ptical News and Views
Money Out of Politics
Fructose Corn Syrup
Avaira Contacts Recalled
remains true today, in the ancient tradition of ignorance,
that people of faith and otherwise good sense hasten to
ostracize and demonize any person or group whose
beliefs and customs are unlike their own." Hari
get an 'F' in religion
Cathy Lynn Grossman
are not all on the same one path to the same one God ...
Religions aren't all saying the same thing. That's presumptuous
and wrong. They start with different problems, solve the
problems in different ways, and they have different goals."
you think Sunni and Shia are the same because they're
both Muslim, and you've been told Islam is about peace,
you won't understand what's happening in Iraq and Iran."
8 - Sometimes dumb sounds cute: Sixty percent of Americans can't
name five of the Ten Commandments, and 50% of high school seniors
think Sodom and Gomorrah were married. (In the latest Pew Poll,
Christians come in dead last in their knowledge of other world
religions. Atheists and agnostics come in first.)
Stephen Prothero, chairman of the religion department at Boston
University, isn't laughing. Americans' deep ignorance of world religions
- their own, their neighbors' or the combatants in Iraq, Darfur
or Kashmir - is dangerous, he says.
His new book, Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know
- and Doesn't, argues that everyone needs to grasp Bible basics,
as well as the core beliefs, stories, symbols and heroes of other
Belief is not his business, says Prothero, who grew up Episcopalian
and now says he's a spiritually "confused Christian."
He says his argument is for empowered citizenship.
"More and more of our national and international questions
are religiously inflected," he says, citing President Bush's
speeches laden with biblical references and the furor when the first
Muslim member of Congress chose to be sworn in with his right hand
on Thomas Jefferson's Quran.
"If you think Sunni and Shia are the same because they're both
Muslim, and you've been told Islam is about peace, you won't understand
what's happening in Iraq and Iran. If you get into an argument about
gay rights or capital punishment and someone claims to quote the
Bible or the Quran, do you know it's so?
"If you want to be involved, you need to know what they're
saying. We're doomed if we don't understand what motivates the beliefs
and behaviors of the rest of the world. We can't outsource this
to demagogues, pundits and preachers with a political agenda."
Scholars and theologians who agree with him say Americans' woeful
level of religious illiteracy damages more than democracy.
the complete article here. --
4 - In an article appearing in the Orlando Sentinel, Harry Wessel
reports that there's a generation gap in America's workplace that's
serious enough to cause a big brain drain in coming years. According
to Randstad USA, an Atlanta-based employment-services company;
businesses risk a shortage of skilled labor -- not because of the
lack of manpower in the wake of retiring baby boomers, but because
of the limited transfer of knowledge.
to a Harris Interactive survey, there is little interaction among
the four generations of U.S. employees.
defined the four generations as the Mature Generation (those born
before 1946), the Baby Boomer Generation (born 1946-1964), Generation
X (born 1965-1979) and Generation Y (born 1980-1988).
different generations rarely interact with one another and often
do not recognize each other's skills or work ethic.
should help close the knowledge gap by instituting ways for each
generation to recognize the strengths and value of all colleagues."
the Opticians' Generation Gap.
Possible Cancer Answers
Hari Singh Bird
oxygen levels in cells could be a fundamental cause of cancer."
From 'Cancer Answers'*
are several reasons cells become poorly oxygenated. An overload
of toxins clogging up the cells, poor quality cell walls that don't
allow nutrients into the cells, the lack of nutrients needed for
respiration, poor circulation and perhaps even low levels of oxygen
in the air we breathe.
Cancer cells produce excess lactic acid as they ferment energy.
Lactic acid is
toxic, and tends to prevent the transport of oxygen into neighboring
normal cells. Over time as these cells replicate, the cancer may
spread if not destroyed by the immune system.
Chemotherapy and radiation are used because cancer cells are weaker
than normal cells and therefore may die first.
However, chemo and radiation damage respiratory enzymes in healthy
cells, and overload them with toxins, so they become more likely
to develop into cancer. The underlying cancer causing conditions
are worsened, not improved. And the cancer usually returns quickly
a second time unless you make changes to support the health of your
each and every environment, good
health and sustained wellness is dependant
on the rapid removal of waste.
In terms of your
personal health, you need to void solid waste two
to three times a day or once between each meal,
without straining, to maintain basic health and wellness.
Toxins can be harmless if removed quickly from the body."
a) In my experience as a teacher of Kundalini Yoga, I have observed
many people, young and old, with poor breathing habits. The practice
of Kundalini Yoga** (inclusive of
the Breath of Fire, Deep Breathing,
Stretching, Internal Massage, etc.), and other aerobic exercising,
can provide additional and much needed oxygen to oxygen starved
cells, especially the brain.
from a Kundalini Yoga class: "No matter how good the diet is,
we tend to exceed the self cleaning capacity of our bodies. Uric
acid, a (byproduct of meat
crystals, and many other wastes and poisons get stored in tissues
and joints. They make us stiff and may cause many diseases. In Kundalini
Yoga, muscle stretching and internal massage bring waste back
into circulation so that the lungs,
intestines, kidneys, and skin are able to remove it."
b) Cow's milk contains lots of lactic
some interesting and thought provoking words about Kundalini Yoga
and our consumption of milk,
water, and flesh
food, see these links.
Happened To Old Fashioned
Hands-on Optical Dispensing?
Hari Singh Bird, Optician
See The Generational
deserve custom-fitted prescription
in place, on-the-face dispensing,
is it fast becoming a thing of the past?
the truly skilled Optician, the standard of care must include
personalized design and hands-on fitting of prescription eyewear."
is apparent to many of today's senior Ophthalmic
Patients and other industry observers that there's little connection
between the applied dispensing skills, i.e., the 'hands-on'
assessment, design, adjustment and delivery techniques of "Mature
Generation" skilled Opticians of yesteryears, and the practices
of many of today's Retail Dispensers and Managers.
no fault of their own, due to the absence of multi-generational
connections, many of today's Dispensers, especially Retail
Managers, are seen to provide and-or oversee only the most casual
delivery of prescription
eyewear as if it were ready-to-wear clothing or over-the-counter
general merchandise, with little or no attention being given to
the all-important Full Discovery and Disclosure Patient Interview,
or to the subtler frame-fitting details as practiced by their hands-on-skilled
their attention is now preoccupied almost entirely with quantity-over-quality
issues, such as daily sales goals, sales reports and other marketing
efforts to the detriment of Patient satisfaction, which of course,
adversely impacts sales as well as referrals. Consequently, many
of today's Ophthalmic Retailers are chronically struggling with
high rates of returns and refunds.
most perfect ophthalmic Rx can be compromised if the
eyewear does not provide comfort and long-term wear-ability."
if any hands-on skill is applied,
it may amount to no more than a slight adjustment of the frame's
nosepiece and-or a sharp and short ninety-degree bend of the frame's
temples at the junction of the ears. In other words, no reshaping
of the temples to follow the lines of the skull occurs, in the mistaken
belief that it is the temples-to-ears contact that holds the eyewear
in place. Of course, it's the temples-to-skull contact, NOT THE
EARS, that actually holds the eyewear in place. See
fact, many of today's Dispensers only require the delivered eyewear
to look straight or "cool," never mind that it does not
fit the asymmetric facial or cranial contours of the Patient. It's
as if they are fitting a one-dimensional, flat-surfaced counter
top instead of a multi-dimensional, contoured human face and skull.
Some have been known to go so far as to 'fix', i.e., remove, any
previously applied skull-conforming configuration, albeit more comfortable
for the Patient.
order to excel as a Dispensing Optician, one must first have
the attitude of a
Healer, and then, the sense of a retail merchant."
no fault of their own, today's Dispensers are unaware of the decades-old
decline of applied hands-on, in-place, on-the-face fitting skills.
This situation has produced at least two generations, "Generation
X" and "Generation Y" Opticians, including many latter
generation Board Certified Opticians, who have never witnessed any
demonstrations of these hands-on
skills. Furthermore, it's uncertain if any of today's Schools
of Opticianry are teaching dispensing skills to this same degree.
And as a result, many latter day Dispensers have come to believe,
after practicing a couple of years of their method of 'delivering'
eyewear, that they are sufficiently skilled and are in need of no
additional training in the art and craft of dispensing eyewear,
and worse, that they have little to learn from more skilled colleagues.
an example, a Patient recently reported their experience whereby
they were just handed their new eyeglasses at an Optometrist's office
by a Dispenser with 20 years of experience, whereupon no adjustments
to the eyewear were offered and the Patient was forced to seek the
appropriate service elsewhere. The Patient subsequently reported
that she felt fortunate to find an Optician having the skills to
relieve her discomfort after some considerable time spent searching.
