Monday, April 30, 2012

Mother Goose Day



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By Akindman

Old Mother Goose,
When she wanted to wander,
Would ride through the air
On a very fine gander.
Jack's mother came in,
And caught the goose soon,
And mounting its back,
Flew up to the moon.

The familiar figure of Mother Goose is an imaginary author of a collection of fairy tales and nursery rhymes which are often published as Mother Goose Rhymes. As a character, she appears in one "nursery rhyme".  A Christmas pantomime called Mother Goose is often performed in the United Kingdom. The so-called "Mother Goose" rhymes and stories have formed the basis for many classic British pantomimes. Mother Goose is generally depicted in literature and book illustration as an elderly country woman in a tall hat and shawl, a costume identical to the peasant costume worn in Wales in the early 20th century, but is sometimes depicted as a goose (usually wearing a bonnet).

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Tips for Celebrating:
  • Get several editions of Mother Goose Rhymes and compare how different illustrators have depicted the same characters. Fine artists all have their own ways of illustrating the rhymes. Of particular note are the following (though some are old editions, reprints are readily available): Randolph Caldecott (most drawn 1880- 1886), Walter Crane (1877 & 1879), Raymond Briggs (1966), Marguerite de Angeli (1954), W. W. Denslow (1901), Roger Duvoisin (1936), Kate Greenaway (1881 & c1990), Lois Lenski (1927), Helen Oxenbury (1975), Maud & Miska Petersham (1945), Alice & Martin Provensen (1976), Peter Spier (1967), Arthur Rackham (1913), Jessie Wilcox Smith (1914), Gustaf Tenggren (1940), Tasha Tudor (1944).
  • Have small groups act out skits of different rhymes (with only a few minutes to put together their acts). A variation on this is to give each group the rhyme to act out in pantomime, and have the other groups guess which rhyme is being acted.
  • Another variation on acting out the rhymes is to play traditional Charades, with nursery rhymes as the focus.
  • Search out the Mother Goose rhymes which are set to music and have a Mother Goose Songfest.
  • Seek out Mother Goose Rhymes which have fingerplay actions, and teach them to the children. (The single largest source of fingerplays is Children's Counting-Out Rhymes, Fingerplays, Jump-Rope and Bounce-Ball Chants and Other Rhythms: A Comprehensive English-Language Reference by Gloria T. Delamar (McFarland Pub.)
  • Have participants cook together to make a simple recipe associated with a Mother Goose rhyme. Ie. "Curds and Whey," associated with Little Miss Muffet is an old term for cottage cheese; "Pease Porridge" is thick pea soup. A surprisingly tasty snack is to put pea soup as a spread (directly from the can with no liquid added) on crackers.
  • With the right age group, introduce the "rhythm and patter" of a nursery rhyme for writers to imitate in creating their own verses. Quite aside from Mother Goose Day, this is a useful device for teaching an understanding of the patterns of poetry. This technique has been used with both children and adults.
  • Have a simple line-by-line recitation of rhymes, with participants taking turns giving the next line. Stay with the better-known rhymes so no one will be embarrassed.
  • The most basic way to celebrate is to read aloud from an attractively-illustrated edition of Mother Goose rhymes.

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Links:

Sunday, April 29, 2012

National Raisin Day


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By Akindman

Raisins are a tasty and convenient snack to enjoy. They are also extremely healthy because they are low in fat and contain many nutrients including phenol and boron.

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Raisins are produced in a process that dehydrates grapes in the sun or a mechanical oven. This practice dates back as far as 2000 B.C. in Persia and Egypt. Raisins were also once highly prized by ancient Romans who used them as barter currency and prizes at sporting events.

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Today, half of the world’s supply of raisins is grown in California. Fresno, California has even been named the “Raisin Capital of the World!” Raisin’s commercial popularity was discovered in 1873 when a heat wave destroyed the California grape vines. One grower creatively decided to try to sell the grapes instead as raisins or as he called them, a “Peruvian delicacy.” The raisins soon became immensely popular throughout the rest country.

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Celebrate National Raisin Day by baking some raisins into your favorite recipe or getting a box of raisins to snack on throughout the day!

National Dance Day


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I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

Dance....I hope you dance.

By Diane Forrest
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Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 says To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.  I am a Baptist, and I don't know what they were thinking when they read this verse, because dancing is frowned upon in my church.  I remember one year our minister of music arranged a ballet performance depicting a Biblical story, and it was a scandalous event at the time.

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I never took dance when I was growing up, my father told me I was just not coordinated to try to dance.  I would go out with friends in college, and I would always be on the sidelines, scared to dance because someone might laugh at me, or worse, I would fall down.  None of the weddings I went to ever had dancing, they were always held in the church's reception room with cake and punch.  The first wedding I went to that included dancing was my stepson's.  My husband, who was in his wheelchair, asked me to dance.  He wanted me to sit in his lap as he twirled his chair around.  I was too afraid of hurting him, or putting too much weight on his chair, so I said no.  That was the last time he was out.  A week later he was placed on bed rest to heal a decubitus ulcer that had formed on his bottom, and he never recovered from that.  I wish I had said yes.

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This is National Dance Day.  Today, more than ever dancing is all around.  There are televison shows such as "So you think you can Dance?" and "Dancing with the Stars", there are movies about dancing such as Footloose, and even video games like Wii dancing.  Dancing is great exercise, it allows you to shake your booty, and gets the blood flowing.  It strengthens your muscles and your heart.  So today,

Work like you don't need the money.
Love like you've never been hurt.
Dance like no-one's watching.
Sing like no-one's listening.
Live like there's no tomorrow.

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Friday, April 27, 2012

World Healing Day


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By Akindman

World Healing Day is a global human happening held in hundreds of cities in over 65 nations, the last Saturday of April each year, at 10 am local time worldwide.

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World Healing Day's Reason for Formation. Organizers state that World Healing Day came as an answer to a question. The Global Consciousness Project, which was born from a research project at Princeton University on human consciousness. The GCP found that when the mass of humanity was focused on, what often were horrific events, the death of Princess Diana, the events of September 11, 2001, that their computers worldwide were physically effected by this focus of human consciousness. Human consciousness physically effected the world in measurable ways.

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The founders of World Healing Day created this event in answer to this question, what if human consciousness were focused en masse for a 24 hour period, not on fear and desperation, but on an intention for personal and global healing?

Links:

National Landscape Architecture Month


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By Akindman

In honor of National Landscape Architecture Month in April, landscape architects across the country will host a variety of activities to celebrate the profession and explain how their work contributes to the public’s well-being. In keeping with this year’s theme, many events will demonstrate how green design can encourage healthy living.

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When we moved into our new home six years ago, one of the first things we did was hire a good landscape architect to help us establish a five year plan for our land/hard scape.  The first criterion was to work equally well with both my wife and me – she did that very well.  Our back yard had over 21 mature trees which reduce the amount of sun exposure – so we needed to develop an environment for shady area.

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While we have modified our original plan several times – the basic concept is still intact and our plan has been a good one.

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Link:

Frederick Law Olmsted
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International Twit Award Month


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By Diane Forrest

When my dad was in high school he was voted the class's "Most Wittiest".  He was and still is a very funny man.  Luckily my son inherited his funny bone, and I have told him several times the main reason he was allowed to live be the fact that he made me laugh.  However, being witty, and being the class clown are two different people.  We started this month with April Fool's day, so it seems appropriate that we end it with International Twit Award Month.

A twit is defined as a “foolishly annoying person”. In other words, these are the people who like to get on your nerves you by doing any or even all of the following:
  • Tease you for mistakes
  • Taunt you by calling you names
  • Ridicule you by making you the brunt of a bad joke
  • Put you down.

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In other words, twits are those individuals who enjoy getting entertainment at our expense. They attempt to be the center of attention by trying to make everyone else look or feel stupid. These can be aggravating playground bullies or the corporate boss. Twits are not nice people to be around and are avoided by most. Unfortunately, they exist in every level of society.

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There are a few people who enjoy joking around who know when to stop. These may be the office clown or prankster. These are people are aware that some lines should not be crossed. They respect boundaries and typically try only to put some extra pep to the workday. These folks can relax. They aren’t the target of International Twit Award Month.  The twits are the mean pranksters who don't know when to stop, or how far to go.

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To celebrate this day it is suggested that you combine forces with the other targets of the twit’s malicious mischief and plan an attack.  Nothing criminal or dangerous, something as simple as changing the coffee to decaffeinated, or put an out of order sign on the bathroom or elevator he/she uses, or hiding office supplies.  Maybe they will get the hint...and stop being such a twit!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (RAINN)


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"In the criminal justice system, sexually based offenses are considered especially heinous. In New York City, the dedicated detectives who investigate these vicious felonies are members of an elite squad known as the Special Victims Unit. These are their stories."

By Diane Forrest

In September, 1999 a spin-off show from the favorite series, Law and Order, aired.  It was called, Law and Order, Special Victims Unit, or SUV.  Thirteen years later, it is still going strong.  The special victims featured in this show deal with sex crimes such as Rape, abuse, incest and other sexually related issues.  One might wonder where they get the ideas for the 295 and counting episodes.  Most of these come from actual events in the news.  Of course the names have been changed to protect the innocent, as they said on Dragnet.

