Insight News

Aug 29th


Sorting through plastics

Sorting through plasticsDear EarthTalk: Why can’t plastics of all types, instead of being initially sorted, simply be melted together to be separated later? It must be a monumental and error-prone task to separate truckloads of plastics. -- L. Schand, via e-mail

The reason plastics aren’t typically melted together and then separated later is a matter of both physics and economics. When any of the seven common types of plastic resins are melted together, they tend to separate and then set in layers. The resulting blended plastic is structurally weak and difficult to manipulate. While the layered plastic could in theory be melted again and separated into its constituent resins, the energy inputs required to do so would make such a process cost prohibitive.

Bullies come in all shapes and sizes

When I was in the first grade in Texas (before they integrated schools), there was this boy named Robert (a 3rd grader), who pushed me down and took my lunch. He said if I told anyone, he’d do it again.  That day, I tearfully walked home two blocks to find something to eat.  When I got home, my dad was there and asked why I had unexpectedly come home for lunch.  I told him about Robert.  He quickly helped me make a sandwich and told me that ‘nobody had a right to hurt me-ever!”  My dad, who was a relatively big man and stood around 6’4”, grabbed my hand and walked me back to school.  Kids were still outside during recess.  He quietly asked me,  “Which one is he?”  Then, he slowly approached the teacher on the playground (still holding my hand), and told her what had happened.  She called Robert over and my dad told him in his firm booming voice. “My daughter told me what you did and you’d better never let me hear about you hitting her or any other person again…I’ll be talking to your mother tonight!”  Robert never approached me again.

Get a back-to-school checkup and receive free school supplies

Open Cities Health Center (OCHC) is partnering with Goodwill-Easter Seals to offer free back-to-school checkups.  Each child who receives a back-to-school checkup, known as a well child check, will receive free school supplies while the supply lasts. The event is open to the public and will be held on August 18 from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Goodwill-Easter Seals, 553 Fairview Avenue N., in St. Paul. Light refreshments will be served.

On your ‘last nerve?: Dealing with anxiety, worries and fears

My husband often tells me “If you’re going to pray, don’t worry, but if you’re going to worry, don’t pray!”  In today’s economy with people dropping like flies in the workplace, it is hard not to worry.  It is even harder to know when to worry about your worrying! 

Media consumption may hamper academic achievement

LOS ANGELES—Krystal Murphy received her first cellphone at age 13 and she used it solely to keep her parents in the loop about her activities. Four years later, her use of the phone has changed dramatically. Now 17, she relies on it to text friends, surf the Internet and send messages on Twitter.

“I’m on my cell all day, every day, as soon as I wake up and until I go to bed,” says the African-American teen from South Los Angeles.

A call for Black Americans to respond

You could be “the one.” Chances are you’re the match who could benefit your kin and kind with a life-saving donation.  Every day, thousands of patients with leukemia and other life-threatening diseases hope for a marrow donor who could make a transplant possible for them.  Black Americans can help one another by becoming activists and participants in bone marrow donations.

Good grief: Facing losses

Lately, I have seen a lot of grief and loss in my practice.  Over the last few months, there has been an increase in people who have lost jobs, homes, boyfriends, siblings, friends, children, mothers and fathers. Some of these losses were due to the tornado, others were due to the government shut-down.  Some were natural causalities of life.  But, no matter how you describe it, there is no easy way to face loss.  It hurts and it is stressful.  It is also important to understand that different people experience grief in different ways.  Grief, then, is described as a multi-faceted response to the loss of someone or something of value to which a bond was formed. Grief often entails emotional, physical, cognitive, behavioral, social, spiritual, financial and philosophical dimensions.  With the recent government shut-down, many of us found ourselves anxious, worried, sad…and without jobs or income.  Consequently, discussing Grief and Loss is very relevant.
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