Archive for March, 2011


Antonietta’s Kitchen
Volume 1,  Number 11,  This 30th Day of March, 2011
CUCINA D’ANTONIETTA* (Antonietta’s Kitchen*)
“the art of food, wine, family & more*”
By Antonietta La Posta



If you’re looking for a rich, tasty potato salad to serve with barbecue or anything else, this is the dish you need.  It is delicious!

I inherited this recipe from a Trinidadian friend.  What a great cook she is! This dish was one of the many she would make for her dinner parties. I always looked forward to them. My daughters loved this potato salad.  Whenever I make this plate, it brings me back to those wonderful times we spent together. 



The potato is a starchy, tuberous crop from the perennial Solanum tuberosum of the Solanaceae family (also known as the nightshades). The word potato may refer to the plant itself as well as the edible tuber. In the region of the Andes, there are some other closely related cultivated potato species. Potatoes were first introduced outside the Andes region four centuries ago, and have become an integral part of much of the world’s cuisine. It is the world’s fourth-largest food crop, following rice, wheat, and maize.[1] Long-term storage of potatoes requires specialised care in cold warehouses.[2]

Wild potato species occur throughout the Americas, from the United States to Uruguay.[3] The potato was originally believed to have been domesticated independently in multiple locations,[4] but later genetic testing of the wide variety of cultivars and wild species proved  single origin for potatoes in the area of present-day southern Peru (from a species in the Solanum brevicaule complex), where they were domesticated 7,000–10,000 years ago.[5][6][7] Following centuries of selective breeding, there are now over a thousand different types of potatoes.[6] Of these subspecies, a variety that at one point grew in the Chiloé Archipelago (the potato’s south-central Chilean sub-center of origin) left its germplasm on over 99% of the cultivated potatoes worldwide.[8][9] (Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –

The noun vegetable usually means an edible plant or part of a plant other than a sweet fruit or seed. This typically means the leaf, stem, or root of a plant.

However, the word is not scientific, and its meaning is largely based on culinary and cultural tradition. Therefore, the application of the word is somewhat arbitrary and subjective. For example, some people consider mushrooms to be vegetables,[1][2][3] while others consider them a separate food category.[4]
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –

“On the left a chicken egg, the egg most commonly eaten by humans, andon the right two quail eggs. Eggs laid by females of manydifferentspecies, including birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, havebeen eaten by mankind for millennia. Bird and reptile eggs consist of aprotective eggshell, albumen (egg white), and vitellus (egg yolk),contained within various thin membranes. Egg yolks and whole eggsstore a lot of protein and choline.[1][2] For this reason, the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) categorizes eggs as Meats within the Food Guide Pyramid[1]”
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –


Butter is a dairy product made by churning fresh or fermented cream ormilk. It is generally used as a spread and a condiment, as well as incooking applications, such as baking, sauce making, and pan frying.Butter consists of butterfat, water and milk proteins.Most frequently made from cows’ milk, butter can also be manufactured from the milk of other mammals, including sheep, goats, buffalo, and yaks. Salt, flavorings and preservatives are sometimes added to butter. Rendering butter produces clarified butter or ghee, which is almostentirely butterfat.
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –

Mayonnaise, abbreviated as mayo,[1] is a stable emulsion of oil, egg yolk and either vinegar or lemon juice,[2] with many options for embellishment with other herbs and spices. Lecithin in the egg yolk is the emulsifier.[3] It is often cream in color, and may range in texture from that of light running cream to thick. In countriesinfluenced by France, mustard is also a common ingredient, whereas in Spain it is made using the same ingredients, but specifically olive oil as the oil, and never with mustard. Numerous other sauces can be created from it with addition of various herbs, spices, and finely chopped pickles. Where mustard is used, it is also an emulsifier.[4][5]
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –

Miracle Whip

Miracle Whip is a salad dressing and sandwich spread manufactured by Kraft Foods. It is often used as an alternative to mayonnaise in
recipes, although it is sweeter and has additional condiments.
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –

Why do I prefer Miracle Whip brand Vegetable dressing-spread

It is very creamy – it adds great flavor to the potato salad.


You need a nice medium-sized bowl.

Why do I prefer this type of bowl.

Medium is just right for this food preparation



– 6 small potatos

– 6 eggs
– 3 cups of frozen mixed vegetables
– 2 tbs. butter
– 4 tbs. mayonnaise
– 2 tbs. Miracle Whip
– salt

1. Boil 6 small potatos;
2. Cut the potatos into small cubes; and place them in a nice medium-sized bowl; 
3. Cook 3  cups of frozen mixed vegetables in boiled water following the directions on the package

4. Boil 6 eggs

5. Chop the eggs;
6. Add the eggs to the potatos in the bowl;
7. Add to the bowl, in this order as follows; 
(a) 3 cups of frozen mixed vegetables (cooked);
(b) 2 tbs. butter;
(c) 4 tbs. mayonnaise;
(d) 2 tbs. Miracle Whip brand vegetable dressing-spread;
8. Mix well;
9. Add salt to taste.
One potato …two potato …three potato …let’s eat. 

Good eating!

Take this dish out for a spin and tell me if you agree.
And that’s my food favorite for the week – what’s yours? *
-Web Tech:
The above is a new media production of Valente under its “United Author*” program.
*TM/© 2011 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved.

Posted by on March 30th, 2011 Comments Off on “INSALATA DI PATATE DI ANTONIETTA*” (Potato Salad)

“ENVIRONMENT: I want to protect it and reduce global warming!*”

Vol. 1,  No. 40, March 27, 2011

TITLE: “ENVIRONMENT: I want to protect it and reduce global warming!*”


Yesterday was “Earth Hour” day. It got me to thinking about our environment. I chose as my book of the week, “Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth” [Hardcover] by Mark Hertsgaard.  Hence my topic is environment, climate change, global warming and environment protection. (Editor’s Note: In order to highlight Antoinette’s original content, we have made further changes in the template. Hope you like it. We won’t stop until we get it just right.)


I have many memories. When I was a little girl, I remember: 

  • Respecting weather, there was lots and lots of snow in Canada and  the winters were VERY cold. 
  • Respecting health, people were then not as well- informed as now about what was good or bad for them. As for example, nearly everyone smoked. Advertising on T.V.  showed that it was cool to smoke.  Young men wanted to be like the Marlboro Man. There wasn’t a warning on a cigarette pack. As well, many people used to sunbathe without regard to the time spent uncovered. Some even used sun reflectors on their faces to tan darker and quicker.  These sunlovers did not have a clue about the harm done to their skin.  
  • Respecting environment. we were unaware of the damages being done to the planet. Billowing chimneys, especially those on industrial buildings, spat enormous quantities of gases into the atmosphere. Since fuel was seen as cheap and unlimited – little regard was paid to its use.  (Of course, couples like my parents tried to bring down their electricity charges.) And our local communities were not that concerned about the disposal of human waste which was still being dumped untreated, for the most part, into rivers and lakes. We also threw everything into the garbage including bottles, glass and plastic. (I never saw my parents recyle – nobody did.  We did not know anything about it.)  All of this created mounds and mounds of landfill.

 Today, people have become better informed about the environment and our wasteful ways. I recognize,

  • Respecting weather, forecasts are changing all over the world.  El Ninio and the melting of the icepacks in the Arctic and the Antarctic are changing the world as we know it. Today, our winters are warmer …while more bearable, this is reflective of the natural balance being disturbed. The weather is now very unpredictable everywhere.  There seems to be more and more natural disasters. 
  • Respecting health, we are more knowledgeable about our bodies and have a desire to live healthier.
  • Respecting environment, we are more aware of the harm we are bringing to the entire globe. Apparently, there are high gas emissions and there is a hole in the ozone layer and this is causing much damage and is a huge danger in the future.  We are preoccupied with the conservation of fuel, energy, electricity, etc.  As a result, reducing fuel consumption is a priority. Less smoke goes into the atmosphere so we can protect the ozone layer. Respecting waste, we realize the implications that this could have on the earth.  Human waste is being treated more and more. Recycling is now widely done. 

S & R* QUOTE OF THE WEEK #1*: Anton Chekhov

“Man has been endowed with reason, with the power to create, so that he can add to what he’s been given. But up to now he hasn’t been a creator, only a destroyer. Forests keep disappearing, rivers dry up, wild life’s become extinct, the climate’s ruined and the land grows poorer and uglier every day. [Uncle Vanya, 1897]”
(Source: –

 S & R* QUOTE OF THE WEEK #2*: Mark Twain

Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get.”
(Source: –

S & R* CHOICE ANECDOTE* #1: Al Gore – Global Warming?

“In January 2004, Al Gore delivered a speech on global warming. “Al,” House Majority Whip Roy Blunt was moved to remark, “it’s cold outside.” Indeed. It was the coldest day in New York City in several decades.”

(Source: –

 S & R* CHOICE ANECDOTE* #2: Richard Alley (American geophysicist [noted for his leadership of the National Academy of Sciences panel on abrupt climate change] – Roller Coaster

“At the turn of the millennium, geophysicists studying gaseous bubbles trapped in a column of ice from Greenland made a remarkable – and discomforting – discovery.

The earth’s climatic history appeared much more erratic than expected. Some fifteen thousand years ago, Greenland abruptly warmed by sixteen degrees within a period of about fifty years. In one particularly traumatic episode three thousand years later, the mean temperature in Greenland shot up by fifteen degrees in a single decade!

