velvet lined, marked DS, 1960s, 5 x 3 1/2 inches, $15. Game, bingo cage, wire, round spinning ball dispenser, handle, ball slide, stand, 73 wooden bingo balls, 1960s, 12 x 14 inches, $75. Chatty Cathy doll, vinyl head, hard plastic body, blonde hair and blue eyes, c. 1962, 20 inches, $200. *** TIP: You can use an old iron cooking utensil. The finish on the iron will not be damaged if you wash the item properly after using it. Don’t let it get rusty. For more collecting news, tips and resources, visit www.Kovels.com
Corned Beef and Cabbage 8-inch square cheesecloth 12 parsley stems 2 garlic cloves, crushed with side of chef’s knife 2 bay leaves 1 tablespoon black peppercorns 1 corned beef brisket, flat (thin) cut (3 1/2 to 4 pounds) 1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes, unpeeled and each cut into 1 1/2inch chunks 1 pound carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces 1 small head green cabbage (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into 8 wedges 1. In cheesecloth, wrap parsley, garlic, bay leaves and peppercorns; tie with string and place in bottom of 5 1/2- to 6-quart slow cooker. Add corned beef; top with potatoes and carrots. Pour in enough water to cover meat. Place cabbage on top. Cover slow cooker with lid and cook on low setting 10 to 12 hours or until beef is very tender. 2. To serve, thinly slice corned beef across the grain; transfer to warm large platter with vegetables. Makes 8 main-dish servings. * Each serving: About 440 calories, 25g total fat (8g saturated), 27g protein, 28g carbohydrates, 6g fiber, 125 mg cholesterol, 1,480 mg sodium.
Irish Soda Bread A rich and tender rustic Irish quick bread -- the ideal dinner companion for corned beef. 1/4 cup sugar 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking soda 4 cups plus 1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour 6 tablespoons cold margarine or butter 1 cup golden or dark seedless raisins 1 1/2 cups buttermilk 1. Heat oven to 350 F. Grease large cookie sheet. 2. In large bowl, combine sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda and 4 cups flour. With pastry blender or 2 knives used scissor-fashion, cut in margarine or butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. With spoon, stir in raisins, then buttermilk just until evenly moistened. 3. With floured hand, gently knead dough in bowl a few times until dough forms a ball (do not overmix, or bread will be tough). Place dough on cookie sheet; shape into a 7-inch round loaf (dough will not be smooth). 4. Sprinkle loaf with remaining 1/2 teaspoon flour. With sharp knife, cut 4-inch-long cross, about 1/4-inch deep, on top of loaf. Bake loaf 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Makes 1 loaf, or 12 servings. * Each serving: About 275 calories, 6g total fat (1g saturated), 6g protein, 49g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 1mg cholesterol, 485mg sodium. For thousands of triple-tested recipes, visit our Web site at www. goodhousekeeping.com/recipes/.
Everyday Cheapskate Frugal Ways to Use This for That
I love to discover a second use for something most of us have around the house or can easily find. Today’s first tip may give you a big surprise, and for sure a good laugh. By the way -- this really works! POTTY LINER. Line the bottom of baskets and pots with a disposable diaper (yes, clean and unused!) before you put in the potting soil and plants. This keeps the soil from rushing out of the drainage hole and helps retain soil moisture while still allowing the plant to drain. -- Stacy L. BETTER RUG GRIPPER. Recently, I purchase a product called Rug Gripper for my 5-foot-by-3-foot kitchen rug, which was unsatisfactory because it didn’t work to keep the rug in place. I got the bright idea to use a roll of rubberized shelf liner, which I happened to have already. It worked great to keep the rug in place. I am very happy with the results. -- Florence SECURITY COMPLIANT. My mom came to visit me recently. She lives in Texas, and I live in Kansas City. When I took her to the airport to go home, I had this brilliant idea. I gave her an empty water bottle and told her to fill it up after she got through security so she wouldn’t have to spend $5 to buy water on the other side. My mom said, “No, thanks. I have two empty bottles already in my purse.” HA! Why didn’t she tell ME that a long time ago? -Amanda THE LAST DAB. To get the last bit of toothpaste out of the tube, I use a pair of pliers to squeeze the end near the cap. I can get at least a week more out of the tube. -- Beverly HANDY TWINE. To have garden twine handy when you need it, stick a ball of twine in a small clay pot; pull the end of the twine through the drainage hole; and set the pot upside down in the garden. Tuck a small pair of scissors in there as well, and you’ll be set and ready for next time you need to tie up a vine or stake. -- Greg DIY DEODORANT. Due to the heavy toxins in commercial deodorant, I’ve wanted to stop using it for years, but I didn’t know what the alternatives were. Recently, I stumbled on a recipe for homemade deodorant: 1/4 cup baking soda, 1/4 cup cornstarch and 5 tablespoons organic coconut oil. Combine baking soda and cornstarch in a small bowl, and mix with a fork. Add the coconut oil, and continue stirring as you work it into a paste. Heat in the microwave for about 20 seconds, and then stir again to fully incorporate all of the ingredients. Store in a small airtight container. -- Sheri HANDY MEASURE. Turn a long-handled garden tool or other tool into a measuring stick. Just lay it on the ground, and place a measuring tape next to it. Using a permanent marker, write inch and foot marks on the handle. When you need to space plants a certain distance apart (from just an inch to several feet), you’ll have a handy measuring device right there in your hand. -- Jasmine Mary invites questions, comments and tips at mary@everydaycheapskate. com, or c/o Everyday Cheapskate, 12340 Seal Beach Blvd., Suite B-416, Seal Beach, CA 90740. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of www. DebtProofLiving.com, a personal finance member website and the author of “Debt-Proof Living,” released in 2014.
16 Top Ten Box Office Movies
1. Black Panther (PG-13) Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan 2. Red Sparrow (R) Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton 3. Death Wish (R) Bruce Willis, Vincent D’Onofrio 4. Game Night (R) Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams 5. Peter Rabbit (PG) animated 6. Annihilation (R) Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh 7. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (PG-13) Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan 8. Fifty Shades Freed (R) Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan 9. The Greatest Showman (PG) Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams 10. Every Day (PG-13) Angourie Rice, Justice Smith
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Top 10 Movies On Demand
1. Daddy’s Home 2 (PG-13) Will Ferrell 2. Wonder (PG) Jacob Tremblay 3. A Bad Moms Christmas (R) Mila Kunis 4. Roman J. Israel, Esq. (PG-13) Denzel Washington 5. The Star (PG) animated 6. Only the Brave (PG-13) Josh Brolin 7. Braven (R) Jason Momoa 8. It (R) Bill Skarsgard 9. Same Kind of Different as Me (PG-13) Greg Kinnear 10. American Made (R) Tom Cruise Top 10 DVD, Blu-ray Sales 1. Daddy’s Home 2 (PG-13) Paramount 2. Wonder (PG) Lionsgate 3. The Star (PG) Sony 4. A Bad Moms Christmas (R) Universal 5. It (R) Warner Bros. 6. Daddy’s Home 2-Movie Collection (PG-13) Paramount 7. Only the Brave (PG-13) Sony 8. Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween (PG-13) Lionsgate 9. Blade Runner 2049 (R) Warner Bros. 10. Despicable Me 3 (PG) Universal
Active Life Weekly Digest (03-05-18)