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Having grown up in small towns in rural Mississippi, I have never been educated in these matters.  It was not until I left for school that I learned how destructive, and evil and "heinous" the criminal mind can be.  I'm not sure how beneficial these shows can be in the education of America.  On one hand, they can educate and make people aware of such behavior and ways to take precautions, but on the other hand, they can have a negative impact, making these actions seem common place, and numb them to these actions.

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In the event you or someone you know comes in contact with a sexual deviant, there is a place you can go for help, answers, comfort.  It is called RAINN, Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network.  Founded in 1994, it is the largest anti sexually assault organization in the United States.  The National Sexual Assault Hotline is a 24-hour, toll-free phone service that automatically and anonymously links callers to the nearest RAINN-associated rape crisis center with a counselor able to respond to the call. More than 1,100 local partnerships are associated with RAINN to provide sexual assault victims with free, confidential services. Since 2008, RAINN has provided anonymous, on-line crisis support through its National Sexual Assault Online Hotline via instant messaging.

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The Sexual Assault Hotline number is 1-800-656-HOPE(4673).  For more information about ways you can help, or for help for you or someone you know, visit their website at http://www.rainn.org/

National Pretzel Day


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By Diane Forrest

When I was younger I lived in the rural Delta of Mississippi.  The area was not known for its availability to shopping, so every year at Christmas time, we would drive an hour to Memphis, Tennessee to choose from a variety of items.  On one of these excursions we went to a store that had a snack counter.  While my mother was busy shopping, my father took my brother and me to the counter and bought us a large, warm, soft pretzel.  This was my first soft pretzel, and one I will never forget.  He put a little mustard on it, and we ate it so fast you would think we were starving.  I have only had a few soft pretzels since that one, but nothing compares to taste of it.

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Pretzels have been around for centuries.  According to The History of Science and Technology, by Bryan Bunch and Alexander Hellemans, in 610 AD "...an Italian monk invents pretzels as a reward to children who learn their prayers.  Pretzels are believed to be the world's oldest snack.  Within the Catholic Church, pretzels were regarded as having religious significance for both ingredients and shape. Pretzels made with a simple recipe using only flour and water could be eaten during Lent, when Christians were forbidden to eat eggs, lard, or dairy products such as milk and butter. As time passed, pretzels became associated with both Lent and Easter. Pretzels were hidden on Easter morning just as eggs are hidden today, and are particularly associated with Lent, fasting, and prayers before Easter.

Hard pretzels were invented in the late 1600’s when a Pennsylvania baker forgot about a batch of pretzels in the oven. Though these pretzels seemed inedible because they were dark and hard, they were actually quite delicious!  Some of the best inventions were discovered by accident, such as fudge, another "mistake".  I use these hard pretzels every year at Christmas when I make my party mix, and also dip them in almond bark and give as gifts to my mother and stepdaughter in law.

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Today is National Pretzel Day.  I can't think of a better way to celebrate than to grab a bag of pretzels, or visit a Auntie Annie's store for the warm baked ones.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Scoop the Poop Day


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By Diane Forrest

For as long as I can remember I have had a dog.  They make great pets, and great company.  Snoopy, my shih tzu was a gift to my husband after his last pup died.  My husband loved his doggies and spoiled them endlessly.  I have never been much of a dog person, ours always stayed outside in the back yard, and I had been bitten, so I guess that made me twice shy.  This gave my husband much concern.  He always told me that if he died, he wanted Snoopy put to sleep and buried with him.  After my husband passed away, it was just me and Snoopy left.  He is great company, looks after me, comforts me when I’m sad, and alerts me if there is someone here.

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Owning a pet is a big responsibility.  Not only are you responsible for any damage they do, you also have to pick up after them. In some areas they have dog parks.  Places you can take your dogs to run and play, but, not poop.  You must be prepared to remove any waste they may leave.  This week is Scoop the Poop week, to bring awareness to pet owners to clean up after their pups.

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"Dog droppings are one of the leading sources of E. coli (fecal coliforms) bacterial pollution: One gram of dog feces contains over 20,000,000 E. coli cells. While an individual animal's deposit of feces will not measurably affect the environment, the cumulative effect of thousands of dogs and cats in a metropolitan area can create serious problems due to contamination of soil and water supplies. The runoff from neglected pet waste contaminates water, creating health hazards for people, fish, ducks, etc." according to gone-ta-pot.com.

