Wednesday, August 25, 2010

“Take Me Back to the 1950s”

Photo credit: Wellington County Museum and Archives

An upcoming exhibition at Wellington County Museum & Archives

Exhibition: September 11, 2010 – March 20, 2011

Remember the 1950s and explore a decade best remembered for post-war affluence, baby booms and the discovery of the teenager. For the first time in years, Canadians were ready to build, expand and spend. Opening September 11 at the Wellington County Museum & Archives, this major exhibit, “Take Me Back to the 1950s,” features national trends and innovations as they influenced rural and small town county life.

From the cautious and thrifty post-war years emerged a decade marked by technological innovations and affluent consumerism. New markets opened up to meet the needs of the population boom, suburban life and the teenager. While much of rural life in Wellington County remained centred on church and community activities, the introduction of television brought innovations into the home that changed how we thought, dressed, dined and entertained.

One of the exciting displays in this major exhibit is its extraordinary collection of televisions and radios from the 1950s. Displays of kitchen appliances, furniture, clothing, toys and local art provide insights into changing lifestyles and attitudes of the post-war years.

For more information please visit their website at or phone 519-846-0916.

The exhibit is on display until March 20, 2011.

Wellington County Museum & Archives is located on Wellington Road #18 between Fergus & Elora and it is opened weekdays - 9:30am to 4:30pm and weekends & holidays - 12:00pm to 4:00pm.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Nurses to lead national strategy on aging and health

OTTAWA, August 23, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) is poised to take on a leadership role in developing a national strategy for aging and health as Canadians reveal they are increasingly worried about the future of their health-care system.

As part of its strategic direction to advance healthy public policy, CNA is committed to spearheading innovations that will assure the sustainability of medicare. An Ipsos-Reid survey commissioned by the Canadian Medical Association found that "80% are concerned the quality of health care in Canada will decline as a result of increased strain on the health care system as the Baby Boom Generation gets older" and requires more health-care services. At the same time, the survey goes on to say that "very few are willing to pay more taxes, pass the cost on to Baby Boomers or cut health promotion programs to fund the required changes."

"Although Canadians are bracing for higher out-of-pocket costs surrounding health care, this does not necessarily have to occur," said Rachel Bard, CNA's chief executive officer. "Proponents of two-tier health care have been continually fueling the notion that private insurance and user fees are the only answers. There are, in fact, other alternatives. Nurses and other health professionals have a responsibility to bring all the options to light and help Canadians decide what the future of health care should be."

CNA firmly believes that Canadians can - and should - address the issue of the changing health needs of an aging population within the framework of Medicare and the Canada Health Act. A well-planned, long-term aging and health strategy is a better answer than the customary call to move toward more privatization. Strategic investments made today in areas such as primary health and community care, health promotion and better management of chronic illness can yield important health system savings that would assure the sustainability of the health-care system and reduce the increasing burden being placed on the families of the elderly and their families.

There is also evidence to suggest that baby boomers are getting an unfair share of the blame for rising health-care budgets. A study released this month by the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions, for example, suggests that tax cuts have been eroding the government's ability to adequately fund health care.

"The time has come for us to look at the evidence and plan for the future. Canadians need to collectively decide how to best allocate the 151 billion dollars they spend on health care. Making the right choices will ensure that medicare will serve us well for generations to come," said Bard.

CNA is the national professional voice of registered nurses in Canada. It is a federation of 11 provincial and territorial nursing associations and colleges representing 139,893 registered nurses. CNA believes that the sustainability of a quality, publicly funded, not-for-profit health system rests upon a vibrant nursing workforce.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

8 Common Cancer Myths

Cancer myths tend to gain a life of their own. Learn the facts about cancer causes and other cancer issues to better protect yourself or make wiser treatment choices.

By Dennis Thompson Jr.
Medically reviewed by Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH

Many cancer myths about cancer causes and treatments do nothing but increase anxiety. Some of these false claims may be fueled by bad information, while others grow out of the overwhelming fear that cancer prompts in people.

