November 18, 2010

Movember Update

Movember is the new November. Started in 2003 in Australia, Movember asks men to lose their dignity for the month of November by growing a moustache and in doing so, raise both awareness of prostate cancer and money for prostate cancer research. This is my second time taking part.

Moustache Update
My moustache is coming along nicely. I noticed earlier in the month that nobody wanted to sit next to me on the bus, women and children would cross the street before reaching me and I was getting some seriously dirty looks. I've now deciphered that this was probably because the dirty teenage trash 'stache that is the beginning of any good mustache was a little too much for the general public.
It seems to have subsided now that my lip has a thick sampling of hair. That, or I've gotten used to the disgusted looks. Either way, here's what I look like now. And it can only get better. Right?

Don't Stop at the 'stache!
Men have historically found it difficult to talk about prostate cancer and conversation about this issue has always been hard to start up. Movember has afforded men everywhere the chance to nonchalantly bring it up.
"Hey! Nice 'stache!"
"ya, it's for movember..."
"Oh...what's movember?..."
And just like that, you're in. This may seem like a small step, but it's really quite important. In fact, it's the most important step to reducing the rates of prostate cancer!

Prostate cancer is curable if found and treated in its earliest stages. The problem is that there are no symptoms during those early stages. It's for that reason that doctors now recommend that men over the age of 40 go for annual prostate examinations, including a DRE (digital rectal exam) and a PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood test.

Many people are surprised to know that rates of prostate cancer are as high in men as breast cancer is in women. 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime and over 4300 men will die of the disease this year.

I consider raising money for prostate cancer research a secondary goal of Movember. The most important thing is to raise awareness. Simple dietary practices and regular medical examinations will be enough to seriously reduce the rate of prostate cancer. It's that simple. Many men are uncomfortable talking about it, and that's somewhat understandable given our society. But you don't have to tell everyone you know that you're going for a check-up. Just do it! Use the internet to do your research and commit to a healthy lifestyle for yourself!

So while Movember does bring out some hilarious and disgusting moustaches and as such is a fantastic month to people watch, it's also a great time to talk to the people you love about getting a medical examination. So far this Movember my moustache has given me lots of opportunities to inform those around me of the facts about prostate cancer. Hopefully it's also made it easier for all of you to discuss it.

There are tons and tons of resources out there with all the information you need. I've posted some below.

So keep up the good work Mo bros! The 'staches are looking great (in a disturbing sort of way)! Don't forget to take it beyond the 'stache and make it easier for men everywhere to talk about their prostates (in a less lewd manner!).



To donate to my Movember team:

Movember's main page:

Prostate Cancer Canada: (tons of info here. And it's easy to navigate around!)

National Cancer Institute (US):


Canadian Cancer Society:

November 12, 2010

"The New Technology"

I was quite surprised at finding an article in The Library Journal about the introduction of video games to the public library in Piqua, Ohio . . . dated April 15, 1981. Their goal: to introduce the 25,000 residents of their rural community to "the new technology". As part of their electronic learning center, the library bought a Radio Shack TRS-80 Level I microcomputer, a Sony Betamax with a Hitachi colour camera, and an Atari with 17 game cartridges.
"The potential problems of supervision were overcome by placing the games in a stack area beneath a stairway— an area just large enough for two players and the equipment. The location, secured by a decorative iron gate, is in clear view of the main circulation desk, and a 'No Spectators Permitted' rule is strictly enforced."
Oh, you want to play video games? Right over there under the stairs and behind the iron gate. Move along, nothing to see here.
"We did attempt to conceal the purely recreational nature of the videogames at first by purchasing a few learning games cartridges (spelling, math, etc.). Our cover was quickly blown, however, because these cartridges have been easily ignored by the players."

"The heaviest use (about 85 percent) is in the age range from ten to 15 years. An occasional parent-child team enjoys an hour together, encouraging us to believe that this is not an activity just for children."

"We have come to believe that videogames may have as acceptable a place among our electronic library services as light fiction, popular magazines, and comedy record albums have had among our more traditional offerings."
I found this article all sorts of amazing since I've been reading all about the same arguments and studies of video game collections being implemented in public (and academic) libraries, except this trend has pretty much just been over the past 10 years. Considering they were almost 30 years ahead of mainstream acceptance of video games in libraries, I say the Piqua Public Library deserves the slow clap. Bravo.

November 8, 2010

Maria enjoys hanging from her mother's thumbs

My co-worker and I had a stunned laugh over these absurd photos from the book How to Teach Your Baby to be Physically Superb-- available from your local public library!

Reminds me of these images from David & Kelly Sopp's wonderful Safe Baby Handling Tips: