Health & WellnessS


Flashback Choosing feminism over therapy: One woman's account

We are sitting down for dinner at the Chinese Restaurant. Our family fits in with all the other white, well-dressed families. Judging by the pricey menu and the line of Mercedes and BMWs in the parking lot, the families here are wealthy. I make polite chit-chat and play my role as part of a "happy family." To the people at the next table everything appears to be quite pleasant. They don't know that my father is censoring our vocabulary and our conversation. They can't see the leash my father has on us or the reins he's pulling. They can't feel the eggshells under our feet. My stepmother abruptly but politely, quietly, leaves the restaurant, leaving a plate of untouched Peking duck on the table. Something -- it could have been anything -- must have just triggered my father's anger. I was in the washroom so I missed what was said. Having just returned to England to visit my family, I'm unsure as to what has been going on. But the pattern is familiar, and soon my survival techniques kick on. It's like a reflex, like I'm on "auto-pilot" now. I bite my lip, keep my head down, listen to his ranting, do as I am told. The rest of the family synchronizes their behavior to protect each other.


Over 220 poisoned by chlorine at Russian aquapark

A total of 224 people, including 181 children, have sought medical treatment for chlorine poisoning after visiting an aquapark in St. Petersburg, the city's health service said on Friday.

A total of 48 people, including 34 children, have so far been hospitalized. The youngest of the victims is nine months old.

Visitors to the Waterville aquapark in Russia's second-largest city started experiencing health problems, including skin complaints, on Wednesday evening. It is believed that the swimming pools had been over-chlorinated.


US, Minnesota: Chlorine poisoning 'a mystery'

Investigators have been unable to determine what caused an apparent chlorine leak that sickened about 40 students at a Minnesota high school.

Don Adams, Sterans County director of environmental services, said two independent tests Thursday found no fault in chlorination equipment in the swimming pool at Rocori High School in Cold Spring, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported. Water samples both Wednesday and Thursday showed no excessive chlorine in the pool.


Are teenage brains really different?

Many parents are convinced that the brains of their teenage offspring are different than those of children and adults. New data confirms that this is the case. An article by Jay N. Giedd, MD, of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), published in the April 2008 issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health describes how brain changes in the adolescent brain impact cognition, emotion and behavior.


Preschool kids do better when they talk to themselves, research shows

Parents should not worry when their pre-schoolers talk to themselves; in fact, they should encourage it, says Adam Winsler, an associate professor of psychology at George Mason University. His recent study published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly showed that 5-year-olds do better on motor tasks when they talk to themselves out loud (either spontaneously or when told to do so by an adult) than when they are silent.


The bullying epidemic

I find it interesting that the NY Times published this article about bullying at school and then published this one about workplace bullies. I thought that this meant that the Times was doing a series, but unfortunately, they're not. Which is too bad, because I think bullying is an interesting area to explore. It's like there's two worlds in America - the officially recognized one where people are kind and polite, and the one lurking right underneath where bullying happens.


A Boy the Bullies Love to Beat Up, Repeatedly

billy wolfe
©Angel Franco/The New York Times
Billy Wolfe, a target of bullies for years, at the school bus stop near his home in Fayetteville, Ark.

All lank and bone, the boy stands at the corner with his younger sister, waiting for the yellow bus that takes them to their respective schools. He is Billy Wolfe, high school sophomore, struggling.

Moments earlier he left the sanctuary that is his home, passing those framed photographs of himself as a carefree child, back when he was 5. And now he is at the bus stop, wearing a baseball cap, vulnerable at 15.

Black Cat

When the Bully Sits in the Next Cubicle

workplace bully
©Stuart Bradford

An eye roll, a glare, a dismissive snort - these are the tactics of the workplace bully. They don't sound like much, but that's why they are so insidious. How do you complain to human resources that your boss is picking on you? Who cares that a co-worker won't return your phone calls?


Swimming in Chemicals

An Excerpt from 'Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products'

[Rachel's introduction: Mark Schapiro's new book reveals how the European Union is demanding that multinationals manufacture safer products, while products developed and sold in the United States are increasingly equated with serious health hazards, and are banned from Europe and other parts of the world.]

The following is an excerpt from investigative reporter Mark Schapiro's book, Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What's at Stake for American Power. Schapiro's book reveals how the European Union is demanding that multinationals manufacture safer products, while products developed and sold in the United States are increasingly equated with serious health hazards, and are banned from Europe and other parts of the world.

Evil Rays

Up to 16 dust storms hit Cyprus every year with dire effects on the islanders' health

Cardiovascular incidents in Cyprus rise by ten per cent during the increasingly frequent Saharan dust storms plaguing the island, a study by the Harvard Institute for Public Health revealed yesterday.

The study says however that the effects of the dust storms on health is much higher since the ten per cent increase in incidents only includes serious cases.