Tracing the record back to the last ice age, researchers were dismayed to find that, even as much of Europe and North America lay buried beneath glaciers, Greenland’s temperature was oscillating wildly, sometimes in spikes of ten degrees, sometimes of twenty.

Indeed, Richard Alley, the geophysicist heading the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) panel on abrupt climate change, compared the climate to a freakish carnival ride:

“Dozens of rapid changes litter the record of the last hundred thousand years,” he observed. “If you can possibly imagine the spectacle of some really stupid person (or, better, a mannequin) bungee jumping off the side of a moving roller coaster car, you can begin to picture the climate.”

[Alley also once compared the climate to a light switch being toyed with by an impish three-year-old.]

[Trivia: Amount by which melting Arctic ice was projected (in 2002) to shorten shipping routes between Europe and East Asia by 2020: 33 percent.]

[Sources: New Yorker, 2002-01-07; Harpers, Aug. 2002]
(Source: –

S & R* CHOICE ANECDOTE* #3: Richard Allinson (British BBC radio host [noted for his role as host of “Capitol Radio”]) – 1994

 “The latter part of the 20th Century produced growing evidence for the supposed Greenhouse Effect, with each year seeming to produce new temperature records. Indeed a heat wave in 1994 caused considerable consternation.

“It has been,” BBC Radio’s Richard Allinson was moved to declare, “one of the warmest 1994’s this century!”

[Trivia: Could Allinson have been the BBC radio host who famously introduced a Yuletide classic with the following words? “We now will hear ‘Deck Your Balls with Halls of Helly’… ‘Deck Your Bells with Balls of Holly’… er… a Christmas selection!”]

[Sources: Capitol Radio]
(Source: –

THE AUTHOR: Mark Hertsgaard

Mark Hertsgaard is an American journalist, published in the New Yorker, NPR, Time, Vanity Fair, and the Nation. Barbara Ehrenreich referred to him as “one of America’s finest reporters”. He is also the author of books – some have been translated into numerous languages. Politics was a major interest, particluarly the Reagan presidency. In the 1990s, Hertsgaard became interested in the decline of the world environment and the future condition of the earth resulting from global warming, etc. He has travelled the world.

(Fact source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) – also



Some of the books by Mark Hertsgaard are:

  • “Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth”  2010
  • “The Eagle’s Shadow: Why America Fascinates and Infuriates the World” 200
  • “Earth Odyssey: Around the world in search of our environmental future” 1998
  • “A Day in the Life: The Music and Artistry of the Beatles” 1995
  • “On Bended Knee: The Press and the Reagan Presidency” 1988
  • “Nuclear, Inc.: The Men and Money Behind Nuclear Energy” 1983

THE BOOK: “Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth” [Hardcover] by Mark Hertsgaard

Mark Hertsgaard correctly perceives climate change as the savage invading army at the gates of our precious planet. Warm and hot will pulverize cold…soon be be cool …then warm …ultimately hot. He is surprised at the calamity threatening SO SOON. He recognizes that its onslaught will have a humongous impact on our world as we know it. He is convinced that it will get worse..far worse  … as the years pass. He is very fearful for the plight of people at the hands of climate change. Hertsgaard’s angst is increased by the fact that he is now a father and his daughter will be alive to deal with the coming bad state of the earth. In a few words, his message is: “Avoid the unmanageable and manage the unavoidable.” According to him, what to do is simple enough: make deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. The ‘doing’, however, is very difficult. Hertsgaard does not stop there. In addition, he has suggestions on how to defend locales and people from disasters.

This is very scary stuff. But getting the info is half the battle. Knowing about the problem is the first stage of the solution. The book is well done. Read it and live!


Experts are predicting disastrous effects on the globe if we do not change our ways. 

My personal comments

 I am VERY concerned.  I want the earth to be a hospitable place for my kids and grandchilden. 

The point

Something has to be done now … we cannot wait.   Let’s save the world!  I love the earth, don’t you? Let’s save it for you and me …but more…for our adult children and their children and so on…  

1. Embrace the aim of energy saving: in this regard,

1.1 Improve your home energy efficiency and insulation; 

1.2 Turn off lights on leaving the room;
1.3 Turn thermostats lower in winter(heat) and in summer (air-conditioning);

1.4 Turn off heating and air conditioning on departing the room, (but keep heating on sufficiently for pipes);

1.5 Hang laundry out on an outside clothesline so as to reduce dryer use;
2. Be a TRUE friend of the earth; in this regard,

2.1 Recycle everything that is possible;

2.2 Follow the rules regarding the disposal of paint and chemical substances at special depots;
2.3 Consider, for transportation purposes, (a) Public transport; (b) Car pooling; (c) New technology vehicles: (i). Bio-fuel; (ii). Hybrid and (iii). Electric;

Please hand me that empty water bottle – I will place it in the recycling bin. Each day, I want to do something to benefit the environment.   I invite you to do the same. If we all, as individuals, do something good everyday, together it will be a lot. Can I count on you to do your part? It is REALLY important! 

Take it out for a spin and tell me if you agree.
And that’s my thought of the week on books, what’s yours? *
“Books are life; and they make life better!*”
-Web Tech:

The above is a new media production of Valente under its “United Author*” program.

*TM/© 2011 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved.

Schedule I


For today, my word/phrase(s) are: “Earth Hour”, “Environment”, “Climate change”, Global warming”.

Earth Hour

“Earth Hour is a global event organized by WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature, also known as World Wildlife Fund) and is held on the last Saturday of March annually, asking households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights and other electrical appliances for one hour to raise awareness towards the need to take action on climate change. Earth Hour was conceived by WWF and The Sydney Morning Herald in 2007, when 2.2 million residents of Sydney participated by turning off all non-essential lights.[1] Following Sydney’s lead, many other cities around the world adopted the event in 2008.[2][3] Earth Hour 2011 will take place on March 26, 2011 from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., at participants’ respective local time.”

(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) –


“In general, environment refers to the surroundings of an object.”

(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) –

Climate change

“Climate change is a problem that is affecting people and the environment. Greater energy efficiency and new technologies hold promise for reducing greenhouse gases and solving this global challenge. EPA’s website provides information on climate change for communities, individuals, businesses, states, localities and governments.”

(Source: U.S. Environment Protection Agency) –


Global warming

“Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of Earth‘s near-surface air and oceans since the mid-20th century and its projected continuation. According to the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), global surface temperature increased by 0.74 ± 0.18 °C (1.33 ± 0.32 °F) during the 20th century.[2][A] Most of the observed temperature increase since the middle of the 20th century has been caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases, which result from human activities such as the burning of fossil fuel and deforestation.[3][4]

Climate model projections summarized in the latest IPCC report indicate that the global surface temperature is likely to rise a further 1.1 to 6.4 °C (2.0 to 11.5 °F) during the 21st century.[2] The uncertainty in this estimate arises from the use of models with differing sensitivity to greenhouse gas concentrations and the use of differing estimates of future greenhouse gas emissions. An increase in global temperature will cause sea levels to rise and will change the amount and pattern of precipitation, probably including expansion of subtropical deserts.[5] Warming is expected to be strongest in the Arctic and would be associated with continuing retreat of glaciers, permafrost and sea ice. Other likely effects include more frequent and intense extreme weather events, species extinctions, and changes in agricultural yields. Warming and related changes will vary from region to region around the globe, though the nature of these regional changes is uncertain.[6] As a result of contemporary increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide, the oceans have become more acidic, a result that is predicted to continue.[7][8]

The scientific consensus is that anthropogenic global warming is occurring.[9][10][11][B] Nevertheless, skepticism amongst the wider public remains. The Kyoto Protocol is aimed at stabilizing greenhouse gas concentration to prevent a “dangerous anthropogenic interference”.[12] As of November 2009, 187 states had signed and ratified the protocol.[13] Proposed responses to global warming include mitigation to reduce emissions, adaptation to the effects of global warming, and geoengineering to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.”

(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) –

Bonus fact #1: Responses to global warming

1. Mitigation

“Reducing the amount of future climate change is called mitigation of climate change. The IPCC defines mitigation as activities that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, or enhance the capacity of carbon sinks to absorb GHGs from the atmosphere.[95] Many countries, both developing and developed, are aiming to use cleaner, less polluting, technologies.[46]:192 Use of these technologies aids mitigation and could result in substantial reductions in CO2 emissions. Policies include targets for emissions reductions, increased use of renewable energy, and increased energy efficiency. Studies indicate substantial potential for future reductions in emissions.[96] Since even in the most optimistic scenario, fossil fuels are going to be used for years to come, mitigation may also involve carbon capture and storage, a process that traps CO2 produced by factories and gas or coal power stations and then stores it, usually underground.[97]

2. Adaptation

“Other policy responses include adaptation to climate change. Adaptation to climate change may be planned, e.g., by local or national government, or spontaneous, i.e., done privately without government intervention.[98] The ability to adapt is closely linked to social and economic development.[96] Even societies with high capacities to adapt are still vulnerable to climate change. Planned adaptation is already occurring on a limited basis. The barriers, limits, and costs of future adaptation are not fully understood.”