Whatever their source, these cancer myths can be very damaging as they spread. They can distract you from protecting yourself against known cancer causes, instead drawing your focus to things that have no impact on your chances of contracting cancer. And they can hurt cancer patients' chances of beating the disease by creating a sense of hopelessness or by enticing them to pursue unproven remedies.

Here are eight common cancer myths and the truth about each, according to leading authorities, including the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, and the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

1. The chance you'll die of cancer increases every year. More people are being diagnosed with cancer these days, but medical advances have improved survival rates and overall quality of life for cancer patients. The five-year survival rate for all cancers combined has shown steady improvement over the past three decades, and more than 60 percent of people diagnosed with cancer are still alive five years after diagnosis. There's been a steady decrease in the number of people dying from cancer, even as the overall population of the United States has increased.

2. You're more likely to develop lung cancer from urban air pollution than from smoking cigarettes. Breathing the air of a polluted city is much less likely to cause lung cancer than smoking cigarettes or being frequently exposed to secondhand smoke. The numbers speak for themselves: Nearly 9 in 10 lung cancers, or about 87 percent, result either from smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke.

3. Using certain antiperspirants, shampoos, deodorants, or other personal toiletries can increase your breast cancer risk. This rumor holds that harmful substances in these products are absorbed through the skin or enter the body through nicks or cuts. Research has found no evidence to support this claim, including at least one epidemiological study that directly compared women with and without breast cancer and found no link between their health and their toiletries.
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4. Cell phones cause brain cancer. As of yet, there is no credible evidence that exposure to electromagnetic fields emitted from cell phones or other personal electronics can cause cancer. One recent study found that cell phone users had no elevated risk for a number of different cancers, even if they'd been using the phones for a decade or more. More research is ongoing, but for now the risk seems minimal.

5. Fluoridated water increases your cancer risk. Rumors about fluoride in drinking water causing cancer have swirled for decades, but no evidence has ever been found to support this myth. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently produced a survey of existing research that found no credible evidence of an increased cancer risk in people who drink fluoridated water — and half the U.S. population does.

... 3 more myths

Arming yourself with knowledge — the truth rather than myths — is the best way to fight every type of cancer.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Prince (Not the Musician) on Tour for Sustainability

by Bonnie Alter, London

Prince Charles is going on tour. Not to promote his new CD, but rather sustainable living. He will be travelling in his train, run by bio-fuels and playing at such well-known venues as a senior citizen's apartment in Nottingham and an allotment in Todmorden. And tickets are free.

In his travels he will be visiting projects around the country where ordinary people are making a difference by installing solar panels, planting trees and growing vegetables. It is part of HRH Start project, which promotes a more sustainable lifestyle.

So where is he going on this magical mystery tour? Edinburgh, Carmarthen, Bristol, Newcastle, Todmorden, Manchester, Nottingham, Birmingham and London. It's a mix: from the sublime to the ridiculous, or from upstairs to downstairs. First off, to Wales where the Prince of Wales will launch a guide for historic home owners to help them insulate drafty castles, The Prince's Regeneration Trust's Green Guide for Historic Buildings, and install wind turbines on hill farms. It seems like a caricature of the upper classes but let's face it, a wind turbine is a wind turbine, no matter who puts it on what...

Then to Nottingham to a senior citizen's apartment where he will have a cup of tea with a woman who has benefited from installing solar panels in her roof.

In Manchester, Charles will watch a sustainable fashion show before visiting nearby Todmorden, to see the Incredible Edible Todmorden Scheme. That's where the women started planting rhubarb and chard and other vegetables in municipal tubs by the bus stop, on the railway platform, at the school, in the cemetery, outside the doctors' office. Their goal was to inspire others to start growing vegetables everywhere; and they did. The "guerrilla gardeners" will plant some vegetables on public land for him. Maybe they will give him a seed bomb to throw while he is more story at

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Beatles in Hamburg: 50 Years Later

HAMBURG, Germany, August 16, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - On August 17th 1960, the Beatles played their very first concert at Indra, a Hamburg music club. Over the following two and a half years, the band played 281 gigs in Germany, and laid the foundations of their career. Now, 50 years later, the all-star band Bambi Kino, which includes members of Maplewood, Nada Surf and Moby, will bring pop history to life by performing the exact set-list of the Beatles from that very day.