Unfortunately, similar episodes have become rather common throughout
the retail optical industry.
dispensing is a soon-to-be lost art. If the trend to the narrower
and strictly retail approach to ophthalmic services continues, a)
The marketing of ready-to-wear, over-the-counter and Web-source
eyewear will continue to flourish; b) Hands-on-the-patient dispensing
skills and services will disappear; c) Patients will continue to
suffer from substandard quality of service; and d) Prescription
eyewear will continue to be delivered by an ever increasing number
of unskilled dispensers. The fact is that the majority of today's
eyewear dispensing professionals require major upgrading in their
skills without which they will become increasingly irrelevant in
the eyecare industry." -- OpticianryToday.com
The Frame Directly On The Patient Is A Crucial Step
placing the eyewear directly on the Patient, the Optician
can get a much better sense of how the frame fits the Patient,
whether too tight or loose, and what adjustments are needed."
portion of the Opticians' Generation Gap is explicable due to the
current focus on Dispenser training by way of on-the-job apprenticeship
programs, many of which are devoid of adequate Full Discovery Patient
Interview training, and absent any Hands-on, In-place, On-the-face
assessment, design and adjustment of prescription eyewear as practiced
by skilled Opticians. But this gap is equally a result of today's
over-emphasis on the retail paradigm whereby the latter generations
especially tend to become more skilled at parroting slogans, giving
testimonials about sales prowess, and answering questions about
company policy, sales goals and promotions from company executives,
all of which afford them no experience in conducting a Patient interview
or effectively assessing, designing, and then fitting prescription
eyewear directly on the Patient. Unfortunately today's aspiring
Dispensers tend to become merchants, peddling ready-made, over-the-counter
merchandise, not skilled Opticians, dispensing customized, prescription
time for Optical Retailers to think outside the 'Big Box.'
Unlike other retail venues, the delivery of ophthalmic services,
adjustments and repairs at no charge, often precedes a future sale."
leads one to wonder whether board certification and-or licensing
is really effective, since just about anybody can hand over a pair
of eyeglasses or contact lenses and operate a cash register, as
we see demonstrated in some of today's true-to-life TV ads, whereby
the Patient and Dispenser never make direct contact. The Dispenser
just hands the Patient their eyewear. The Patient puts the eyeglasses
on, looks in the mirror, and leaves. This scenario is so commonplace
today in the real world that many Patients never expect to have
any form-fitting adjustments applied to a frame.
Surgeon must train for years in actual hands-on practice,
in residency, before being considered to be a qualified Surgeon."
the eyes of the Consumer the hands-on
custom fitting aspect of dispensing eyewear has become an exotic
and unfamiliar craft, and the art has devolved to such an extent
that many Consumers (even many Dispensers) now actually think that
a hand-fitted frame is inferior to an off-the-board frame. For example,
some Patients, having never seen or experienced a hands-on customized
frame fitting, have been known to request that the skull conforming
adjustments, having been applied by a skilled Optician of the hands-on-school,
be removed from temple ends because "they don't look straight,
flat and normal like other people's glasses." Unfortunately,
the "other people's glasses" were more than likely never
customized to fit either.
are some industry observers who see the devolution of Ophthalmic
Dispensing as the result of an overall strategy perpetrated by some
industry members to eliminate any reliance on competent, licensed
Dispensers in order to better manage their labor costs and enhance
their profits. But the Profession is mostly the victim of the perpetual
tension and struggle between opposing market forces; the Company's
need for control of inventory and labor costs, and the Patient's
desire for choice and comfort. What many retailers don't understand
is that giving the Consumer more of what they want is best for everybody.
The last century's most successful entrepreneur, Sam Walton, taught
that the Company must always favor the Consumer, first. See
complete article here. --
Optician: Merchant or Health Care Provider?
Call To The Faithful
week the head of the Los Angeles Archdiocese, Cardinal Roger
Mahony, basically threatened his faithful with denial of heaven
they don't support amnesty for illegal aliens."