3. Geoengineering

“Another policy response is engineering of the climate (geoengineering). This policy response is sometimes grouped together with mitigation.[99] Geoengineering is largely unproven, and reliable cost estimates for it have not yet been published.[100] Geoengineering encompasses a range of techniques to remove CO2 from the atmosphere or to block incoming sunlight. As most geoengineering techniques would affect the entire globe, the use of effective techniques, if they can be developed, would require global public acceptance and an adequate global legal and regulatory framework.[101]

 (Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) –

Bonus fact #2: U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2011
“…including the health of ‘‘sensitive’’ populations such as asthmatics, children, and the elderly. Secondary standards set limits to protect public welfare, including protection against decreased visibility, damage to animals, crops vegetation, and buildings. See <>. The EPA Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (OAQPS) has set National Ambient Air Quality Standards for six principal pollutants, which are called ‘‘criteria’’ pollutants. These pollutants are: Carbon Monoxide, Lead, Nitrogen Dioxide, Particulate Matter (PM2.5 and 10), Ozone, and Sulfur Dioxide. NAAQS are periodically reviewed and revised to include any additional or new health or welfare data. Table 368 gives some of the health-related standards for the six air pollutants having NAAQS. Data gathered from state networks are periodically submitted to EPA’s National Aerometric Information Retrieval System (AIRS) for summarization in annual reports on the nationwide status and trends in air quality. For details, see ‘‘Air Trends’’ on the EPA Web site at < /airtrends/index .html>.
The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI),
published by the EPA, is a valuable source of information on approximately 650 chemicals that are being used, manufactured, treated, transported, or released into the environment. Sections 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to- Know Act (EPCRA) and 6607 of the Pollution Prevention Act (PPA), mandate that a publicly-accessible toxic chemical database be developed and maintained by EPA. This database, known as the TRI, contains information concerning waste management activities and the release of toxic chemicals by facilities that manufacture, process, or otherwise use said materials. Data on the release of these chemicals are collected from about 22,000 facilities and facilities added in 1998 that have the equivalent of 10 or more full time employees and meet the established thresholds for manufacturing, processing, or ‘‘other use’’ of listed chemicals.
Facilities must report their releases and other waste management quantities. Since 1994 federal facilities have been required to report their data regardless of industry classification. In May 1997, EPA added seven new industry sectors that reported to the TRI for the first time in July 1999 for the 1998 reporting year. More current information on this program can be found at <>.
Climate—NOAA, through the National Weather Service and the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information
Service, is responsible for climate data. NOAA maintains about 11,600 weather stations, of which over 3,000 produce autographic precipitation records, about 600 take hourly readings of a series of weather elements, and the remainder record data once a day. These data are reported monthly in the Climatological Data and Storm Data, published monthly and annually in the Local Climatological
Data (published by location for major cities).
The normal climatological temperatures, precipitation, and degree days listed in this publication are derived for comparative purposes and are averages for the 30-year period, 1971−2000. For stations that did not have continuous records for the entire 30 years from the same instrument site, the normals have been adjusted to provide representative values for the current location. The information in all other tables is based on data from the beginning of the record at that location through 2007.”
(Source: U.S. Census Bureau).-

Schedule II


Here are some numbers from the U.S.  

Table A-251: 2009 Potential CO2 Emissions

Fuel Category               Fuel Type                Apparent Consumption/ (QBtu)                           Carbon Coefficients /(Tg Carbon/QBtu)                              Potential Emissions/(Tg CO2 Eq.)



Solid Fuels                
Anthracite  Coal                                                     0.044                                                                28.28                                                                                            


4.5                                   Bituminous Coal                                                    11.794                                                               25.44                                                                                           


1,100.2                                   Sub-bituminous Coal                                             8.638                                                                 26.50                                                                                            


839.3                                   Lignite                                                                   0.873                                                                26.65                                                                                             


85.3                                   Coke                                                                     (0.021)                                                             31.00                                                                                             


(2.4)                                   Unspecified                                                            (2.067)                                                             25.34                                                                                             
Gas Fuels                   
Liquid Fuels               


(192.0)Natural Gas                                                             23.615                                                             14.46                                                                                              1,251.6Crude Oil                                                               30.817                                                             20.31                                                                                              2,294.5                                   Nat Gas Liquids and LRGs                                        2.714                                                              16.90                                                                                             


168.2                                   Other Liquids                                                          2.732                                                              20.31                                                                                             


203.4                                   Motor Gasoline                                                       (0.292)                                                            19.46                                                                                              


(20.8)                                   Aviation Gasoline                                                    0.001                                                              18.86                                                                                               


0.1                                   Kerosene                                                                0.003                                                              19.96                                                                                               


0.2                                   Jet Fuel                                                                  (0.926)                                                            19.70                                                                                             


(66.9)                                   Distillate Fuel                                                          (0.928)                                                             20.17                                                                                             


(68.6)                                   Residual Oil                                                             (0.702)                                                            20.48                                                                                              


(52.7)                                   Naphtha for petrochemical feedstocks                      0.096                                                               18.55                                                                                              


6.5                                   Petroleum Coke                                                      (0.856)                                                             27.85                                                                                              


(87.4)                                   Other Oil for petrochemical feedstocks                      0.163                                                               20.17                                                                                              


12.0                                   Special Naphthas                                                      (0.017)                                                             19.74                                                                                             


(1.2)                                   Lubricants                                                                (0.071)                                                             20.20                                                                                             


(5.3)                                    Waxes                                                                      (0.003)                                                             19.80                                                                                              


(0.2)                                   Asphalt/Road Oil                                                        0.002                                                               20.55                                                                                              


0.2                                   Still Gas                                                                                                                                            18.20                                                                                               


0.0                                   Misc. Products                                                            0.057                                                              20.31                                                                                               
Total                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      5,472.8


Data Sources: C content coefficients by coal rank from USGS (1998) and SAIC (2004); Unspecified Solid Fuels, EIA (2010a), Natural Gas and Liquid Fuels: EPA (2010).


Note: Totals may not sum due to independent rounding.(Source: U.S. Environment Protection Agency) –
Schedule III

S & R* NEWS ALERT* #1: This Earth Hour, it’s okay to be left in the dark
(NC)—In 2007, 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses in Australia turned their lights off for one hour to take a stand against climate change. A year later, more than 50 million people across 35 countries participated in what became a global sustainability movement.This year, on Saturday March 26 from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., more than 120 countries and territories are expected to participate. For some, this one hour of darkness can be too much to bear. Without their igadgets, televisions, laptops, and the Internet, they feel disconnected from their social networks and the world in general.

But for those living in developing countries, electricity is a luxury they just can’t afford.

“When the sun sets in the rural areas where we work, children who don’t have any other source of light have to stop studying and go to sleep,” says Mark Lukowski, CEO, Christian Children’s Fund of Canada. “It’s heartbreaking because these children really want to learn, but their economic situations once again hinder them from success.”

The organization works in these communities to build safe places and support children, individuals, and families so they can break the cycle of extreme poverty.

“Earth Hour lets Canadians get a glimpse into life for those in the developing world who are left in the dark on a daily basis,” says Lukowski. “It’s an eye-opener and a great way to challenge ourselves to do more to help those in need.”

Canadians can make a difference by visiting to purchase gift catalogue items like oil lamp and fuel for a year for $60 or a fuel-efficient cooking stove for $65. (

S & R* NEWS ALERT*#2:Tips on saving energy & reducing monthly utility bill
(NC)—Canadians everywhere are concerned about the rising cost of energy. Though many are looking to cut this expense, they are also concerned about the effect making these changes will have on their lifestyle. According to Kathy Buckworth, mother of four and award winning writer, saving energy and reducing energy costs doesn’t have to be cumbersome – it can be as easy as making a few simple changes. Below, Buckworth provides tips on ways to save energy and money without changing your lifestyle.
1. Replace old appliances…
2. Pick the right support products…
3. Turn off the lights…
4. Replace your ancient bulbs…
5. Invest in EnergyStar appliances…
6. Wash in cold water…
7. Turn it off and save…
8. Enjoy the fresh air…
More information on the simple steps you can take to help save energy can be found online at

S & R* NEWS ALERT* #3/BONUS:  Getting spring clean and keeping things fresh
(NC)—The changing of seasons can be a great time to de–clutter the house and get everything in order for a spring and summer full of camping, outdoor sports and other family activities. The return of spring for many also means spring cleaning – and while it can seem daunting to get started on a winter’s worth of clutter, here are some tips for making your spring clean successful:

Plan ahead: Start by walking around your house and taking a look at what needs to be cleaned. Check out often overlooked surfaces like window sills and baseboards. Knowing what needs to be done will make it easier to start.

Survey your closet: Before you head to the mall for a new spring wardrobe, take a survey of your closet and the clothes you have in storage. Take the time to try things on, keeping what can still be worn and donating what you don’t wear anymore. Taking inventory of your closet will make it easier to choose what items need to be purchased and will avoid unnecessary purchases, saving you money. Having a neat and organized closet will also allow you to see what clothes you have, so that your favourite pieces don’t get lost.

Think big picture: Spring cleaning is a great time to tackle the large surfaces and appliances in your house like the windows or the back of the fridge. To keep surfaces clean, choose naturally derived products low in chemicals. Made from plant–based, biodegradable cleaning ingredients, Green Works products are at least 95 per cent naturally derived and are a great choice for gentle yet effective cleaning.

Have fun: Spring cleaning is a great time to get the whole family involved in cleaning the house and getting ready for a new season. Involving the kids in tasks like sorting their clothes or cleaning out under the bed is a great way to have them be a part of the cleaning process.

Connect with others: Finding other people living green, either in your community or online, is a great way to exchange information and ask questions. Check out already existing communities like the Green Works Facebook page at for great tips and advice.”

