Category - In the News

Duggar Baby Born Early Due to Preecclampsia

As many of you may know, Michelle Duggar prematurely gave birth in an emergency C-section last week.  The baby wasn’t due until March — yikes.  Turns out, Duggar, the star of the reality show “18 Kids and Counting” and owner of the world’s hardest-working womb in the baby-making business, suffered from preeclampsia, a rare, potentially life-threatening condition that causes high blood pressure.  (More info here.)

New baby Josie Brooklyn, born Thursday evening, weighs 1 pound 6 ounces and was in stable condition at the neonatal intensive care unit at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences as of Friday’s statement from TLC.

TLC also reported that “Michelle is resting comfortably” while Josie Brooklyn stays at the neonatal intensive care unit, and that “the family is grateful for all the prayers and well wishes during their recovery.”

A scary situation, for sure.  My heart goes out to little Josie.  So much so, that I’m going to leave all the usual Duggar jokes alone for now.  Just like Michelle left her hair in the ’80s.  (Oh, c’mon.  You can’t begrudge me a harmless wisecrack like that!)

No Time for Treadmill? No College Diploma for You!

College isn’t generally known as a healthy time — hell, I was closer to the Papa John’s Pizza delivery guy than my own family when I was a student — so Lincoln University in Pennsylvania is trying to combat that issue by forcing “obese” students (with a body mass index of 30 or above) to take a fitness course in order to graduate.

I know, I know, I’m thinking the same thing:  This cannot be a good sign for the pizza business.

The course meets three hours per week.   Here’s the kicker:  Those who are assigned to the class but do not complete it cannot graduate.  Now that the first class to have this requirement imposed is nearing graduation day — students who entered in the fall of 2006 — the school faces criticism from both students and outsiders about the fitness class policy.

One of those students is Tiana Lawson, 21, whose recent editorial in the student paper has drawn national attention to the issue. Lawson wrote in The Lincolnian that she would be more understanding if the requirement applied to everyone.  She thinks all students, not just those with a high BMI, should have to take the class.  Damn straight.

*SIGH*  I miss the old days when college wasn’t about encouraging a healthy lifestyle, but rather about drinking as much beer as you can and getting a hundred-thousand-dollar Political Science degree you’ll never use.  Now that’s what higher learning should be about.

Crib Recall: 2.1 Million Drop-Side Cribs Deemed Unsafe

A doll is shown trapped in a drop-side crib in this nightmare-inducing handout photo from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. More than 2.1 million drop-side cribs have been recalled in Canada and the United States after more than 100 cases of injuries, including four deaths, were reported.

Yet another scary recall to strike fear in parents’ hearts:  The Consumer Product Safety Commission today announced the recall of 2.1 million Stork Craft drop-side cribs, citing defective hardware that have caused toddlers and infants to suffocate — four of whom have died.

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Sanitize for Santa, Kids!

The holidays just keeping getting more and more fun!

Not only must parents deal with buying presents in a down economy and having their ears assaulted with Christmas carols since September, but now Santa is also making kids go through a screening process before agreeing to meet with them.

According to many news reports, if your kid is sneezing, coughing, and generally sick, Shopping Mall Santa would prefer that your child just send his wish list by snail mail, thank you very much.  Not that you can blame Santa, what, with the H1N1 flu scare and all — and with Santa’s weight issues, he can’t be in the best of health to begin with.

In fact, Santas around the country are preparing for the illness-prone horror of the holiday season: plenty of children cuddling up close to them, crying, spitting, and puking while they mutter out all the presents they want. Give Santa a break.

Joe Morin (Santa) lives in Cambridge, Minnesota, but travels out to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (close to my original hometown of Mechanicsburg), to be a natural-beard Santa at Bass Pro Shops.  He says more than 10,000 kids will sit on his lap this season.  That’s a lot of H1N1 up in his beard.

His plan: sanitize his hands after every visit with a kid and wipe his face with baby wipes a couple of times an hour. He says some Santas are even leaving the red coats at home. Why? They fear the big, furry mess will harbor germs, and is hard to wash if a kid sneezes or throws up.  Lovely.

Many malls are wisely offering a hand sanitizer pump to help protect both shoppers and the man in the red suit from the swine flu.  Elves also have a new job this year:  pre-screening kiddos for the flu.  Kids who are coughing and sneezing will be turned away.

So instead of asking children if they’ve been naughty or nice, what Santa REALLY wants to know is:  Have you been disinfected and vaccinated?  Because hack, hack, hack = No ho, ho, ho for you!