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Wikihow offers several methods in which to Scoop the Poop.  They include:

  • Plastic bag method.  This involves placing a bag over your hand like a glove.  Picking up the poop, then turning the bag inside out and tying it off.  Then place in a trash receptacle.
  • Pooper Scooper.  This is for large messes like your yard.  If you don’t actually want to handle the poop, you can scoop it with one of these devices and dispose of it in the plastic bag manner.
  • Delegate.  You may want to hire a service that scoops poop for you, hire a pet sitter service, or make your kids do it.
  • Deal with Pet Rebels.   You may run across someone who refuses to scoop their pet's poop.  In that case, offer them one of your plastic bags, explain the importance of keeping the environment clean, and if all else fails, and report them to the proper authority.  Those who refuse to obey the laws, lose the privileges for everyone.

Be Responsible....Scoop the Poop!

Administrative Professionals Day


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By Akindman

Congratulations and thank you to all of the administrative professionals for your outstanding work in making business and life a better place.

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The theme for the 2012 Administrative Professionals Day is: “Admins, the pulse of the office.”

Administrative Professionals Day will mark its 60th anniversary on April 25, 2012. Over those decades, the job of an administrative professional has changed dramatically thanks to new tools, techniques and seismic shifts in the economy and culture itself. But admins have remained the steady center of efficiency through it all, helping ensure that jobs get done right, on time and under budget. Admins are one of the engines of business, particularly in a complex economy. In a world that demands the accurate and speedy movement of digital information, admins are masters of data. And they do this while maintaining their more traditional role as the gatekeepers for many customers, clients and employees. Quite simply, admins are the pulse of the office. (http://www.iaap-hq.org/events/apw)

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Administrative Professionals' Day (also known as Secretaries Day or Admin Day) is an unofficial secular holiday observed in several countries to recognize the work of secretaries, administrative assistants, receptionists, and other administrative support professionals. (Wikipedia)

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I was very fortunate to have had first class professionals who were much more than just a administrative assistant/secretary – they were my assistants/partners in running our organization. They not only helped in the daily operations but were deeply involved in the planning process and could always be relied upon to offer keen insight and provide solid recommendations for improving the future operations.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Prayer for Our Nation


(Email received today for sharing)

Current Age: 93 Truth............from a man the media has never been able to throw dirt on.....amazing!


He has certainly hit the "world" on the head!

Billy Graham’s Prayer for Our Nation

THIS MAN SURE HAS A GOOD VIEW OF WHAT'S HAPPENING TO OUR COUNTRY!

'Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, 'Woe to those who call evil good,' but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery. We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare. We have killed our unborn and called it choice. We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable... We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem. We have abused power and called it politics. We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition. We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression. We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment. Search us, Oh God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from sin and Set us free.  Amen!'

With the Lord's help, may this prayer sweep over our nation and wholeheartedly become our desire so that we once again can be called 'One nation under God!'


Think about this: If you forward this prayer to everyone on your e-mail list, in less than 30 days it would be heard by the world. (It's worth a try!) 'One Nation Under God!'

National Poetry Month


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By Akindman

Inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, National Poetry Month is now held every April, when publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools and poets around the country band together to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture. Thousands of businesses and non-profit organizations participate through readings, festivals, book displays, workshops, and other events.