S & R* NEWS ALERT* #4/BONUS:  April signals springtime – and the awakening of food

“NC)—April is such an inspiring month. It signals abundance on the horizon, especially with the awakening of fresh–picked food.

Longer, warmer days coax us to abandon soups and stews in favour of fresh spring vegetables and herbs straight from the farmers’ market. April launches the season of salads, stirfrys, rice and risotto – and with everything beginning to bloom, springtime also motivates us to cook with healthier choices.

“Our favourite risotto recipe blends the goodness of garlic, onion, parmesan cheese and Arborio rice with fresh gourmet mushrooms and tender green asparagus,” says Sonia Derhak at ACH Food Companies near Toronto. “The best home–cooked risotto also infuses the light and delicious–tasting Mazola VegPlus, a popular blend of vegetable oil with heart–healthy canola oil. Mushrooms are valued for their mineral goodness and healing properties. Asparagus delivers numerous vitamins, minerals and fibre – and the VegPlus oil delivers a source of the essential ‘good’ fat known as omega–3.”

Warm herb and garlic bread

Garlic is another of nature’s wonder foods and it makes for a highly nutritious experience when combined in herb–infused oil.

“One of our most delicious baked bread recipes calls for dipping the pre–baked dough in an oil infused with garlic, rosemary, oregano, thyme, sage, chives basil and parsley. Warm from the oven, the bread softly pulls apart. The ‘oil of choice’ in this recipe is the cholesterol–free, preservative–free Mazola RightBlend, with its irresistible flavour of pure canola mixed with extra virgin olive oil.”

These springtime recipes and others are available online at 

-Web Tech:
The above is a new media production of Valente under its “United Author*” program.
*TM/© 2011 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved.

Posted by on March 27th, 2011 1 Comment

MOTHERS & DAUGHTERS – I ask: “Why the good, the bad & the ugly?*”

Vol. 1,  No. 39, March 20th, 2011

TITLE: “MOTHERS & DAUGHTERS – I ask: “Why the good, the bad and the ugly?”


My book of the week is: “Mommie Dearest” by Christina Crawford. And as a bonus, I have included a commentary on the 1945 black & white classic movie, “Mildred Pierce”. Hence my topic is Mothers & Daughters, the promise of the good that could be and the hurt that also could be.
(Editor`s Note: We have re-organized  Antoinette’s Blog to make it more efficient and readable.  The research content comprising definitions, statistics and  news have been removed from the main article and reinserted as Schedules as follows: Schedule I – IT WORDS FOR ME!*; Schedule II – STUDY/STATISTICS; Schedule III-S & R* NEWS ALERT*.We hope that you like the improvement.) 


Like many of you, I am a daughter and a mother. It is a special place in the family. For me, I see it as below.   
First, I was (I still am) a daughter. I am very close to my Mom and she was very close to her mother.  Although criticizing her mother for not standing up to her husband, my Mom loved and appreciated her.  My Mom visited very often and tried to help whenever she could.  I was a granddaughter  – I loved my grandmother very much. Her hair was white and she was very womanly. I remember her baked treats and her coffee – she was warm, kind and had a friendly smile. I still miss her. 

My mother was the centre of her household and is the core of our family….the rock and the glue.  She sacrificed much and did everything for us.  My mother taught me always to be a lady, responsible, hard-working, independent and a good family woman.   I have learned to be a good mother from my Mom.  Although there were certain rules with which I did not agree, I still raised my daughters instilling the importance of the same qualities.

My Mom is not only a mother, but also a confidant and a friend. I trust and respect her. She has always been there for me when I needed her. During my divorce, she stood by me.  Of course, she always reminded me to be a lady and make my daughters my priority.  While I told her that I didn’t need reminding, I appreciated her never -ending interest. 

Now, my Mom is older with many health problems. She was hospitalized for about a year.  She told everyone that she was going home. The doctors said no. She stood up to them and did what she wanted.  I admire her for that … it took backbone and at that age, most people would have given up. Not my Mom. Against all odds, she did it.  I helped make it happen.  I will do everything in my power to assist her and make her life as comfortable as possible. 

My relationship with my daughters is very special.  They have always been “job 1”. We speak on a day-to-day basis and we see each other often.  Growing up,  I encouraged them to get a good education and to be responsible individuals.  Whatever happens in their life, be it exciting or sad, they call me immediately to confide in me.  They are my pride and joy.

My relationship with my granddaughter is extra special. She is adorable…so precious.  The sound of her voice calling me “Nonna” makes my day.  

S & R* CHOICE ANECDOTE* #1: Gina Gershon: Showgirls

“Shortly after landing her role in Showgirls, Gina Gershon called her mother to share the good news: “I said, ‘Mom, I got this great part.’ She said, ‘Oh, let me write it down, so I can tell my friends.’ And I said, ‘Just so you know, uh, I’m kind of dancing around naked in it.’ And she said, ‘Oh, you used to do that all the time when you were little.’ I said, ‘Oh, really? Well, I’m also sort of kissing another woman in it and maybe having sex.’ And she said, ‘Oh’ – you know, trying to be very supportive – and she said, ‘Well, is she a nice girl?’ I said, ‘Yes, she’s a very nice girl.’ And Mom said, ‘Oh, that’s nice then.'”“
(Source: –

S & R* QUOTE #1:  Theodore Roosevelt

“No ordinary work done by a man is either as hard or as responsible as the work of a woman who is bringing up a family of small children; for upon her time and strength demands are made not only every hour of the day but often every hour of the night.”
(Source: Wisdom Quotes) –

S & R* QUOTE #2: Adrienne Rich

“Certainly the mother serves the interests of patriarchy: she exemplifies in one person religion, social conscience, and nationalism. Institutional motherhood revives and renews all other institutions.”
(Source: Wisdom Quotes) –
S & R* QUOTE #3:  Deborah Tannen

“Part of the reason [motherly advice] bugs us as daughters is because our mothers are so powerful in our lives. They loom like giants. The reason mothers keep at it is because they’re so powerless. They cannot get you to do what is so obvious to them you should do.”
(Source: Wisdom Quotes) –

THE AUTHOR:  Christina Crawford. 

Christina Crawford was born in the U.S.A. on June 11, 1939. Her father, a navy man, was married to another woman, and her mother was unmarried. In 1940, she was adopted through the Tennessee Children’s Home Society. Christina was one of four children adopted by Joan Crawford, the movie star. Crawford as the adoptive mother formed the person, who her adoptive daughter, Christina, did become. Christina is a writer and actress, best known as the author of “Mommie Dearest”, an exposé of alleged child abuse at the hands of her mother. In 1977, Joan Crawford died; she was rich and left a big estate- $2 million . However, she dis-inherited Christina and her brother Christopher.

One thing is clear – Christina did not achieve the success of Mother Joan.

(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) – ;


Some books by Christina Crawford are:

  • Mommie Dearest (1978) ISBN 0-9663369-0-9
  •  Black Widow: A Novel (1981) ISBN 0-425-05625-2
  • Survivor (1988) ISBN 0-515-10299-7
  • No Safe Place: The Legacy of Family Violence (1994) ISBN 0-88268-184-2
  • Daughters Of The Inquisition: Medieval Madness: Origin and Aftermath (2003) ISBN 0-9663369-1-7

(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –

THE BOOK: “Mommie Dearest” by Christina Crawford

When considering this topic, the book title, “Mommie Dearest” jumped out at me.  (A movie of the same name followed.)  It was a tell-all memoir and exposé. This adopted daughter depicts her childhood and her relationship with her adoptive mother. Christina suggests that the adoption may have been for publicity purposes. She described Mommie Joan as a cruel, overbearing alcoholic who was more interested in her career as a movie star than in the children she had adopted. (She also suggests that Joan had a long list of affairs with men and women.) Christina claims that she was a victim of child abuse. According to her, her Mom had an anger problem – one time she raged about wire hangars of all things. Supposedly, she tried to strangle Christina. 

The book was a huge seller. It might have cost Christina her inheritance. A second edition had 150 new pages replacing 50 from the earlier version. It continued the story detailing later incidents and events involving her brother, Christopher. The sequel-2nd edition  wasn’t of the same quality. It had many typos and she promoted it like a B movie  …. with a man in drag playing Joan. 

(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –

The story was very disturbing to me.  It haunts me to this day. Bad mothering does indeed have a negative impact; and here there was horrible mothering, which did much damage .

I recommend this book – it should be required reading for ALL mothers-to-be. Learning about the Crawford mother and daughter tandem will give you an insight into good parenting.

S & R* Bonus – Movie “Mildred Pierce” starring Joan Crawford

I remember Joan Crawford and her movies. A friend told me about her celebrated movie, titled “Mildred Pierce”.

This is a movie about a woman with a cheating husband who leaves her. But she is smart, resourceful and hardworking-  she opens her own restaurant business. She proves that she can become independent and successful. This is one strong lady. However, she has a daughter who is weak and spoiled. This accomplished mother tries, but can’t win the approval of a daughter who doesn’t measure up.

What makes this movie noteworthy for me is not only the theme but also, the star ….Joan Crawford.  She was the MOTHER! It was ironic that Joan Crawford playing the role of a good  mother had to deal with a daughter portrayed as one who was bad.   


Of course, a mother must be a woman. That’s a good thing. Life starts here. She is very powerful – she shapes new life.  If done well, an infant grows into a well- balanced productive adult. If done badly, an infant grows up poorly, perhaps emotionally unhinged, asocial, a substance user, an abuser, etc.

