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littlenicola's ramblings
Tuesday, 18 July 2006
I'd forgotten...
Mood:  irritated

... just how much of a pain in the ass it is to move.  I'm so annoyed right now I really can't comment.  But let's just say that packing a non-air-conditioned house while pregnant in 90-degree heat is *not* my idea of a barrel of laughs. 

I think I need a nap.


Posted by littlenicola at 4:50 PM CDT
Tuesday, 27 June 2006
WELL, DUH!!!!!
Mood:  celebratory
Now Playing: Hot for Teacher (turned up to 11) - Van Halen
Perhaps NOW we can get every freakin' public place to ban smoking...From today's online Chicago Tribune:

Surgeon General Warns of Secondhand Smoke

AP Medical Writer
Published June 27, 2006, 10:03 AM CDT

WASHINGTON -- Separate smoking sections don't cut it: Only smoke-free buildings and public places truly protect nonsmokers from the hazards of breathing in other people's tobacco smoke, says a long-awaited surgeon general's report.

Some 126 million nonsmokers are exposed to secondhand smoke, what U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona repeatedly calls "involuntary smoking" that puts people at increased risk of death from lung cancer, heart disease and other illnesses.

Moreover, there is no risk-free level of exposure to someone else's drifting smoke, declares the report issued Tuesday -- a conclusion sure to fuel already growing efforts at public smoking bans nationwide. Fourteen states have passed what are considered comprehensive smoke-free workplace laws, those that include restaurants and bars.

But the surgeon general is especially concerned about young children who can't escape their parents' addiction in search of cleaner air: Just over one in five children is exposed to secondhand smoke at home, where workplace bans don't reach. Those children are at increased risk of SIDS, sudden infant death syndrome; lung infections such as pneumonia; ear infections; and more severe asthma.

"Exposure to secondhand smoke remains an alarming public health hazard," Carmona said. "Nonsmokers need protection through the restriction of smoking in public places and workplaces" -- and by smokers voluntarily not puffing around children.

The report won't surprise doctors. It isn't a new study but a compilation of the best research on secondhand smoke, the most comprehensive federal probe since the last surgeon general's report on the topic in 1986, which declared secondhand smoke a cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers.

Since then, numerous other health agencies have linked to secondhand smoke to heart disease and other illnesses. Earlier this year, California health officials estimated that secondhand smoke kills about 3,400 nonsmoking Americans annually from lung cancer, 46,000 from heart disease, and 430 from SIDS.

The new surgeon general's report doesn't retally the deaths, but it cites that toll.

The tobacco industry and some businesses, particularly restaurant and bar owners concerned about loss of smoking customers, have challenged some of the broadest public smoking bans in cities and states.

The new report gives new scientific ammunition against those challenges, said Matthew Myers of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

"There is no longer a scientific controversy that secondhand smoke is a killer," he said. The report "eliminates any excuse from any state or city for taking halfway measures to restrict smoking, or permitting smoking in any indoor workplace."

Among other findings:

* Separating smokers from nonsmokers, cleaning the air and ventilation systems don't eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke.

* There is good evidence that comprehensive smoking bans, like those in New York City and Boston, don't economically hurt the hospitality industry.

* Workplace smoking restrictions not only reduce secondhand smoke but discourage active smoking by employees.

* Secondhand smoke can act on the arteries so quickly that even a brief pass through someone else's smoke can endanger people at high risk of heart disease. Don't ever smoke around a sick relative, Carmona advised

* Living with a smoker increases a nonsmoker's risk of lung cancer and heart disease by up to 30 percent.

* There isn't proof that secondhand smoke causes breast cancer, although the evidence is suggestive. California earlier this year cited that link in becoming the first state to declare secondhand smoke a toxic air pollutant.

* On the plus side, blood measurements of a nicotine byproduct show that exposure to secondhand smoke has decreased. Levels dropped by 75 percent in adults and 68 percent in children between the early 1990s and 2002. However, not only has children's exposure declined less rapidly, but levels of that byproduct among children are more than twice as high as in nonsmoking adults.

Copyright ? 2006, The Associated Press

Posted by littlenicola at 2:37 PM CDT
Monday, 3 April 2006
AROTR countdown begins!!!!
Mood:  celebratory
Look for the Apple Scruffs in the "We Hope We Passed the Audition" semi-finals at noon on Saturday!!!! WHEEE!!! I guess that we passed at least the first part, which was sending in a tape! :-D

Posted by littlenicola at 3:12 PM CDT
Monday, 20 March 2006
things I've learned this weekend
Mood:  energetic
* A car battery shouldn't last as long as 97,900 miles.
* Neither should an alternator.
* Knights in shining armor come in all shapes and sizes, speak loudly and carry a big bass.

Posted by littlenicola at 12:10 PM CST
Friday, 24 February 2006
absolutely terrifying...
Mood:  don't ask
In a step backward for women, South Dakota's House and Senate have passed a bill banning practically all abortions (except when the woman's life is in danger), and the Governor will sign it. Ugh.

So, let's say hypothetically that I'm a South Dakota resident who is raped, and becomes pregnant as a result of that. Instead of letting me get an abortion (which is the humane option), the state has instead chosen to punish me for the rest of my life (might be stretching a bit, but not-so-subtly saying that it's my fault I got raped, so I should be the one who's punished), for whenever I look at that child, I will be reminded of how that child came to be, that half that child's DNA comes from a complete asshole with no regard for women...gee, just like the South Dakota government, apparently.

Come on, Democrats - let's win in '06!!!

Posted by littlenicola at 2:21 PM CST
Tuesday, 21 February 2006
here we go...
Mood:  sad
Supreme Court Justices tackle late-term abortion issue.

And after my great day off yesterday, I was having a great day today, too.

Posted by littlenicola at 9:47 AM CST
Wednesday, 15 February 2006
you're not the only one with mixed emotions...
Mood:  sad
So far this has been a red-letter week for the Scruffs in the musical-crises department. I won't elaborate too much, but let's just say that a female trio that, unless they've improved dramatically in the last few months, sucks is playing at a large Beatle music festival in May, and a prominent member of the ECC is in another band for the Fest Battle of the Bands, but wanted to know if we still need him (yes, but are we just a charity case?). Depressing. It's like we've hit a wall, and we need to know where to go on the next level. And although learning instruments would be nice, I'd much rather be kick-ass at acappella than so-so with instruments. It'd be a major step backward for us. I'll stick with my big-girl tam.

But I'm still sad. Hopefully things will work out. I love my Scruffs and can't imagine performing with anyone but them!

Posted by littlenicola at 9:03 AM CST
Thursday, 9 February 2006
this stinks.
Mood:  down
Love Monkey has been cancelled (sorry, "put on hiatus") after just three eps. Ugh. I was really liking that show. Who knows if/when we'll see the remaining eps.

Posted by littlenicola at 3:39 PM CST
Monday, 6 February 2006
wtf, people?!
Mood:  d'oh
I keep hearing news reports about protests over some sort of Muslim cartoons... but nobody will show you the cartoons they're in a flap about!!!! News teases.

UPDATE 2/10/05: The Daily Illini has run the cartoons. Finally... all I wanted to do was see them, ya know? (I'd link to them but I don't want Dubya after me for a whole lot of nothing.)

Posted by littlenicola at 9:50 AM CST
Updated: Friday, 10 February 2006 7:57 AM CST
Thursday, 2 February 2006
the true cost of friendship
Mood:  cheeky
Now Playing: in my head, La Vie Boheme
Dinner and cover at Cubby Bear North tomorrow night: approx. $15 (who knows)
Round of drinky-drinks for Da Scruffs (one of whom will not be drinking): approx. $13
Seeing the Big Blonde turn into a puddle while watching In the Light: Priceless.

Da Scruffs are in dire need of an evening out, so this should be a complete blast! :-) Like a girly-girl, I already have my outfit picked out and everything. Planning ahead or simply pathetic? You make the call!

Posted by littlenicola at 8:14 AM CST

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