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  1. Goethe -
  2. King David
  3. King Solomon
  4. Friedrich Schiller
  5. Friedrich Holderlin
  6. Heinrich Heine
  7. Shakespeare
  8. Firdawsi
  9. Rainer Maria Rilke
  10. Molavi(Rumi)
  11. Omar Khyyam
  12. Hafiz
  13. Heinrich von Kleist
  14. Eduard Moricke
  15. Theodor Fontane
  16. Johann Gottfried Herder
  17. Dante
  18. Theodor Storm
  19. Alexander Pushkin
  20. E.T.A. Hoffman
  21. Franz Kafka
  22. Hermann Hesse
  23. Christian Hebbel
  24. Friedrich Klopstock
  25. Kurt Tucholsky
  26. Homer
  27. Achim von Arnim
  28. Gottfried Benn
  29. Friedrich Brecht
  30. Hugo von Hoffmansthal
  31. Lord Byron
  32. Edgar Allan Poe
  33. Alan Demeule
  34. Gertrude Stein –
  35. Friedrich Durrematt
  36. Robert Frost
  37. James Douglas Morrison (Jim Morrison)
  38. Keats
  39. Anna Akhmatova
  40. Vladimir Mayakovsky
  41. Emily Dickinson
  42. T.S. Eliot
  43. William Blake
  44. Sappho
  45. John Donne
  46. Pindar
  47. Walt Whitman
  48. Alfred Tennyson
  49. Alexander Blok
  50. Oscar Wilde
  51. Pablo Neruda
  52. W.B. Yeats
  53. William Wordsworth
  54. John Milton
  55. Langston Hughes
  56. Ezra Pound
  57. Bob Dylan
  58. William Blake
  59. Chaucer
  60. Alexander Pope
  61. Fernando Pessoa
  62. Arthur Rimbaud
  63. Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  64. Rudyard Kipling
  65. Sergei Yesenin
  66. Emily Dickerson
  67. Daniil Kharms
  68. Sylvia Plath
  69. Christina Rossetti
  70. Charles Bukowski
  71. Hart Crane
  72. Mihai Eminescu
  73. Dylan Thomas
  74. Edmund Spenser
  75. Tupac Shakur
  76. Czeslaw Milosz
  77. Wole Soyinka
  78. Wallace Stevens
  79. Federico Garcia Lorca
  80. Percy Bysshe Shelley
  81. Allen Ginsberg
  82. Swinburne
  83. Robert Browning
  84. Mikhail Lermontov
  85. Andrew Marvell
  86. John Lennon
  87. Phillip Larkin
  88. Evan Boland
  89. Boris Pasternak
  90. William Carlos Williams
  91. Christopher Marlowe
  92. Ivan Bunin
  93. Rudyard Kipling
  94. Joseph Brodsky
  95. Dorothy Parker
  96. Sylvia Plath
  97. Hesiod
  98. Fyodor Tyutchev
  99. Marina Tsvetaeva
  100. A.A. Milne
  101. Ezra Pound
  102. Robert Burns
  103. Thomas Trnstomar
  104. Salvatore Quasimodo
  105. Dimitris Layacos
  106. Les Murray
  107. Wilfred Owen and Crew
  108. Odgen Nash
  109. Charlotte Mew
  110. Dorothy Parker
  111. Patrick Kavanagh
  112. Nazim Hikmet Ran
  113. Ana Blandiana
  114. Kazi Nazrul Islam
  115. Theodore Roethke
  116. Mirza Ghalib
  117. Frank O’Hare
  118. Robert W. Service
  119. Maia Angelo
  120. A.E. Cioran
  121. Allama Muhammad Iqbal
  122. Jack Prelutsky
  123. Vicente Pio Marcelino
  124. Nina Cassian
  125. Ileana Malanciouiu
  126. Marin Sorescu
  127. Brian John Evans
  128. Derek Mahon
  129. Mosabine Alharassees
  130. Radek Ozog 


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Who are your favorite Poets?

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Monday, April 23, 2012

Donate Life Month


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By Diane Forrest, RN

There was a cardiologist in my town named Dr. Mal Morgan.  Not only was he a great cardiologist, but a really funny man.  He collected ties, and must have had a million of them, the crazier the better.  He also belonged to the Rotary Club and was friends with my father.  He would call the doctor Mallicious Mal, or Malpractice Mal, and they would share the duties of auctioneer at the annual Rotary fund raiser auction.

Dr. Morgan developed a liver disorder and became very ill.  His liver would need to be replaced for him to live.  Even during that time he continued to joke about his condition.  One day, the long anticipated call came.  A liver had become available for transplant. He was rushed to the hospital and the transplant was a success.  The biggest problem he had was having the muchies.  He loved peanut m and m's, and his wife brought him a bag.  After eating a few he became quite ill.  He soon learned that the donor of the liver had allergies to peanuts, so he had to learn to do without his favorite treat.  This transplant allowed Dr. Morgan to live several more years, and save many lives.

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Organ transplants are a touchy subject.  Most donations occur from tragic events, and people who are making decisions during the most terrible of circumstances.  I like watching movies with Will Smith.  They are usually either funny or action packed.  A few years ago I saw his latest movie called Seven Pounds.  It was a drama about a man who was involved in a car accident that killed several people, and the tragedy and guilt he experienced consumed him.   He no longer wanted to live, but wanted to make retribution for the pain he had cause.  He began to research and found people who needed organ transplants, and made a list of those who were honorable that would benefit from his donations.

In real life, transplants don't work that way.  Donors are matched very carefully to determine the body does not reject the organ.

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April is Donate Life month.  During this month, consider the possibility of donating your useful organs when the time comes, and you no longer need them.  It is a simple procedure, and there will be a notation on your driver's licenses alerting hospitals and family of your decision. 

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To find out how you can become an organ donor, visit this site:  http://www.thenationalnetworkoforgandonors.org/ 

If you want to think more about it, you might consider donating a pint of blood at your local hospital or blood services facility.