My personal comments

Being a mother is the most important job in the world. It is also the most rewarding. But, the relationship between a mother and daughter is complicated. Here are several observations. 

A mother and daughter is forever. It is said that that a son is a son until he takes a wife; but a daughter is a daughter forvever. Oh what a treasure a daughter is! The bond starts at birth and goes on and on.

The acorn does not fall far from the tree. The mothering could work well. If the mother, as a child, was loved and taught the difference between right and wrong; the probability is, as a mother, she will love and raise a well- balanced daughter, stable and grounded. However, it sometimes works badly. If the mother was unloved as a child, a victim of abuse, herself too young and immature, now a mother, uncaring and neglectful, she may shove her daughter into an unwlecome world.  She passes down the harmful seeds that may spell a girl who quickly loses herself.

Like two magnets repelling each other.  An overly critical, over-bearing mother who is selfish, manipulative and abusive can be suffocating for the daughter- she may become rebellious. A daughter, on the other hand, may be very critical of her mother because she emulates her mother and also sees herself in her. 

Tied to mother`s apron strings. A Mommie’s girl doesn’t grow up. For her, Mother knows best! Indeed, she asks how high when her mother tells her to jump.

Mother living through her daughter. A stage Mom might force her minor daughter into show business. Most child stars end up badly. Or a Pageant Mom might push her daughter of 5-10 into a tiarra pageant. Becoming sexual too early will spell a lost innocence and childhood.

I think that you will agree that being a good daughter or a good mother isn’t as simple and easy as it might first appear.

The point

Let`s get real. A mother is never a perfect person; neither is a daughter.

No matter what type of relationship a daughter may have with her mother, her Mom will be the most important person in her life.  No other woman will have as much influence. It can be very rewarding and enrich a daughter’s life.

My credo is “Be a great daughter” and also “Be a great mother”. As a daughter, I think one should be good and mind your mother. As a mother, I think one should be good and love your daughter to the stars and give and give and give forever.

As a daughter
1. Understand your mother, forgive her for her imperfections and errors; but instead, look to her strengths and good deeds;

2. Love your mother;
3. Respect your Mom;
4. Honor your mother;
5. Do as she directs, when young, and follow her house rules; 
6. Call her every day, when an adult, and show an interest;

7. Give her quality time;

8. Visit her often;
9. Do for your Mom;
10. Be there for her when she needs you;

11. Do right for your mother – it doesn’t cost! Rather, it pays you back as your daughter is watching your example. Chances are that she will remember the effort and kindness extended by you to your Mom and do the same when it is her time.

As a mother
1. Learn from your experience as a daughter; in this regard,

1.1 Get beyond the blame game – here’s an exercise:

1.1.1 Write down the mistakes, when you were younger, that you thought that your mother had made;

1.1.2 Write down what you thought, when you were younger, that your mother should have done;

1.1.3 Review your answers – you might be surprised to figure out that you are prepared to make some decisions similar to your Mom – LIGHT BULB MOMENT! – they were’nt errors after all.

1.2 Strive to the be best Mom possible. To this end,

1.2.1 Read much on the topic.

2. Love your daughter;
3. Teach your daughter; 
4. Instill in your daughter good family values and morals;

5. Do right for your daughter – she will learn that the right thing is the way to go.

Oh Mother! Thank you for everything. You are the dearest truly!

Take it out for a spin and tell me if you agree.
And that’s my thought of the week on books, what’s yours? *
“Books are life; and they make life better!*”
-Web Tech:
The above is a new media production of Valente under its “United Author*” program.
*TM/© 2011 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved.
Schedule I

For today, my word/phrase(s) are:  “biological mother”, “daughter”; etc.

Biological Mother
“In the case of a mammal such as a human, a pregnant woman gestates a fertilized ovum. A fetus develops from the viable fertilized ovum or “embryo.” Gestation occurs in the woman’s uterus from conception until the fetus (assuming it is carried to term) is sufficiently developed to be born. The woman experiences labor and gives birth. Usually, once the baby is born, the mother produces milk via the lactation process. The mother’s breast milk is the source of anti-bodies for the infant’s immune system and commonly the sole source of nutrition for the first year or more of the child’s life.[2][3][4]”
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –

“A daughter is a female offspring; a girl, woman, or female animal in relation to her parents. The male equivalent is a son. Analogously the name is used on several areas to show relations between groups or elements.[1]”
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –

Schedule II


“82.8 million
Estimated number of mothers of all ages in the United States.
Source: Unpublished data from Survey of Income and Program Participation”
(Source: Us Census Bureau) –

“Table 91. Women Who Had a Child in the Last Year, by Age (Extract)
[3,247 represents 3,247,000. As of June. Covers civilian noninstitutional population. Since the number of women who had a birth during the 12-month period was tabulated and not the actual numbers of births, some small underestimation of fertility for this period may exist due to the omission of: (1) Multiple births, (2) Two or more live births spaced within the 12-month period (the woman is counted only once), (3) Women who had births in the period and who did not survive to the survey date, (4) Women who were in institutions and therefore not in the survey universe. These losses may be somewhat offset by the inclusion in the Current Population Survey of births to immigrants who did not have their children born in the United States and births to nonresident women. These births would not have been recorded in the vital registration system. Based on Current Population Survey (CPS); see text, Section 1 and Appendix III]             
15 to 29 years old \1          37.4
15 to 19 years old              23.1
20 to 24 years old              46.8
25 to 29 years old              42.7
30 to 44 years old              13.1
30 to 34 years old              27.6
35 to 39 years old               9.5
40 to 44 years old               3.5”

(Source U.S. Census Bureau) –

Schedule III

S & R* NEWS ALERT* #1:  Top priorities for Canadian women

“(NC) ”Whether young or old, single or have a family, women’s priorities will change at throughout life’s many stages. To determine the importance women place on their health and areas that Shoppers Drug Mart can help women achieve their health goals, the company commissioned a national survey of women through Northstar Research Partners and Strategic Navigator. The study found that overwhelmingly, women identify health as their number one priority in life, with financial stability trailing behind. However, a large number of women, 42 per cent, rank the health of their family as the most important priority in life more important than their own health.

Based on these results, some women might not be taking all of the time they need and deserve to ensure they are achieving optimal health. If you are someone whose health is taking a back seat, then it might be time to take back time and try to focus on finding ways to incorporate your own health as a daily priority. Start by joining a running or walking group that meets a couple of times a week. It is great exercise, and will also provide you with an opportunity to get to know others who are focused on achieving good health, which the survey also found was an important factor in helping women motivate their own healthy living goals.

It is important to take a holistic approach to health, including mind, body and spirit. The survey found that 62% of women associate making a meaningful contribution to the world with health in spirit. So signing up for a charitable walk, like the Weekend to End Women’s Cancers, is a great way to achieve optimal health. Walking or running in the fresh air will help clear your mind, regain focus, reduce stress and help you get in shape all while giving back and helping other women achieve greater health.”

Posted by on March 20th, 2011 Comments Off on MOTHERS & DAUGHTERS – I ask: “Why the good, the bad & the ugly?*”

“WOMEN’S RIGHTS & OPPORTUNITIES – I say: “There is more to be done worldwide!*”

Vol. 1,  No. 38, March 13th, 2011

TITLE: “WOMEN’S RIGHTS & OPPORTUNITIES – I say: “There is more to be done worldwide!*”


My book of the week is: “Untied: A Memoir of Family, Fame, and Floundering”[Hardcover] by Meredith Baxter`. In March 2011, with “International Women’s Day” (IWD) just passed and well into “Women’s History Month (March)”, I wanted to consider the lives of my gender. Hence my topic is women and all things female. I celebrate, remembering the sixties TV ad speaking to women, whose punch line was: “You’ve come a long way, baby.” I agree!
(Editor’s Note: This is the first of a series.)

“For today, my word/phrase(s) are:”Woman”, “Women’s History Month (March)”, “International Women’s Day” (IWD), etc.


“A woman (pl: women) is a female human. The term woman is usually reserved for an adult, with the term girl being the usual term for a female child or adolescent. However, the term woman is also sometimes used to identify a female human, regardless of age, as in phrases such as “Women’s rights”.”
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia). –

Women’s History Month (March)
“President Barack Obama proclaimed March 2011 to be “Women’s History Month”, calling Americans to mark IWD by reflecting on “the extraordinary accomplishments of women” in shaping the country’s history.[6] Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched the “100 Women Initiative: Empowering Women and Girls through International Exchanges”, on the eve of IWD.[8]

In the run-up to 2011 International Women’s Day, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is calling on States and other entities not to relent in their efforts to prevent rape and other forms of sexual violence that harm the lives and dignity of countless women in conflict zones around the world.”

(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia). –

“Women’s History Month is an annual declared month worldwide that highlights contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society. March has been set aside as this month in the United Kingdom and in the United States. In India, this month is celebrated in October and corresponds with the celebration of Persons Day, which is October 18.”
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia).-’s_History_Month

International Women’s Day (IWD)

“International Women’s Day (IWD), originally called International Working Women’s Day is marked on March 8 every year.[1] Nowadays this is a major day of global celebration of women. In different regions the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for women’s economic, political and social achievements. Started as a Socialist political event, the holiday blended in the culture of many countries, primarily Eastern Europe, Russia, and the former Soviet bloc. In many regions, the day lost its political flavour, and became simply an occasion for men to express their love for women in a way somewhat similar to a mixture of Mother’s Day and St Valentine’s Day. In other regions, however, the original political and human rights theme designated by the United Nations runs strong, and political and social awareness of the struggles of women worldwide are brought out and examined in a hopeful manner.”