NEW YORK (CNN) - The separation of church and state in this country
is narrowing. And it is the church, not the state that is encroaching.
Our Constitution protects religion from the intrusion or coercion
of the state. But we have precious little protection against the
political adventurism of all manner of churches and religious organizations.
The leadership of the Catholic Church and many Protestant churches,
as well as Jewish and even Muslim religious organizations, are driving
that political adventurism as those leaders conflate religion and
politics. And while there is a narrowing of the separation between
church and state, there is a widening schism between the leadership
of churches and religious organizations and their followers and
Conservative evangelical leader James Dobson recently said actor
and former Sen. Fred Thompson wasn't Christian enough to be president.
He instead chose to commend Newt Gingrich, who has been married
three times and recently admitted to an extramarital affair. Five
evangelical Christian leaders signed the "Land Letter"
to President Bush in 2002 affirming a Christian theological basis
to invade Iraq.
This week the head of the Los Angeles Archdiocese, Cardinal Roger
Mahoney, basically threatened his faithful with denial of heaven
if they don't support amnesty for illegal aliens. The good Cardinal
said: "Anything that tears down one group of people or one
person, anything that is a negative in our community, disqualifies
us from being part of the eternal city."
The nation's religious leaders seem hell-bent on ignoring the separation
of church and state when it comes to the politically charged issue
of illegal immigration. A new coalition called Christians for Comprehensive
Immigration Reform Wednesday will begin lobbying lawmakers with
a new advertising and direct mail campaign on behalf of amnesty
for illegal aliens.
The Rev. Jim Wallis of Sojourners Magazine put it this way: "If
given the choice on this issue between Jesus and Lou Dobbs, I choose
my Lord and savior, Jesus Christ."
But before the faithful acquiesce in the false choice offered by
the good Reverend, perhaps he and his followers should consult Romans
13, where it is written: "Everyone must submit himself to the
governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which
God has established. The authorities that exist have been established
by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling
against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring
judgment on themselves."
There is a more obvious and immediate judgment offered by the followers
and members of both the Protestant and Catholic Churches. A Zogby
poll last year asked churchgoers if they supported the House bill
that would make illegal aliens return home and reduce future illegal
immigration by securing the border and performing checks on illegal
employers. Seventy-five percent of Protestants responded that was
a good or very good idea, 77 percent of born-again Christians also
agreed, and 66 percent of Catholics also backed tougher enforcement
This schism between our church leaders and church members is just
as broad and deep as that between our elected officials and their
constituents across the country. Neither the state nor the church
is exhibiting wisdom or fidelity to our national values in permitting
the widening of that divide.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the
New York Times Opinion
country will only flourish once we consistently learn to applaud
and encourage the young people who have to work harder just to
achieve balance on the unequal playing field."
DC - LET’S say a word about the girls. The young women with
the musical names. Kia and Epiphanny and Matee and Essence. Katie
and Dee Dee and Rashidat and Myia and Brittany and Heather.
The Scarlet Knights of Rutgers University had an improbable season,
dropping four of their first seven games, yet ending up in the N.C.A.A.
women’s basketball championship game. None of them were seniors.
Five were freshmen.
In the end, they were stopped only by Tennessee’s Lady Vols,
who clinched their seventh national championship by ending Rutgers’
Cinderella run last week, 59-46. That’s the kind of story
we love, right? A bunch of teenagers from Newark, Cincinnati, Brooklyn
and, yes, Ogden, Utah, defying expectations. It’s what explodes
so many March Madness office pools.
But not, apparently, for the girls. For all their grit, hard work
and courage, the Rutgers girls got branded “nappy-headed ho’s”
— a shockingly concise sexual and racial insult, tossed out
in a volley of male camaraderie by a group of amused, middle-aged
white men. The “joke” — as delivered and later
recanted — by the radio and television personality Don Imus
failed one big test: it was not funny.
The serial apologies of Mr. Imus, who was suspended yesterday* by
both NBC News and CBS Radio for his remarks, have failed another
test. The sincerity seems forced and suspect because he’s
done some version of this several times before.
I know, because he apparently did it to me.
I was covering the White House for this newspaper in 1993, when
Mr. Imus’s producer began calling to invite me on his radio
program. I didn’t return his calls. I had my hands plenty
full covering Bill Clinton.
