Friday, September 23, 2005

Graffiti displayed at an art museum?

While I do agree that yes, graffiti is art, it seems to me like there is some art worth displaying and some that is not. I also must admit that some of these artists are quite good. Check out Cosa, Fate, Suiko, and Zys.

Make your own Art Tower Mito!

Here is a link to instructions to make a paper sculpture of the Art Tower Mito (located in Mito, Ibaraki, Japan). For all of you who are into paper sculpturing.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

'Tis the season

When the weather gets cooler so all the little creatures in the world start finding their way into your house to hunker down and keep warm for the winter. I don't even want to talk about how many spiders we've killed over the past couple of weeks.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Here we go with the complaining...

So I got my Motherwear newsletter and catalog in the mail the other day. For those of you who don't know, Motherwear is a company that makes and sells clothing for breastfeeding mothers. They also, not surprisingly, promote breastfeeding. Here is a quote from the newsletter, Parenting from the Heart:

Remember, women in traditional cultures have a lying-in period during which all they do is rest in bed and feed their babies.

What the heck is a "traditional culture", and why don't they consider my culture traditional? Just because I grew up in a city instead of a dung hut in Africa? It's like they're afraid to actually mention any specific countries or races for fear of offending someone. Though, in our litigious (I think that's the word I want) society, I guess I can understand.


So I was thinking the other day about what sort of theme my blog should have. I think I could do an entire blog just on making fun of others and pointing out people's mistakes, but that wouldn't be very polite of me. I will probably end up having quite a few nutrition-related posts, since that's what I seem to be researching a lot lately, with some random family updates and links to interesting things. Okay, I'll make fun of some people too. But I promise to try not to do it too much.

Waiter, there's fluoride in my eggs.

Environmental groups petition EPA to retract fluoride pesticide tolerances on food

Two national environmental organizations, Environmental Working Group and Beyond Pesticides, joined today with the Fluoride Action Network in challenging the safety of new food tolerances issued by the EPA for the fluoride based pesticide, sulfuryl fluoride. This action marks growing concern among mainstream scientists and environmental organizations that total exposure to fluoride, from water, food, and dental uses like toothpaste and rinses, is not safe for vulnerable populations, particularly young children.

The challenge was directed at the maximum legal limits for the fluoride-based pesticide in foods, which have been set at levels that dwarf the amount allowed in tap water. In just one case, the EPA is allowing 900 parts per million of fluoride in dried eggs, as opposed to the maximum 4 ppm allowed in tap water. One third of the nation's eggs are sold and consumed in dried, reconstituted form.

The groups noted that 900 ppm set for dried eggs is extremely close to that used in toothpaste (1,000 ppm), a level that is considered toxic if consumed in greater than pea sized portions. "How can the EPA consider 900 ppm in eggs safe, while the Food and Drug Administration directs parents to call poison control centers if their children consume more than a pea sized portion of toothpaste with fluoride at 1,000 ppm?" asked Paul Connett, PhD, Executive Director of FAN. "Unlike toothpaste, eggs are meant to be eaten, not spit out."

The precise FDA required label on toothpastes with fluoride levels of 1000 ppm is:

"WARNING: Do not swallow. Use only a pea-sized amount for children under six. If you accidentally swallow more than used for brushing, seek professional help or contact a poison control center immediately."

The EPA has set fluoride tolerances for over 200 foodstuffs ranging from 5 ppm in cheese all the way up to 900 ppm in powdered eggs. The groups warn that at the maximum level of fluoride a serving of scrambled eggs made with as few as two egg equivalents could make a child vomit and a four egg omelet could have the same effect on an adult.

Source: Environmental Media Services

Monday, September 12, 2005

Blueberry pie

So I made my first gluten- soy- and dairy-free blueberry pie this evening, and it turned out rather well. I need to use a little more thickening in the filling next time, because apparently rice flour does not thicken quite as well as wheat flour. The crust was - well, it was about as good as you can expect a crust without wheat flour or butter to be. The texture was actually very tender, fall-apart-in-your-mouth, but I generally like a little chew (little, mind you, none of this have-to-tear-it-off-with-your-teeth crust) to my pie crust. I really missed the butter flavor. But it sure is nice to have a pie.


No, it's not "kangaroo". It's kan-ga-e-ru. Get a Japanese dictionary.

The Diaper Project...

...has been put on hold, for the simple reason that my daughter doesn't yet meet the lower weight limit for the diapers (yes, they're sized nowadays), and so we had leaks galore. We'll try again in a month or two.


Okay, I am going to post book reviews like my husband, but as you will see over time we tend to read very different books.

I recently finished Little House in the Ozarks: The Rediscovered Writings by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I love all the Little House books, and was thrilled to find this one among many books that my mother gave me. It is a collection of her writings for farm and community papers, articles that she wrote long before her books. Many of the articles are editorials-type, telling people The Way Things Should Be. Some are recollections of her childhood, and those are fun. I agree with a lot of her viewpoints and I really enjoyed this book a lot.

I also read Nights of Rain and Stars by Maeve Binchy. I don't usually read novels, but my mother gave me this one since she was through with it. It was nice, easy reading, and while it was enjoyable it was also rather predictable. Typical estranged-father-and-son-miss-each-other-but-neither-wants-to-give-in-first, sweet-girl-has-jerk-boyfriend-that-she-is-sure-is-just-misunderstood, etc., stories weave throughout. Get it from the library before you buy.