“The first IWD was observed on 19 March 1908 in Germany following a declaration by the Socialist Party of America. The idea of having an international women’s day was first put forward at the turn of the 20th century amid rapid world industrialization and economic expansion that led to protests over working conditions[citation needed]In 1910, Second International held the first international women’s conference in Copenhagen (in the labour-movement building located at Jagtvej 69, which until 1 March 2007 housed Ungdomshuset). An ‘International Women’s Day’ was established. It was suggested by the important German Socialist Clara Zetkin, although no date was specified. The following year, 1911, IWD was marked by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, on 19 March. They demanded the right to vote to hold public office for women, as well as protested against employment sex discrimination.In 1913 Russian women observed their first International Women’s Day on the last Sunday in February (by Julian calendar then used in Russia). In 1917 demonstrations marking International Women’s Day in St.Petersburg on the last Sunday in February (which fell on 8 March on the Gregorian calendar) initiated the February Revolution.[2]”

“Following the October Revolution, the Bolshevik Alexandra Kollontai persuaded Lenin to make it an official holiday in the Soviet Union, and it was established, but was a working day until 1965. On May 8, 1965 by the decree of the USSR Presidium of the Supreme Soviet International Women’s Day was declared a non working day in the USSR “in commemoration of the outstanding merits of Soviet women in communistic construction, in the defense of their Fatherland during the Great Patriotic War, in their heroism and selflessness at the front and in the rear, and also marking the great contribution of women to strengthening friendship between peoples, and the struggle for peace. But still, women’s day must be celebrated as are other holidays.”

“In the West, International Women’s Day was first observed as a popular event after 1977[citation needed] when the United Nations General Assembly invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the UN Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace.[3]”
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia).-’s_Day

“In some cases International Women’s Day has led to questionable practices that discriminated against men. For example Tower Hamlets Council closed off one of its libraries to all males to “celebrate” the occasion, forcing them to travel elsewhere, going as far as even banning male staff from the premises.[31]In the Czech Republic (then part of Czechoslovak Socialist Republic), huge Soviet style celebrations were held annually. After the fall of Communism, the holiday, generally considered to be one of the major symbols of the old regime, fell into obscurity. International Women’s Day was re-established as an official “important day” by the Parliament only recently, on the proposal of the Social Democrats and Communists. This has provoked some controversy as a large part of the public as well as the political right see the holiday as a relic of the nation’s Communist past. In 2008, the conservative Catholic People’s Party’s deputies unsuccessfully proposed the abolition of the holiday. However, some non-government organizations consider the official recognition of International Women’s Day as an important reminder of women’s role in the society. Still, unlike in the past, the holiday is no longer observed by the general public in any significant way.”

“International Women’s Day sparked violence in Tehran, Iran on March 4, 2007, when police beat hundreds of men and women who were planning a rally. Police arrested dozens of women and some were released after several days of solitary confinement and interrogation.[32] Shadi Sadr Mahbubeh Abbasgholizadeh and several more community activists were released on March 19, 2007, ending a fifteen day hunger strike.”
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia).-’s_Day

Bonus fact #1: U.S. Women`s Suffrage (U.S.)  

“Woman suffrage in the United States was achieved gradually, at state and local levels, during the 19th Century and early 20th Century, culminating in 1920 with the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which provided: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote are not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”

“The Seneca Falls Convention of 1848 formulated the demand for women’s suffrage in the United States of America and after the American Civil War (1861–1865) agitation for the cause became more prominent. In 1869 the proposed Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which gave the vote to black men, caused controversy as women’s suffrage campaigners such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton refused to endorse the amendment, as it did not give the vote to women. Others, such as Lucy Stone and Julia Ward Howe however argued that if black men were enfranchised, women would achieve their goal. The conflict caused two organisations to emerge, the National Woman Suffrage Association, which campaigned for women’s suffrage at a federal level as well as for married women to be given property rights, and the American Woman Suffrage Association, which aimed to secure women’s suffrage through state legislation.[2]”
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia).-’s_suffrage_in_the_United_States

Bonus fact #2: Feminism
“Feminism refers to movements aimed at defining, establishing and defending equal political, economic, and social rights and equal opportunities for women.[1][2][3] Its concepts overlap with those of women’s rights. Feminism is mainly focused on women’s issues, but because feminism seeks gender equality, some feminists argue that men’s liberation is therefore a necessary part of feminism, and that men are also harmed by sexism and gender roles. Feminists—that is, persons practicing feminism—can be persons of either sex.

Feminist theory emerged from these feminist movements[4][5] and includes general theories and theories about the origins of inequality, and, in some cases, about the social construction of sex and gender, in a variety of disciplines. Feminist activists have campaigned for women’s rights—such as in contract, property, and voting—while also promoting women’s rights to bodily integrity and autonomy and reproductive rights. They have opposed domestic violence, sexual harassment, and sexual assault. In economics, they have advocated for workplace rights, including equal pay and opportunities for careers and to start businesses.”
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia).-

Bonus fact #3: Gloria Marie Steinem
“Gloria Marie Steinem (born March 25, 1934) is an American feminist, journalist, and social and political activist who became nationally recognized as a leader of, and media spokeswoman for, the Women’s Liberation Movement in the late 1960s and 1970s. A prominent writer and political figure, Steinem has founded many organizations and projects and has been the recipient of many awards and honors. She was a columnist for New York magazine and co-founded Ms. magazine. In 1969, she published an article, “After Black Power, Women’s Liberation” which, along with her early support of abortion rights, catapulted her to national fame as a feminist leader. In 2005, Steinem worked alongside Jane Fonda and Robin Morgan to co-found the Women’s Media Center, an organization that works to amplify the voices of women in the media through advocacy, media and leadership training, and the creation of original content. Steinem currently serves on the board of the organization. She continues to involve herself in politics and media affairs as a commentator, writer, lecturer, and organizer, campaigning for candidates and reforms and publishing books and articles.”
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia).-

Bonus fact #4: Discrimination – Sex, Gender and Gender Identity discrimination

“Though gender discrimination and sexism refers to beliefs and attitudes in relation to the gender of a person, such beliefs and attitudes are of a social nature and do not, normally, carry any legal consequences. Sex discrimination, on the other hand, may have legal consequences.

Though what constitutes sex discrimination varies between countries, the essence is that it is an adverse action taken by one person against another person that would not have occurred had the person been of another sex. Discrimination of that nature in certain enumerated circumstances is illegal in many countries.

Currently, discrimination based on sex is defined as adverse action against another person, which would not have occurred had the person been of another sex. This is considered a form of prejudice and is illegal in certain enumerated circumstances in most countries.”
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia).-

Bonus fact #5: Care

“CARE is a large international development and humanitarian organization, with programs in more than 70 countries around the world.

CARE places special focus on working alongside poor women because, equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty. Women are at the heart of CARE’s community-based efforts to improve basic education, prevent the spread of HIV, increase access to clean water and sanitation, expand economic opportunity and protect natural resources. CARE also delivers emergency aid to survivors of war and natural disasters, and helps people rebuild their lives.”
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia).-


“National Women’s History Month dates back to March 8, 1857, when women from New York City factories staged a protest over working conditions. International Women’s Day was first observed in 1909, but it wasn’t until 1981 that Congress established National Women’s History Week to be commemorated the second week of March. In 1987, Congress expanded the week to a month. Every year since, Congress has passed a resolution for Women’s History Month, and the President has issued a proclamation.”

“157.2 million:  The number of females in the United States as of Oct. 1, 2010. The number of males was 153.2 million.”
Source: Population estimates <>

“At 85 and older, there were more than twice as many women as men.”
Source: Population estimates <>

“1.9: Average number of children that women 40 to 44 had given birth to as of 2008, down from 3.1 children in 1976, the year the Census Bureau began collecting such data. The percentage of women in this age group who had given birth was 82 percent in 2008, down from 90 percent in 1976.”
Source: Fertility of American Women: 2008 <>

“$36,278: The median annual earnings of women 15 or older who worked year-round, full time, in 2009, up 1.9 percent from $35,609 in 2008 (after adjusting for inflation). Women earned 77 cents for every $1 earned by men.”
Source: Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2009
<> and <>

“29.9 million:  Number of women 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree or more education in 2009, higher than the corresponding number for men (28.7 million). Women had a larger share of high school diplomas, as well as associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees. More men than women had a professional or doctoral degree.”
Source: Educational Attainment in the United States: 2009 <> or <>