Beatles fans from all over the world will jump at the chance to experience this anniversary concert, and to explore to the band's influence on Hamburg's new, fresh pop-music sound: Nowadays, countless cutting-edge music clubs line the neon-bright, world-famous Reeperbahn - a boulevard of entertainment and subcultural hub for the last 20 years, which hosts exciting live music, theatre shows, big musicals, and is home to edgy restaurants.

The Kaiserkeller, where the Beatles played after their guest slot at the Indra, today serves as a basement-club, while the Grosse Freiheit 36 is one of the main stages of the Reeperbahn Festival, which is Germany's biggest club festival and invites about 170 international newcomers to Germany's most creative neighbourhood - St. Pauli - for three nights of fantastic music in September. The festival ticket entitles the holder to attend the weekly Beatles tour with musician Stefanie Hempel, who combines historical insights into the era of the Beatles with performances of their songs.

The Beatles museum BEATLEMANIA comprises five floors exclusively devoted to commemorating the Fab Four. Its exhibitions include memorabilia from the later Beatles-clubs Top Ten and from the legendary Star Club, where the Beatles were performing when their first single "Love Me Do" climbed to number 17 on the British charts.

Hamburg is where the Beatles became stars, and the city now invites everybody to come and discover this magnificent legacy. The Beatles themselves never tired of stressing the importance of their apprenticeship years in the music metropolis Hamburg, with John Lennon confessing: "I was born in Liverpool, but I grew up in Hamburg".

Monday, August 16, 2010

Pencils (What are they?) Take on a New Life

by Bonnie Alter, London

The start of school used to mean a new pencil case filled with perfectly sharpened, brand new pencils. Coloured ones and black lead ones: it was so exciting. Not sure if pencil cases even exist any more, but one man still remembers and esteems the pencils.

In upstate New York, David Rees still practices the age-old art of manual pencil sharpening. He will sharpen your #2 pencils and ship them back with their shavings and a "certificate of sharpening." Or you can be a real sport and buy a new pencil that is freshly sharpened.

This is not a joke. Although David Rees used to be a political cartoonist, he "considers it a privilege to sharpen pencils for friends and strangers." He particularly loves #2 pencils which are the best, by the way. He charges $12.50 for his form of authentic American craftsmanship. Or for $40. you get a new one, a certificate of authenticity and the above great poster.

If you love pencils but prefer to sharpen your own, you can always have this bowl, made out of 36 coloured pencils. Inhabitat found it, and we love it. It is fun because it is DIY: you buy the base and then pick whatever pencils you want to fill it. They can be coloured or plain black and you get to sharpen your own. And pick one out when you are in need... read more story at

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What to do when your kids don't want the business

Viable options are available when you know what to look for

TORONTO, August 11, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - A common assumption among family business owners is that one day they will retire and their children will take over the company. Who better to understand the pride, commitment, challenges and needs than those who have lived through its development and growth? But what happens when the children are not interested in working in the business?

"Looking outside the family for an exit strategy may not be something many business owners have seriously considered." said Peter Weinstein, a chartered business valuator and partner at Stern Cohen Valuations Inc. "Once the emotion is taken out of the discussion, business owners realize there are a lot of options available to them."

Stern Cohen Valuations suggest the following advice for owner-managed businesses that need to look outside the family to plan their succession:

Step 1: Take a critical look at your business. Identify if there are any issues to address well in advance of a sale. Key areas to examine are:

The mix of employees to determine how reliant the business is on you and whether there is enough of an institutional knowledge-base;

The diversification of key customers or suppliers, or the establishment of long-term agreements to mitigate this risk;

Which non-operational assets, such as real estate or marketable securities, can be transferred out of the company in the most tax efficient means possible;

Whether discretionary-related party transactions, such as management compensation or real estate leases, have been clearly documented; and

The potential value of the business, assessed in a realistic manner.