Soon enough, the phone calls stopped. Then quizzical colleagues
began asking me why Don Imus seemed to have a problem with me. I
had no idea what they were talking about because I never listened
to the program.
It was not until five years later, when Mr. Imus and I were both
working under the NBC News umbrella — his show was being simulcast
on MSNBC; I was a Capitol Hill correspondent for the network —
that I discovered why people were asking those questions. It took
Lars-Erik Nelson, a columnist for The New York Daily News, to finally
explain what no one else had wanted to repeat.
“Isn’t The Times wonderful,” Mr. Nelson quoted
Mr. Imus as saying on the radio. “It lets the cleaning lady
cover the White House.”
I was taken aback but not outraged. I’d certainly been called
worse and indeed jumped at the chance to use the old insult to explain
to my NBC bosses why I did not want to appear on the Imus show.
I haven’t talked about this much. I’m a big girl. I
have a platform. I have a voice. I’ve been working in journalism
long enough that there is little danger that a radio D.J.’s
juvenile slap will define or scar me. Yesterday, he began telling
people he never actually called me a cleaning lady. Whatever. This
is not about me.
It is about the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. That game had to be the
biggest moment of their lives, and the outcome the biggest disappointment.
They are not old enough, or established enough, to have built up
the sort of carapace many women I know — black women in particular
— develop to guard themselves against casual insult.
Why do my journalistic colleagues appear on Mr. Imus’s program?
That’s for them to defend, and others to argue about. I certainly
don’t know any black journalists who will. To his credit,
Mr. Imus told the Rev. Al Sharpton yesterday he realizes that, this
time, he went way too far.
Yes, he did. Every time a young black girl shyly approaches me for
an autograph or writes or calls or stops me on the street to ask
how she can become a journalist, I feel an enormous responsibility.
It’s more than simply being a role model. I know I have to
be a voice for them as well.
So here’s what this voice has to say for people who cannot
grasp the notion of picking on people their own size: This country
will only flourish once we consistently learn to applaud and encourage
the young people who have to work harder just to achieve balance
on the unequal playing field.
Let’s see if we can manage to build them up and reward them,
rather than opting for the cheapest, easiest, most despicable shots.
Gwen Ifill is a senior correspondent for “The NewsHour With
Jim Lehrer” and the moderator of “Washington Week."
*Note: Don Imus was fired from his positions with NBC News and CBS
just hours after his suspensions from both networks.
Cloak May Be Possible
By Andrew Bridges
an invisibility cloak that works just like
the one Harry Potter inherited from his father.
An invisibility cloak and other Harry Potteresque types of magic
are likely doable, researchers say. "What's standing in the
way is our engineering capabilities," said John Pendry, a physicist
at the Imperial College London.
Researchers in England and the United States think they know how
to do that. They are laying out the blueprint and calling for help
in developing the exotic materials needed to build a cloak.
The keys are special manmade materials, unlike any in nature or
the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. These materials
are intended to steer light and other forms of electromagnetic radiation
around an object, rendering it as invisible as something tucked
into a hole in space.
"Is it science fiction? Well, it's theory and that already
is not science fiction. It's theoretically possible to do all these
Harry Potter things, but what's standing in the way is our engineering
capabilities," said John Pendry, a physicist at the Imperial
Details of the study, which Pendry co-wrote, appear in Thursday's
online edition of the journal Science.
Scientists not involved in the work said it presents a solid case
for making invisibility an attainable goal.
"This is very interesting science and a very interesting idea
and it is supported on a great mathematical and physical basis,"
said Nader Engheta, a professor of electrical and systems engineering
at the University of Pennsylvania. Engheta has done his own work
on invisibility using novel materials called metamaterials.
Pendry and his co-authors also propose using metamaterials because
they can be tuned to bend electromagnetic radiation - radio waves
and visible light, for example - in any direction.
A cloak made of those materials, with a structure designed down
to the submicroscopic scale, would neither reflect light nor cast
Instead, like a river streaming around a smooth boulder, light and
all other forms of electromagnetic radiation would strike the cloak
and simply flow around it, continuing on as if it never bumped up
against an obstacle. That would give an onlooker the apparent ability
to peer right through the cloak, with everything tucked inside concealed
"Yes, you could actually make someone invisible as long as
someone wears a cloak made of this material," said Patanjali
Parimi, a Northeastern University physicist and design engineer
at Chelton Microwave Corp. in Bolton, Mass. Parimi was not involved
in the research.