(Source: U.S. Census Bureau) –
S & R* NEWS ALERT* #1:  Women entrepreneurs
“Women entrepreneurs are one of the fastest growing segments of the Canadian economy and represent a growing economic force according to recent findings. A report on Canada’s business scene by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce shows a 50 percent increase in the number of self “employed women in Canada over the last 15 years.According to Statistics Canada there are now more than 826,000 women entrepreneurs in Canada who annually contribute in excess of $18 billion to Canada’s economy. The rate of growth of businesses run by women entrepreneurs is 60 per cent faster than those run by men, as 4 out of 5 new businesses are now started by women.According to Ross Creber, President of the Direct Sellers Association of Canada, a lot of women are choosing to branch out on their own in an effort to find a better balance between the demands of work and family. Many of them, he says, are choosing to start a new business in the direct selling industry so they can enjoy the flexibility of being their own boss and setting their own hours. When Courtney Haanen’s husband was laid off for the second time, she turned to direct selling to help support her family. With a two “year“ old to care for, Haanen needed to be able to work from home with flexible hours. After drawing up a list of requirements, she chose Avon due to the low start“ up fee and potential for sales due to the variety of customers she could approach with the Avon brochure.Within a month, Courtney saw that her Avon business was meeting her high expectations. [UTF-8?]“I started telling girlfriends who were home with their kids about what I was doing and I started building my team.Avon Sales Representatives are self“employed and receive up to 50 per cent earnings on the goods they sell. Some choose to just sell the products for extra money and often work around part “time jobs. Others, like Haanen become Leadership Representatives, recruiting and training other Sales Representatives.My bonus arrived at the perfect time. It paid for our family’s Christmas. Running my own Avon business allows me to support my family when my husband is out of work. Avon has helped Haanen and others meet their financial goals while working from home. No matter what happens in the economy I know that with my Avon business I have something I can control. With a second baby on the way, I’m confident we’ll be okay.” More information on women entrepreneurs is available at

S & R* NEWS ALERT* #2: Avon
“Avon celebrates 125 years of empowering women worldwide”Born in 1886 as the California Perfume Company in an age of dramatic social, economic, political and industrial transformation, Avon began its unique heritage of empowering women with financial and professional opportunities in a time where little existed. Today, 125 years later, Avon continues to be a trailblazer of economic opportunity for women with 5 million representatives in more than 100 countries worldwide. Company founder, David H. McConnell, discovered early on that bringing his perfumes directly to his customers “ mostly women“ was much more effective than traditional selling methods. This direct selling approach was spearheaded by the very first Avon Lady, Mrs. P.F.E. Albee of Winchester, New Hampshire who, as a representative, sold products and also recruited other agents. Her hiring signaled the beginning of Avon’s ongoing commitment to women by offering them the rare opportunity to earn an income to support themselves and their families 34 years before women earned the right to vote in the U.S.Today Avon is the direct sales leader and most recognizable beauty brand in the world with annual sales exceeding $8 billion. From leading the world in anti“ aging skincare to cutting“ edge concepts in color cosmetics, it constantly strives toward innovation in product technology, design, marketing and sales. Avon’s product portfolio includes some of the most recognizable beauty brands in the world such as Avon Color, Anew, Skin “So“ Soft, Avon Solutions, Advance Techniques, and Avon Naturals. Avon is committed to women of all cultures and age groups “ not only as consumers and representatives: as people, explained John Lin, President of Avon Canada. We believe in giving back to women and the communities where they live and work, from their economic well “being to their health and safety. In fact, since 1955, when the Avon Foundation for Women was created, more than $500 million worldwide has been donated to address breast cancer, domestic violence and emergency relief for women and families. Avon is the largest single corporate supporter in breast cancer awareness and research. For representatives, like Marie François, the opportunity and freedom to build a home “based business on their own schedule is what draws them to the Avon lifestyle. When you work for others, they determine your salary, your hours, and often, your career path, François explained. When you run your own business with Avon, there’s no limit to your financial and personal success. Lin agrees stating that a representative’s potential is driven by their goals and determination? You can choose to work as little as 20 hours a week“ and you’ll probably earn more than from a “regular” part “time job. Or jumpstart your income by becoming a Leadership Representative: share the Avon opportunity with others and profit from their success. In addition to this incremental earning potential, you’ll be helping other people transform and take charge of their lives.Somewhere in the heavens Mr. McConnell is smiling, even after 125 years, Avon is still helping to empower women to take charge of their lives.” More information is available at -( -“News Canada” <>  

For us ladies, the times have been …..a changing! During my grandmother’s generation, many women didn’t work outside the home.  In my grandmother’s case, she had 10 children – thus this was her full-time job. In her marriage, she was very subservient to my grandfather.  He was the boss.  She was obedient, loyal, faithful – the dutiful wife. During my mother’s generation, more women worked outside the house – she worked all of her life.  (While the household was under her control, my Dad took care of the finances.) She raised her family and also brought home some of the bacon. It was hard.  During my generation, beyond having children and keeping house, many women also have careers. With great pride, I say that I was one of such women. Now, in my adult daughters’ generation, this has continued. The two pay cheque family is very common. Many women combine careers along with having a family. The big difference now, even in contrast to my child bearing years, is that the Canadian government makes it easier for women. When it comes to maternity leave, a woman can collect benefits for up to two years.  She now has the luxury of staying home with her baby, still retaining her job. 

S & R* Choice Anecdote* #1: Veiled Insult
While visiting India in 1921, French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau was shown the splendid stables of a native prince. Clemenceau asked his guide whether the purdah system was observed among horses. Were mares required to veil their faces when they went outdoors? “No,” the man replied. “Then,” Clemenceau declared, “in India mares are better treated than women.”

S & R* Choice Anecdote*#2: Women’s Rights
“The Queen is most anxious to enlist every one who can speak or write to join in checking this mad, wicked folly of ‘Women’s Rights,’ with all its attendant horrors.” The date? 1870. The speaker? Queen Victoria.

S & R* Choice Anecdote* #3: Hilbert & Noether
Because she was a woman, the gifted mathematician Emmy Noether found her career derailed at every turn. Fortunately, the legendary David Hilbert allowed Noether to deliver lectures for courses listed under his name until, at last, she was appointed to a lectureship. When Hilbert’s male colleagues objected to the presence of a woman in their midst, he gallantly rose to her defense again. “The faculty,” he tartly remarked, “is not a bathing establishment.”

S & R* Choice Anecdote* #4: Eleanor Roosevelt
“When Eleanor Roosevelt journeyed to New York City a week after her husband’s funeral in April 1945, a cluster of reporters were waiting at the door of her Washington Square apartment. ‘The story is over,’ she said simply, assuming that her words and opinions would no longer be of interest once her husband was dead and she was no longer First Lady. She could not have been more mistaken.”

THE AUTHOR: Meredith Baxter

Meredith Ann Baxter was born (d.o.b.June 21, 1947) in South Pasadena, California, the daughter of Whitney Blake, actress and situation-comedy creator and Tom Baxter, a radio announcer. She is an American actress and producer. (She also used her married name, Meredith Baxter-Birney.) Baxter was a Boomer Mom on “Family Ties”; and as well, she was a wife and mother in real life. However, she was a three- time divorcee. She had breast cancer. She  discovered, some time afterwards, that she was a lesbian. She is happy now. Truly, she lived life…been there … done that. She is a perfect poster child of women folk. She had a book in her. I am pleased that she wrote it.  On this, the first of my series on women, I thought she was right for today’s kick-off. (Fact source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia; etc.)


Some of her TV work includes the following: 
* (1972) Bridget Loves Bernie
* Family. (1976-80)
* Vanities (1981) – Standing Room Only
* Family Ties (1982-1989)
* NBC television movie Kate’s Secret
* Dan Vs. (2011-present)

*”Untied: A Memoir of Family, Fame, and Floundering”[Hardcover] by Meredith Baxter`, and Floundering” [Hardcover] by Meredith Baxter`

THE BOOK: * “Untied: A Memoir of Family, Fame, and Floundering” [Hardcover] by Meredith Baxter`
Baxter was a show business kid. She had been married and divorced three times and has five children.  Baxter was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999. Since 2005, she has been in a committed relationship with her partner.

She had to come to terms with her relationship with her mother and also those with her ex-husbands. This lady enjoyed success; but she had to deal with severe lows. Divorce was also the battlegound for a terrible custody battle. Her self- esteem took many major hits. She turned to drink looking to exit the pain through the spout of a bottle. Getting on the wagon in 1990, she fought back. Unshackled and not having to be ‘good’, she simply wanted to be herself. She found her true inner person and her voice.

She speaks openly from the heart. She speaks with authority and conviction as it is with the wisdom gained from experience. Cheering her on, you listen, knowing that she is helping you, the reader to overcome the trials and tribulations that you face in your own life. Meredith,  you’re not just a pretty face. You’re All – Woman. Saying this brings to mind the great Helen Ready song, “I am woman”.  I think that you fit the lyrics; here is an extract of the chorus:

“Oh yes I am wise
But it’s wisdom born of pain
Yes, I’ve paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to, I can do anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman”
(Source:  I Am Woman by artist – Helen Reddy from “Helen Reddy’s Greatest Hits”: EMI ST 11467 – Words and Music by Helen Reddy and Ray Burton
Peak Billboard position # 1 for 1 week in 1972voice.

P.S. I chose the book for today’s  lead-in on women as I think women are Can-Do people. Meredith is surely one of them. She shows by example. On a personal level, she can help each of us do better. Indeed, her story is profoundly moving. I think that you will find it inspiring.

On a collective level, we also need to do better. There is still much left to do.   


Today, in the Western democracies, many women are doing well. Demographically speaking, women outlive men by as much as 10 years.  A woman’s life expectancy is 79 as compared to a man’s at 72.  The number of women starting businesses is increasing faster than men. 

However, there are places on this green earth where women are disadvantaged. This must stop.

My personal comments

To me, being female has meant and continues to mean that I have to be VERY organized and hard- working in order to raise a family, carry on my full-time day job  outside the home and also keep up my household. To the question of “What was difficult?”,  I replied, “It’s NOT the 9:00 to 5:00 job that’s killing me, it’s the 5:00 to 9:00 that’s doing me in.”  Yet, I did it!