Step 2: Identify potential purchasers. If family members do not want to acquire the business, there are two categories of potential purchasers, employees and third parties not involved in the business.

The case for looking at employees: You know them. They have knowledge of the business and experience in its operations. There is the possibility for you, the seller, to stay on in some capacity and it is often easier to arrange an orderly transition over several years.

The case for looking at a third party: Someone outside the business will likely pay more and have greater financing resources. This also allows the seller to walk away from the business more quickly. There is often less emotion as this is mostly a business transaction.

"It is worthwhile to consider both options initially but to decide which option is best early on," said Weinstein. "It is important to plan ahead as each option can take a long time."

Step 3: Once potential purchasers have been identified, look carefully at the deal. This can be done by asking the right questions:

Is the price being discussed reasonable? Analyze the terms of the transaction, on your own or with a valuation expert, to make sure it is acceptable taking into account the risks and opportunities of the business.

Will this be a share or asset sale? Have opportunities for tax planning been considered including the opportunity for the $750,000 capital gains exemption on a share sale?

Will payments be made immediately or over time, and will there be an earn out?
Will you be required to remain at the company for a certain period of time and how will you be compensated?

If your children do not want to work in the business, there are still viable options that may prove to be equally rewarding.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The 10 Best Movies to Watch When You're Down

Feeling blue? These cinematic classics are guaranteed to lift your spirits.

By Anne L. Fritz August 6, 2010

Depression can leave you with little interest in anything. But sometimes when you’re feeling down, there’s no easier pick-me-up than a favorite movie. It might make you laugh, it might make you cry, but a classic feel-good flick will always leave you a little happier and may even put a smile on your face. So whether you’re looking for a romantic comedy, nostalgia, or pure escape, read on for our list of the top 10 movies to watch when you’re feeling down. Grab the popcorn and dim the lights!

1...Love Actually

Of the many worthy romantic comedies, Love Actually makes the list because it has a little something for everyone. The many plot lines include puppy love, bittersweet unrequited love, and friendship, and the movie features more than one classic, romantic Hollywood resolution. With plenty of laughs, gorgeous scenery in London and France, and an appealing cast that spans generations, it's an all-around winner — as Hugh Grant says in the opening-scene narration, “Love actually is all around.”

2... It's a Wonderful Life

If there’s one movie you’re guaranteed to catch on television in December, it’s this beloved classic — and with good reason. It’s a Wonderful Life is sweet without being saccharine as it recounts the story of George Bailey’s life in flashbacks. Viewers watch George, played by Jimmy Stewart at his most endearing, sacrifice his own dreams time and time again for the benefit of his friends and family. By the end, George, angel-in-training Clarence, and the residents of Bedford Falls have taught the valuable lesson that one man’s life touches many others, often in unseen ways — an important sentiment to remember at the holidays, and throughout the year.

3... Tootsie

Laughter truly is the best medicine, and a hearty chuckle has many proven health benefits — it can lower stress hormones, enhance your mood, and promote relaxation. If you need a giggle, pick up Tootsie, one of the few comedies to have been nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, for 1982. No matter how down you’re feeling, it’s nearly impossible not to laugh during this smart comedy as you watch Dustin Hoffman transform from temperamental actor Michael Dorsey into feminist icon Dorothy Michaels — curlers, pantyhose, dresses, and all.

...see the full list of movies at

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Why Does Hair Go Gray?

Is gray hair genetic — or does stress play a factor? We get to the root of some gray hair myths, and offer simple tips for making the most of your salt-and-pepper locks.

By Chris Iliades, MD
Medically reviewed by Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH

Just like getting wrinkles, most people think of going gray as an inevitable part of getting older. But what about those people whose hair turns gray in their twenties or thirties — is it stress, or is gray hair in their genes? Researchers have been working to figure out what exactly makes hair turn gray, and if there is anything you can do to prevent it.

Hair starts to turn gray when cells called melanocytes in your hair follicles stop producing the protein melanin, which adds color to your hair. Without melanin, your hair would be white, so gray hair isn't really gray — it’s more of the effect created by a combination of pigmented hairs and white hairs appearing on the scalp together.

