[Masthead] Overcast ~ 28°F  
High: 27°F ~ Low: 23°F
Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014

Ostriches, a Toad, Binge Drinking and El Rushbo

Monday, December 31, 2012

Did you hear about the Asian Gold Toad that stowed away in a porcelain candlestick in China and flew to Cape Town, South Africa? In a case of too-much-money, they didn't just put him down; they are putting him up in style. Mango Airlines flew the warty little freeloader the 800 miles from Cape Town to Johannesburg escorted by an animal welfare inspector.

Dubbed Jack B Nimble, the mottled brown scalawag was discovered when a startled customer at a store spotted a toad leg sticking out of the candle holder. His celebrity-style treatment may indicate a lack of entertainment in that area. The (smarter) citizens of Oyens, or Craig would have either had faux frog legs for supper, or given him a cardboard departure.

In a serious lack of judgment they wasted the candle stick and then spent at least hundreds of dollars on a toad. It seems likely that some of those decision makers have cousins working in Washington, D.C.

........................

A couple of thoughts - I conclude that, like the proverbial fruitcake, there are only 10 funny emails on the web and they just go round-and-round. Also, the list of dumbest persons on earth must include the newspaper deliverer who quits a week before Christmas.

........................

Global warming? Nyet! Maybe not. Russia is shivering through the harshest winter in more than 70 years, with temperatures as low as minus-58 degrees F. in Siberia. Moscow has seen 40 degrees below and in neighboring Ukraine, the cold spell has killed more than a hundred people.

Only a fool would deny that our country has been warming. That is a fact. The arguments are how much is mankind contributing to the warming, and is this short term, or another of the long cycles that have occurred for thousands of years?

I don't see how anyone can disagree that man is contributing more now than, say, a couple hundred years ago. Factories, coal burning utilities, and gas guzzling vehicles, including airplanes -- the list is long.

Progress is underway and we don't have to go overboard to head off the problem. We do need to continue to make strides, despite the head-in-the-sand group; Head ostrich being Rush Limbaugh.

............................

Ostriches really don't bury their heads in the sand when they're scared or threatened, though. The American Ostrich Association says, "It's an optical illusion! Ostriches are the largest living birds, but their heads are pretty small. If you see them picking at the ground from a distance, it may look like their heads are buried in the ground, but they wouldn't be able to breathe! But they do dig holes in the dirt to use as nests for their eggs. Several times a day, a bird puts her head in the hole and turns the eggs. So it really does look like the birds are burying their heads in the sand."

............................

We have a big, fat hill to climb to become the healthiest state by 2016. According to the United Health Foundation rankings, Iowa has dropped from 17th to 20th in their 2012 rankings. We ranked fifth in their 1991 report.

Vermont is number one, followed by Hawaii. Mississippi and Louisiana tie for dead last.

Their rankings consider unhealthy characteristics and behaviors such as obesity, smoking, binge drinking, sedentary lifestyles, high school graduation rate, availability of primary care physicians, low birth weight infants, and diabetes. Also childhood immunizations, children in poverty, cardiovascular and cancer deaths, violent crime rate, infectious diseases, public health funding, and the rate of uninsured.

Iowa scores fairly well on diabetes rates, infant mortality rates and premature deaths, but we are 33rd in obesity, 24th in sedentary lifestyle and 21st in smoking.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking, very generally, as a pattern of a man consuming 5 or more drinks in 2 hours, or a woman 4 or more.

Although college students commonly binge drink, 70% of binge drinking episodes involve adults age 26 years and older. DUH! There are more of us! Twice as many men binge than women; why don't they survey chocoholic bingers?!

Don Paulin, 2carpenterdon@gmail.com, 7557 30th Av, Norwalk, IA 50211 - 515-201-7236

By Don Paulin
Been There, Done That