Cell Phones Interfere with Critical Care Hospital Equipment

While on vacation I visited a family member in hospital and was surprised when nursing staff requested that my companions’ cell phones be turned off and not used in the hospital room so they did not interfere with equipment. Today I took note of a related report in Science Daily.

According Dutch research published in the online open access journal, Critical Care, Cell phones should come no closer than one meter to hospital beds and equipment. Scientists demonstrated that incidents of electromagnetic interference (EMI) from second and third generation mobile phones occurred even at distance of three meters.

Article: “Interference by new generations mobile phones on critical care medical equipment,” Erik Jan van Lieshout, Sabine N van der Veer, Reinout Hensbroek, Johanna C Korevaar, Margreeth B Vroom and Marcus J Schultz, Critical Care (in press) .

Anna Jarvis created Mother’s Day and then tried to abolish it

The second Sunday in May is set aside in the United States to celebrate mothers. There is also a Mother’s Day celebration in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Turkey, Australia, Mexico, Canada, China, Japan, and Belgium. England’s “Mothering Sunday,” similar to Mother’s Day, is also called Mid-Lent Sunday and it is observed on the fourth Sunday in Lent, though it has largely been replaced by Mother’s Day on the second Sunday in May.

Anna Jarvis, born in Grafton, West Virginia in 1864, started the movement to have a Mother’s Day. She wrote letters to politicians, newspaper editors, and church leaders and organized a committee called Mother’s Day International Association to promote the new holiday. From childhood, Anna Jarvis often heard her mother say that she hoped that someone would one day establish a memorial for all mothers, living and dead. She wanted Mother’s Day to be close to Memorial Day so people would recognize mothers for the sacrifices they made for their families in the same way that servicepeople had for their country.

The first official Mother’s Day observance was in May 1907. President Woodrow Wilson gave the day national recognition in 1914. Miss Jarvis spent many years and much of her fortune promoting the Mothers Day movement, however in her later years, she was confronted with a problem that required as much or more time and effort as the establishment of Mothers Day. This was her attempt to thwart commercialization of the day, or otherwise exploiting it for extraneous purposes.

Jarvis spent the last years of her life trying to abolish the holiday she had brought into being, because she protested its commercialization. She did not succeed in preventing such an outcome. She incorporated herself as the Mother’s Day International Association, claimed copyright on the second Sunday of May, and was once arrested for disturbing the peace. She and her sister Ellsinore spent their family inheritance campaigning against the holiday. Both died in poverty. Jarvis, says her New York Times obituary, became embittered because too many people sent their mothers a printed greeting card. She considered it “a poor excuse for the letter you are too lazy to write.”

Anna Jarvis
Mother’s Day

Up Close and Personal: A Hummingbird Visit

rufous hummingbirdWhile sitting on my deck yesterday a rufous hummingbird got up close and personal with me. There’s nothing quite like the thrill of seeing a hummingbird zipping, hovering in place or dart quickly among plants. Despite their tiny size they’re quite feisty little creatures.

The hummingbird that checked me out may have been attracted to the red baseball cap I had on to shade my eyes from the sun. In any event he spent some time hovering under the beak of the cap there we were eyeball to eyeball. His brilliant jewel-like coloured feathers were awesome.

There are five species of hummingbirds found in Canada. The rufous hummingbird, considered to have the longest known avian migration, has a wide distribution from southwestern the Yukon, most of British Columbia and into southwestern Alberta. In our area we also have Anna’s hummingbirds.

If you want to attract these little wonders choose a variety of plants whose blooming times overlap, ensuring a continuous supply of nectar. Include trees, shrubs, and vines as well as herbaceous plants, for hummingbirds are well adapted to woodland living. Allow space for them to hover among the blooms. Trees, such as birch or maple, may invite sapsuckers whose holes are sometimes visited by hummingbirds that take advantage of any remaining sap and the insects it attracts. If your property is large enough, be sure to place some hummingbird attractants in opposite corners of your garden to allow more territorial hummingbirds, such as the ruby-throated, to coexist. More information

Gardener’s Guide to Global Warming

As you are well aware, global warming is one of the most important issues facing our world right now. I thought you may be interested in this.

The National Wildlife Federation has just released The Gardener’s Guide to Global Warming. This report include solutions, education, action items and much more. If you suppport these types of efforts please mention the report on your blog. Your help spreading the word on this report can go a long way in mitigating the effects of global warming.