There are two types of melanin. Dark melanin, or eumelanin, makes your hair black or brown. Light melanin, or phaeomelanin, makes your hair red or blond. The combination of these types of melanin determines your hair's color and shades of natural highlights.

Researchers are trying to determine why melanocytes stop making melanin as we get older, but they still don't really know. It may be due to the gradual wear and tear of melanocyte cells, a "biologic clock" in our DNA that tells melanocytes when to stop, or some combination of factors.

Can You Prevent Gray Hair?

At what age your hair starts to turn gray is probably determined by your genes. If your parents got gray early, you can probably look forward to the same fate. For now, gray hair is a natural part of getting older for more story at

Friday, August 6, 2010

Alliance for Aging Research

fron the Scout Report

Founded in 1986, to "promote medical and behavioral research into the aging process", the Washington D.C.-based Alliance for Aging Research has a website that covers many different "Topics".

Visitors can explore general topics, such as "Caregiving", "Longevity", "Medical Innovation", and "Policy", as well as "Focus Areas". The focus areas include "Access to Breakthroughs", "Drug Development", "Persistent Pain" and "Vision Loss".

On the homepage visitors can take "Surveys & Quizzes", like "Understanding Persistent Pain" and "Valve Disease Quiz - How Much Do You Know?"

Related to the valve disease quiz is the recent podcast of a valve surgery patient, who discusses the symptoms she felt that resulted in her recent visit to the doctor, how she was diagnosed, her growing knowledge of the surgical procedure, and how she felt after surgery.

Visitors can find that podcast and others, at the "Media" link near the bottom of the homepage. Also in the "Media" link, visitors can find videos, such as "Will Science Cure Aging?", and a rich archive of videos and podcasts. [KMG]

From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout 1994-2010.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Boomers to Prepare for Careers in Health Care

BETHLEHEM, Pa., August 2, 2010 -- Civic Ventures, a think tank on boomers, work and social purpose, and MetLife Foundation have awarded Northampton Community College $25,000 to design and implement a program to help men and women over 50 prepare for "encore careers" as home health aides, nurse's aides, residential, personal and home care aides. "Encore careers" offer adults personal fulfillment, a chance to make an impact on others, and enjoy continued income.

Northampton's " Interactive Prime Time Caregiver Program" will enable "boomers" to earn highly marketable health care certifications through a 100-hour course which combines lecture, state of the art nursing and computer labs, clinical experience, and distance learning strategies.

"This is a good time for older adults to train for the important public-service jobs of today and tomorrow," says Dennis White, president and CEO of MetLife Foundation, "We commend these community colleges for having the foresight to offer training that matches the experience of older adults with new skill sets."

To date, Civic Ventures and MetLife have partnered to award a total of 25 grants to a diverse group of community colleges nationwide through its Encore College Initiative The seven 2010 grants awarded this year went to the Community College of the District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.), Florida State College at Jacksonville, Middlesex Community College (Bedford, Mass.), Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City, Polk State College (Winter Haven, Fla.), Westchester Community College (Valhalla, N.Y.), and to Northampton.

The need for direct care workers to serve the aging population continues to be a growing concern in the Lehigh Valley. Nearly 15% of Pennsylvania's residents are considered "elderly," making the state's population among the oldest in the nation. Even with an average unemployment rate in the Lehigh Valley of 9.6%, home health aides, nurse aides, residential, personal, and home care aides continue to be listed on the High Demand Occupation List. This shortage in home healthcare services is expected to become even more dire as the population continues to age.

"Training "encore" workers to provide this direct care can help alleviate these shortages while providing some much-needed supplementary income to older workers," says Judith Rex, director of Northampton Community College's Center for Healthcare Education. Rex notes that three components of the program were added specifically to address "Boomer" concerns: ergonomics, computer skills and customer service.

Sixty individuals will be able to take advantage of the free program. To qualify, they must be at least 50 years of age, attend an information session, and complete a physical examination, a 2-step TB test and a Pennsylvania criminal background check. They must also have medical insurance.