Friday, February 02, 2007

Texas Girls Must Receive Anti-Cervical Cancer Vacine

AUSTIN, Texas — Bypassing the Legislature altogether, Republican Gov. Rick Perry issued an order today making Texas the first state to require that schoolgirls get vaccinated against the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer.

By employing an executive order, Perry sidestepped opposition in the Legislature from conservatives and parents’ rights groups who fear such a requirement would condone premarital sex and interfere with the way Texans raise their children.

Beginning in September 2008, girls entering the sixth grade — meaning, generally, girls ages 11 and 12 — will have to receive Gardasil, Merck & Co.’s new vaccine against strains of the human papillomavirus, or HPV.

Perry also directed state health authorities to make the vaccine available free to girls 9 to 18 who are uninsured or whose insurance does not cover vaccines. In addition, he ordered that Medicaid offer Gardasil to women ages 19 to 21.

Perry, a conservative Christian who opposes abortion and stem-cell research using embryonic cells, counts on the religious right for his political base. But he has said the cervical cancer vaccine is no different from the one that protects children against polio.

“The HPV vaccine provides us with an incredible opportunity to effectively target and prevent cervical cancer,” Perry said.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Wishin' And Hopin'

Just finished watching Grey's Anatomy. Such a good episode! It was neat that Ellis Grey came out of her Alzheimer's for a little bit, but it was sad when she went back into. I felt bad for Meredith.

The whole thing with the cancer patient's blood being toxic and making all the doctors sick was interesting. I never quite understood what caused her blood to become toxic, but it was a good storyline all the same.

George and Callie got married, and Christina finally accepted Burke's proposal. How cute!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Teachers See "Freedom Writers" For Free

AMC Entertainment Inc., the nation's second-largest theater chain, said Tuesday it will offer free tickets for teachers wanting to see the movie "Freedom Writers," starring Hilary Swank.

The offer is good from Friday through Feb. 1 for teachers in grades kindergarten through 12th who show a valid school identification or pay stub.

The Paramount Pictures movie, released three weeks ago, stars Swank as an idealistic English teacher who goes into a Long Beach, Calif., high school and tries to overcome racial intolerance among her students.

AMC and Paramount said the offer was a way to honor teachers.The movie, showing at 2,286 locations, has earned $26.5 million in box office so far and came in fifth this past weekend, according to Media By Numbers LLC.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Most Women Now Live Without a Husband

AOL News -- For what experts say is probably the first time, more American women are living without a husband than with one, according to a New York Times analysis of census results.

In 2005, 51 percent of women said they were living without a spouse, up from 35 percent in 1950 and 49 percent in 2000.

Coupled with the fact that in 2005 married couples became a minority of all American households for the first time, the trend could ultimately shape social and workplace policies, including the ways government and employers distribute benefits.

Several factors are driving the statistical shift. At one end of the age spectrum, women are marrying later or living with unmarried partners more often and for longer periods. At the other end, women are living longer as widows and, after a divorce, are more likely than men to delay remarriage, sometimes delighting in their newfound freedom.

In addition, marriage rates among black women remain low. Only about 30 percent of black women are living with a spouse, according to the Census Bureau, compared with about 49 percent of Hispanic women, 55 percent of non-Hispanic white women and more than 60 percent of Asian women.

In a relatively small number of cases, the living arrangement is temporary, because the husbands are working out of town, are in the military or are institutionalized. But while most women eventually marry, the larger trend is unmistakable.

“This is yet another of the inexorable signs that there is no going back to a world where we can assume that marriage is the main institution that organizes people’s lives,” said Prof. Stephanie Coontz, director of public education for the Council on Contemporary Families, a nonprofit research group. “Most of these women will marry, or have married. But on average, Americans now spend half their adult lives outside marriage.”

Read the whole article here.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Love Is In The Air

Last night, I stayed up and watched the Fiesta Bowl with my boyfriend. I like watching football, so I had a good time. Even for people who DON'T like football, I think it would've been impossible not to get wrapped up in last night's game! Talk about exciting...Boise State beat Oklahoma in overtime.

Ian Johnson, the running back who ran in the two-point conversion for the win, proposed to his cheerleader girlfriend Chrissy Popadics right after the game. How cute! Good thing the team won!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Cold Weather Dating Ideas

1. Flirt with Frosty
Bundle up, grab an old scarf and a couple of carrots, and join forces to make a snowman (or, if you're feeling forward, a snow couple). Remember, it's not about the Michelangelo-level artistry of the end product; it's about the snowball fight that one of you will start in the process. Tumbling down in the snow together laughing your heads off? There's no better movie-moment flirting move this whole season.

2. Trip the lights fantastic
Hop in the car, turn up the heat and take yourselves on a tour of your community's most outrageously Christmas-lit homes. (You'll switch on the holiday spirit, and share in the delight that you're not the ones who have to take all those lights down.)

3. Throw a gingerbread house party
Find ginger-blueprints online or in any Christmas-season homemaking magazine. Bake the "walls" in advance; invite (depending on your status) single or coupled-up friends over to decorate with frosting and candies. If you're single, get other stag-comers to bring other available ginger-folks. After all, M&M'S make more than friends.

4. Get into the kitchen
Fixing your super-special individual Cornish game hens and risotto this and truffle that? -- Well, surely it's delicious. But it kind of misses the comfy, homey, wintry point ... and it's a big production that can be a bit intimidating for both chef and guest. So, instead make something easy, hearty and mellow together -- Chili? Stew? Onion soup with sexy gooey cheese? -- That'll warm both stomachs and hearts.

5. Couch-surf
Cold outside? Take your date to the beach right in your own home. Rent an assortment of fun-in-the-sun flicks -- 'Beach Blanket Bingo', 'Blue Lagoon' (or, depending on your sense of humor, 'Jaws') -- and enjoy a day at the celluloid shore ... with no sand in your suits!

6. Hit the ice
Nothing's as romantic as gliding arm in arm around a frosty rink or pond ... except maybe helping each other up when you slip. If you're really worried about your skating skills, or that bad knee, grab a sled and hit the mini-slopes.

7. Visit the tropics
Why wait 'til you're "serious" enough to travel together, or worry about getting to the airport? Instead, tour the local botanical garden's steamy south-of-the-equator or white-hot desert flora exhibits and greenhouse the winter blues away.

8. Meet for a hot drink
Martini, schmartini: Rendezvous at a bar that serves good Irish coffees, hot toddies and other wintry spirits. With any luck, you two will still be raising glasses together when margarita season rolls back around.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

You Gotta Be The Book

I was in the bookstore today and came across a book by Jeffrey D. Wilhelm called You Gotta Be The Book that's all about getting kids interested in reading. I was leafing through it and it really hooked me, so I ended up buying it. I think this is going to be a GREAT resource for me; even though it's geared for teaching adolescents, I think it'll be great for teaching kids of any age.