Such a cloak does not exist, but early versions that could mask
microwaves and other forms of electromagnetic radiation could be
as close as 18 months away, Pendry said. He said the study was "an
invitation to come and play with these new ideas."
will have a cloak after not too long," he said.
The Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency supported
the research, given the obvious military applications of such stealthy
While Harry Potter could wear his cloak to skulk around Hogwarts,
a real-world version probably would not be something just to be
thrown on, Pendry said.
"To be realistic, it's going to be fairly thick. Cloak is a
misnomer. 'Shield' might be more appropriate," he said. --
by An Eyewitness
extraordinary account claims Jesus was crucified, removed from the
cross ... alive, and then fully recovered with the help of the Essenes.
Dead Sea Scrolls were uncovered in 1947. What do the Dead Sea Scrolls
reveal about Jesus and why haven't these works been published, in
full, after 60 years of 'research'? Is it possible that they reveal
data that corroborates Jesus' survival, as claimed in 'The
Crucifixion,' by An Eyewitness? Is this the non-fiction sequel
to 'The DaVinci Code'? Is this The Greatest Story Never Told? Click
here, now! --
Birth Date Numerology
have your number!
Birth Number can indicate who you are, what you are good at, and
what your inborn abilities are. It can also point to what you have
to learn, and the challenges that you face. A Birth Number does
not present you with any obstacles to being anything you want to
be, but it may just color your choices differently and give you
better insight as to choices that you make.
To figure out your Birth Number, add all the numbers in your Birth
Date together, as in this example, until there is only one digit.
Example: March 20, 1950
3 + 20 + 1950 = 1973
Continue until you end up with a single digit number.
1 + 9 + 7 + 3 = 20
2 + 0 = 2
2 then, is the Birth Number to read for the Birth Date in this example.
Find your number below and check yourself out.
= THE ORIGINATOR
= THE PEACEMAKER
= THE LIFE OF THE PARTY
= THE CONSERVATIVE
= THE NONCONFORMIST
= THE ROMANTIC
= THE INTELLECTUAL
= THE BIG SHOT
= THE PERFORMER
1's are originals. Coming up with new ideas and executing them is
natural. Having things their own way is another trait that gets
them as being stubborn and arrogant. 1's are extremely honest and
do well to learn some diplomacy skills. They like to take the initiative
and are often leaders or bosses, as they like to be the best. Being
self-employed is definitely helpful for them.
Lesson to learn: Others' ideas might be just as good or better and
to stay open minded.
Famous 1's: Tom Hanks, Robert Redford, Hulk Hogan, Carol Burnett,
Wynona Judd, Nancy Reagan, Raquel Welch.
2's are the born diplomats. They are aware of others' needs and
moods and often think of others before themselves. Naturally analytical
and very intuitive they don't like to be alone. Friendship and companionship
is very important and can lead them to be successful in life, but
on the other hand they'd rather be alone than in an uncomfortable
Lesson to learn: Being naturally shy, 2's should learn to boost
their self-esteem and express themselves freely and seize the moment
and not put things off.
Famous 2's: President Bill Clinton, Madonna, Whoopee Goldberg, Thomas
Edison, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
LIFE OF THE PARTY
3's are idealists. They are very creative, social, charming, romantic
and easygoing. They start many things, but don't always see them
through. They like others to be happy and go to great lengths to
achieve it. They are very popular and idealistic.
Lesson to learn: 3's should learn to see the world from a more realistic
point of view.
Famous 3's: Alan Alder, Ann Landers, Bill Cosby, Melanie Griffith,
Karen Roundbutt, Salvador Dali, Jodi Foster.
are sensible and traditional. They like order and routine. They
only act when they fully understand what they are expected to do.
They like getting their hands dirty and working hard. They are attracted
to the outdoors and feel an affinity with nature. They are prepared
to wait and can be stubborn and persistent.
Lesson to learn: 4's should learn to be more flexible and to be
nice to themselves.
Famous 4's: Neil Diamond, Margaret Thatcher, Arnold Schwarzenegger,
Tina Turner, Paul Hogan, Oprah Winfrey.
5's are the explorers. Their natural curiosity, risk taking and
enthusiasm often land them in hot water. They need diversity, and
don't like to be stuck in a rut. The whole world is their school
and they see a learning possibility in every situation. The questions
Lesson to learn: 5's are well advised to look before they take action
and make sure they have all the facts before jumping to conclusions.
Famous 5's: Abraham Lincoln, Charlotte Bronte, Jessica Walter, Vincent
Van Gogh, Bette Midler, Helen Keller and Mark Hail.
6's are idealistic and need to feel useful to be happy. A strong
family connection is important to them. Their actions influence
their decisions. They have a strong urge to take care of others
and to help. They are very loyal and make great teachers. They like
art or music. They make loyal friends who take the friendship seriously.
Lesson to learn: 6's should learn to differentiate between what
they can change and what they cannot.
Famous 6's: Albert Einstein, Jane Seymour, John Denver, Meryl Streep,
Christopher Columbus, Goldie Hawn.
7 's are the searchers. Always probing for hidden information, they
find it difficult to accept things at face value. Emotions don't
sway their decisions. Questioning everything in life, they don't
like to be questioned themselves. They're never off to a fast start,
and their motto is slow and steady wins the race. They come across
as philosophers and being very knowledgeable, and sometimes as loners.
They are technically inclined and make great researchers uncovering
information. They like secrets.
Lesson to learn: 7's live in their own world and should learn what
is acceptable and what is not in the world at large.
Famous 7's: William Shakespeare, Lucille Ball, Michael Jackson,
Joan Baez, Princess Diana.
8's are the problem solvers. They are professional, blunt and to
the point, have good judgment and are decisive. They have grand
plans and like to live the good life. They take charge of people.
They view people objectively. They let you know in no uncertain
terms that they are the boss.
Lesson to learn: 8's should learn to exude their decisions on their
own needs rather than on what others want.
Famous 8's: Edgar Cayce, Barbara Streisand, George Harrison, Jane
Fonda, Pablo Picasso, Aretha Franklin, Nostrodamus.
9's are natural entertainers. They are very caring and generous,
giving away their last dollar to help. With their charm, they have
no problem making friends and nobody is a stranger to them. They
have so many different personalities that people around them have
a hard time understanding them. They are like chameleons, ever changing
and blending in. They have tremendous luck, but also can suffer
from extremes in fortune and mood.
Lesson to learn: To be successful, 9's need to build a loving foundation.
Famous 9's: Albert Schweitzer, Shirley MacLaine, Harrison Ford,
Jimmy Carter, Elvis Presley.
Which Cut Is Older? (It's a Trick Question)
By Marian Burros
If some of the meat in supermarkets is looking rosier than it
used to, the reason is that a growing number of markets are
selling it in airtight packages treated with a touch of carbon
monoxide to help the product stay red for weeks.
Both of these steaks were red when bought on Feb. 3.
Kept refrigerated, they were then photographed on Feb. 16.
Why the difference? The one at top was treated with
a process that has some consumer groups angered.
This form of "modified atmosphere packaging," a technique
in which other gases replace oxygen, has become more widely
used as supermarkets eliminate their butchers and buy precut,
"case-ready" meat from processing plants.
The reason for its popularity in the industry is clear. One
study, conducted at Oklahoma State University for the Cattlemen's
Beef Board in 2003, said retailers lost at least $1 billion
a year as meat turned brown from exposure to oxygen, because,
though it might still be fairly fresh and perfectly safe, consumers
simply judged meat's freshness by its color.
carbon monoxide is itself harmless at the levels being used
in the treated packaging. But opponents say that the process,
which is also used to keep tuna rosy, allows stores to sell
meat that is no longer fresh, and that consumers would not know
until they opened the package at home and smelled it. Labels
do not note whether meat has been laced with carbon monoxide.
The Food and Drug Administration approved use of the process
in 2004. The Washington Post reported in its Monday editions
that Kalsec, a Michigan producer of a natural food extract that
helps slow the discoloring of the meat but does not "fix"
it in the same way as carbon monoxide, had petitioned the agency
to reverse that decision.
