Archive for the ‘Cures’ Category

Service of It’s Still A Thing for Some People

Monday, July 31st, 2023

A pal suffered a bad upset stomach recently and I suggested ginger ale, saltines and apple sauce—my mother’s Rx. This friend said her dad recommended tomato juice for its potassium if you feel faint.

I thought of this conversation as I slipped a dollar in a wallet before wrapping a gift. My father used to say it would help ensure prosperity. He also recommended giving some change to the recipient of a knife or scissors so as not to cut your friendship.

When we bought a house we were given a decorative iron cricket for good luck.

Speaking of housewarming gifts that bring luck, a friend stopped eating lunch to look up a memory: the present of bread, salt and wine. The George Bailey’s gave the Martini family these things in the film “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Your Christmas tree decorations should include a red cardinal for luck.

Do you follow practices like these?

Service of Too Much of a Good Thing or When the Cure Adds Another Challenge

Monday, September 19th, 2022

So often a solution brings other problems.

Bag it!

In ridding the world of plastic bags–they are no longer permitted for use by retailers in many states–we create another problem.

People are piling up the reusable plastic totes especially if they order grocery deliveries. The producer of an early morning NYC metro radio program admitted she had a garage full. New Jersey’s problem with the tossed bigger bags took up a segment on NPR along with an interview with Senator Bob Smith who wants to amend his state’s single use bag ban. He suggests that delivery services use paper bags, currently forbidden, or the cardboard boxes food is shipped in.

I can’t stand it

We were told that sitting all day is as unhealthy as smoking and a few years ago companies began ordering special desks so employees could stand as they worked at computers.

But standing all day isn’t so good either. According to New York Post reporter Zach Williams: “Research shows prolonged periods of standing can cause health problems big and small from tired feet to cardiovascular problems, according to a legislative memo accompanying the so-called ‘Standing is Tiring (SIT) Act.'” Assemblywoman Karines Reyes (D-Bronx) and NY state Sen. Rachel May (D-Syracuse) are sponsoring the bill. Reyes is an RN.

Image by Ri Butov from Pixabay

Williams wrote: “Albany Democrats have introduced legislation to allow some foot-weary working New Yorkers to sit on the job.” He continued: “Supermarket cashiers, bodega clerks and those with jobs requiring lots of screen time are examples of people who Reyes says her legislation might help while workers in other jobs, like prowling security guards, might have to stay on their feet.” I’d add doormen and doorwomen to the list.

The prick that saves

What about reactions to lifesaving vaccines? We voluntarily submit our bodies and some of us become extremely ill with nasty reactions. The repercussion is better than the disease so….

Fizzy or still

Those of us who prefer seltzer or sparkling water to tap do potential damage to our teeth. But fizzy is better than no water at all. And use a straw.

Let the Sun Shine In

What about glorious suntans? We need Vitamin D that the sun provides and what looks better than a tan?  But some suffer consequences of too much such as wrinkles and worse.

With the exception of vaccines, moderation and/or planning ahead is the answer to averting new challenges brought on by cures.


  • You toss reusable grocery bags?
  • You stand while you work at your computer or get up from your chair and walk around?
  • Potential reactions keep you from getting vaccines?
  • You use straws to bypass your teeth when you drink seltzer?
  • You protect yourself if you’re a sun lover?

Service of Cures That Don’t

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Fire retardant fabrics have been around for ages, though you wonder why as they seem to do harm, prevent little and serve no good purpose. If you’ve attended a home furnishings trade show in a windowless space, soon your eyes will sting and your throat will feel scratchy–a clue that something’s up. Could it be all that upholstery and carpeting?

In “Are You Safe on that Sofa?” in The New York Times, Nicholas D. Kristof writes that if there is a fire, toxic smoke is all you can expect from the so-called fire prophylactic.

He praises The Chicago Tribune for superb journalism for its investigative series, “Playing with Fire.” Kristof credits the series for revealing that these retardants were inspired by the tobacco industry: “A generation ago, tobacco companies were facing growing pressure to produce fire-safe cigarettes, because so many house fires started with smoldering cigarettes. So tobacco companies mounted a surreptitious campaign for flame retardant furniture, rather than safe cigarettes, as the best way to reduce house fires.”

Kristof continues: “The documents show that cigarette lobbyists secretly organized the National Association of State Fire Marshals and then guided its agenda so that it pushed for flame retardants in furniture. The fire marshals seem to have been well intentioned, but utterly manipulated.”

The plot thickens as he reports that the advocacy group, Citizens for Fire Safety “pushed for laws requiring fire retardants in furniture.” This group has three members, notes Kristof: The three major manufacturers of flame retardant chemicals. He notes that the group paid a doctor to lie about children who died in fires because there was no fire retardant on sofa cushions in their house. The kids didn’t exist.

He quotes a toxicologist who points to growing evidence that retardants “don’t provide safety and may increase harm” and who asks why they aren’t used in planes if they are so effective. Children who play on the floor breathe in dangerous dust from the chemicals and they can alter brain development in a fetus.

Kristof wraps up his op-ed piece saying that the purpose of these flame retardants is to make three companies rich. “The lesson is that we need not only safer couches but also a political system less distorted by toxic money.”

If there are laws that require furniture to use fire retardants this means that a manufacturer can’t sell a line of clean, organic fabric-covered sofas and chairs. Apart from paying someone to reupholster your sofa with untreated textiles and keeping children off the floor near upholstered furniture, what to do?

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