The Consumer Federation of America and the advocacy group Safe
Tables Our Priority have written a letter to the agency in support
of the petition because, they say, the bright red color could
mask spoilage and dangerous bacteria in older meat or meat that
has not been kept at the proper temperature.
Supermarket chains including A.&P. and Pathmark do not carry
the treated meat, but it is showing up with increasing frequency
elsewhere. In New York City, it is sold at 30 Gristede's stores,
at D'Agostino markets under the labels Laura's Lean Beef and
Creekstone's, and at the Morton Williams stores in the Associated
chain. A spokeswoman for Safeway did not respond to phone calls
and e-mail messages about sale of the treated meat there, but
it was available at a Safeway market in Bethesda, Md., earlier
this month. SuperTarget stores are also selling it, and Wal-Mart
reports carrying it in 150 stores.
"This is what is going to happen in the meat business,"
said John A. Catsimatidis, chairman and chief executive of Gristede's.
"The meat looks great. It looks as red as the day it was
Processors say treated ground meat can be sold for 28 days after
leaving the plant, and solid cuts for 35 days. The agribusiness
company Cargill says it has sold 100 million packages in the
Randy Huffman of the American Meat Institute Foundation, an
industry group, said, "The primary benefit in providing
this product to consumers is the red color they have grown to
In a firsthand look at the treated meat, a package of a conventionally
wrapped rib steak and one with the carbon monoxide were both
red when bought on Feb. 3 near Washington. They were then kept
refrigerated. By Feb. 16, when they were photographed for the
pictures that appear with this article, the conventional meat
was brown, but the treated meat was still rosy. And as of yesterday,
other treated meat bought at the same time was still red despite
having been left unrefrigerated on a kitchen counter since Feb.
Some food scientists who approve of other forms of modified
atmosphere packaging as a way of extending a product's life
say this form of it can be unsafe. Michael Doyle, director of
the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia, says
one study found that when meat in modified packages that included
carbon monoxide was stored at 10 degrees above the proper temperature,
salmonella grew more easily.
Representative John D. Dingell of Michigan, the ranking Democrat
on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has asked the F.D.A.
to explain its approval of the process.
"It's just common sense that when consumers buy meat, they
use color as an important indicator of its freshness,"
Mr. Dingell said in an e-mail message to a reporter. "For
F.D.A. to rely on a promise of some stamp on the package that
says 'use or freeze by' is just naïve."
Committee for Responsible Medicine
Help stamp out SARS and Bird Flu
Most food-borne human illnesses
are related to the eating of flesh foods.
Against Eating Meat The
RATE WORST PRESIDENTIAL BLUNDERS
By Elizabeth Dunbar
From engaging in sexual relations with an intern to letting the
Vietnam War escalate, U.S. presidents have been blamed for some
egregious errors. So who had the worst blunder?
President James Buchanan, for failing to avert the Civil War,
according to a survey of presidential historians organized by
the University of Louisville's McConnell Center.
The survey's top 10 presidential blunders were announced Saturday
during a President's Day weekend conference called "Presidential
"We can probably learn just as much - or maybe even more
- by looking at the mistakes rather than looking at why they were
great," said political scientist and McConnell Center Director
Scholars who participated said Buchanan didn't do enough to oppose
efforts by Southern states to secede from the Union before the
worst mistake, the survey found, was Andrew Johnson's decision
just after the Civil War to side with Southern whites and oppose
improvements in justice for Southern blacks beyond abolishing
"We continue to pay" for Johnson's errors, wrote Michael
Les Benedict, an Ohio State University history professor emeritus.
Johnson earned the No. 3 spot by allowing the Vietnam War to intensify,
The rest of the top 10 blunders:
Wilson's refusal to compromise on the Treaty of Versailles after
World War I.
Nixon's involvement in the Watergate cover-up.
Madison's failure to keep the United States out of the War of
1812 with Britain.
Jefferson's Embargo Act of 1807, a self-imposed prohibition on
trade with Europe during the Napoleonic Wars.
Kennedy allowing the Bay of Pigs invasion that led to the Cuban
Reagan and the Iran-Contra Affair, the effort to sell arms to
Iran and use the money to finance an armed anti-communist group
does Bill Clinton's Monica Lewinsky scandal rank?
Many scholars said it belonged at No. 10, saying that it probably
affected Clinton's presidency more than it did American history
and the public. --
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