I am so happy being a women because we are the mothers and nurterers and there is a reward in heaven for that. 

I am thrilled with the people that my daughters have become. In a word, the key is independence. I taught them never to be dependent on a man.  It’s important for a woman to have a job and earn her own money. 

I love being a lady today because a woman today can do so much and achieve greatness. It is a time of wonderful opportunity. I am grateful to the legions of the sisterhood who came before me who fought for the vote, laws against gender discrimination, equal education, equal pay,  etc. My regret is that this is not the case yet all over the world.  

I believe in the struggle of women to be equal EVERYWHERE in the world. I WILL do EVERYTHING possible in order to empower women.

The point

To know where you are going, you need to know where you have been. Hence, I provided some historical information on the women’s movement.

To bring about change,  I know that I am one person with one voice. But I know there are others who support us. I encourage those of like mind. I want them to stand with us. We need to focus to make the world a better place for all women, EVERYWHERE in the world. 


1. Learn about the battles fought for you in years gone by;

2. Learn about today’s injustices for women and raise your voice in support of, throughout the  globe, equal rights and opportunities for women, in education and all endeavours. 

3. Do not, on a personal level, be dependent upon a man; instead be independent; I have been very vocal in encouraging all young women to get a proper education, find a good job and be financially secure in their own right.
3.1 Ensure that you earn your own money.
4. Know that the entire world is your oyster;
5. Do not say “Why”; instead, say”Why not”;
6. See the opportunity – NOT the restraints and obstacles;

7. Be happy from doing and living up to your gifts and natural abilities and great potential; 

8. Be a lady. Tom Jones sings: “She’s a lady.” I want each one of us to look good and be respectable, but also, to have the smarts and achieve much;

Ladies, let us all now powder our noses and do great things!*

Take it out for a spin and tell me if you agree.

And that’s my thought of the week on books, what’s yours!*
“Books are life; and they make life better!*”
-Web Tech:

The above is a new media production of Valente under its “United Author*” program.

*TM/© 2011 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved.

Posted by on March 13th, 2011 Comments Off on “WOMEN’S RIGHTS & OPPORTUNITIES – I say: “There is more to be done worldwide!*”

“SLEEP DISORDERS: I want a good night’s sleep, don’t you?*”

Vol. 1,  No. 37 , March 6, 2011

TITLE: “SLEEP DISORDERS: I want a good night’s sleep, don’t you?*”


My book of the week is: “The Harvard Medical School Guide to a Good Night’s Sleep” (Harvard Medical School Guides) [Paperback] by Lawrence Epstein (Author), Steven Mardon (Author). Hence my topic of the week is sleep disorders and getting your needed rest.   

For today, my word/phrase(s) are:  “sleep”; “sleep apnea”, “sleep disorders”; “insomnia”; “dreams”, “dreaming”
Sleep is a naturally recurring state characterized by reduced or absent consciousness, relatively suspended sensory activity, and inactivity of nearly all voluntary muscles.[1] It is distinguished from quiet wakefulness by a decreased ability to react to stimuli, but it is more easily reversible than hibernation or coma. Sleep is a heightened anabolic state, accentuating the growth and rejuvenation of the immune, nervous, skeletal and muscular systems. It is observed in all mammals, all birds, and many reptiles, amphibians, and fish.The purposes and mechanisms of sleep are only partially clear and are the subject of intense research.[2] Sleep is often thought to help conserve energy,[3][4] but actually decreases metabolism only about 5–10%.[3][4] Hibernating animals need to sleep despite the hypometabolism seen in hibernation, and in fact they must return from hypothermia to euthermy in order to sleep, making sleeping “energetically expensive.”[5]>From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia – A sleep disorder (somnipathy) is a medical disorder of the sleep patterns of a person or animal. Some sleep disorders are serious enough to interfere with normal physical, mental and emotional functioning. A test commonly ordered for some sleep disorders is the polysomnography.Disruptions in sleep can be caused by a variety of issues, from teeth grinding (bruxism) to night terrors. When a person suffers from difficulty in sleeping with no obvious cause, it is referred to as insomnia.[1] In addition, sleep disorders may also cause sufferers to sleep excessively, a condition known as hypersomnia. Management of sleep disturbances that are secondary to mental, medical, or substance abuse disorders should focus on the underlying conditions.
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –

Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea (or sleep apnoea in British English;  /æpˈniːə/) is a sleep disorder characterized by abnormal pauses in breathing or instances of abnormally low breathing, during sleep. Each pause in breathing, called an apnea, can last from a few seconds to minutes, and may occur 5 to 30 times or more an hour.[1] Similarly, each abnormally low breathing event is called a hypopnea. Sleep apnea is diagnosed with an overnight sleep test called a polysomnogram, or “sleep study”.

There are three forms of sleep apnea: central (CSA), obstructive (OSA), and complex or mixed sleep apnea (i.e., a combination of central and obstructive) constituting 0.4%, 84% and 15% of cases respectively.[2] In CSA, breathing is interrupted by a lack of respiratory effort; in OSA, breathing is interrupted by a physical block to airflow despite respiratory effort, and snoring is common.

Regardless of type, an individual with sleep apnea is rarely aware of having difficulty breathing, even upon awakening.[3] Sleep apnea is recognized as a problem by others witnessing the individual during episodes or is suspected because of its effects on the body (sequelae). Symptoms may be present for years (or even decades) without identification, during which time the sufferer may become conditioned to the daytime sleepiness and fatigue associated with significant levels of sleep disturbance.
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –

Insomnia is most often defined by an individual’s report of sleeping difficulties.[1] While the term is sometimes used in sleep literature to describe a disorder demonstrated by polysomnographic evidence of disturbed sleep, insomnia is often defined as a positive response to either of two questions: “Do you experience difficulty sleeping?” or “Do you have difficulty falling or staying asleep?”[1]
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –


Dreams are a succession of images, ideas, emotions and sensations occurring involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep.[1] The content and purpose of dreams are not fully understood, though they have been a topic of speculation and interest throughout recorded history. The scientific study of dreams is known as oneirology.
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –

Dreaming is the perceived experience of sensory images and sounds during sleep, in a sequence which the dreamer usually perceives more as an apparent participant than as an observer. Dreaming is stimulated by the pons and mostly occurs during the REM phase of sleep.People have proposed many hypotheses about the functions of dreaming. Sigmund Freud postulated that dreams are the symbolic expression of frustrated desires that had been relegated to the unconscious mind, and he used dream interpretation in the form of psychoanalysis to uncover these desires. See Freud: The Interpretation of Dreams.Freud’s work concerns the psychological role of dreams, which does not exclude any physiological role they may have. Recent research[53] claims that sleep has the overall role of consolidation and organization of synaptic connections formed during learning and experience. As such, Freud’s work is not ruled out. Nevertheless, Freud’s research has been expanded on, especially with regard to the organization and consolidation of recent memory, given in it increased interest of recent years.Certain processes in the cerebral cortex have been studied by John Allan Hobson and Robert McCarley. In their activation synthesis theory, for example, they propose that dreams are caused by the random firing of neurons in the cerebral cortex during the REM period. Neatly, this theory helps explain the irrationality of the mind during REM periods, as, according to this theory, the forebrain then creates a story in an attempt to reconcile and make sense of the nonsensical sensory information presented to it.[5] Ergo, the odd nature of many dreams.

Bonus Fact #1: Sleep problems
There are many reasons for poor sleep. For example, excessive exposure to bright light within hours of bedtime or simply resisting the urge to fall asleep can trigger a “second wind,” which then can temporarily make it difficult to fall asleep afterwards. Following sleep hygienic principles may solve problems of physical or emotional discomfort.[62] When the culprit is pain, illness, drugs, or stress, the cause must be treated. Sleep disorders (including the sleep apneas, narcolepsy, primary insomnia, periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD), restless leg syndrome (RLS), and the circadian rhythm sleep disorders) are treatable. Fatal familial insomnia, or FFI, is a genetic disease with no known treatment or cure which results in increasing insomnia until sleep is completely impossible, and eventually results in death.[37]Older people are more easily awoken by disturbances in the environment[63] and may to some degree lose the ability to consolidate sleep.
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)  –

Bonus fact #2: Sleep cycles

Sleep proceeds in cycles of REM and NREM, the order normally being N1 &#8594; N2 &#8594; N3 &#8594; N2 &#8594; REM.

There is a greater amount of deep sleep (stage N3) earlier in the sleep cycle, while the proportion of REM sleep increases later in the
sleep cycle and just before natural awakening.The stages of sleep were first described in 1937 by Alfred Lee Loomis and his coworkers, who separated the different electroencephalography (EEG) features of sleep into five levels (A to E), which represented the spectrum from wakefulness to deep sleep.[7] In 1953, REM sleep was discovered as distinct, and thus William Dement and Nathaniel Kleitman reclassified sleep into four NREM stages and REM.[8] The staging criteria were standardized in 1968 by Allan Rechtschaffen and Anthony Kales in the “R&K sleep scoring manual.”[9] In the R&K standard, NREM sleep was divided into four stages, with slow-wave sleep comprising stages 3 and 4. In stage 3, delta waves made up less than 50% of the total wave patterns, while they made up more than 50% in stage 4. Furthermore, REM sleep was sometimes referred to as stage 5.
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –


U.S. Stats = Insufficient rest or sleep – 2008
During the last 30 days, days without enough rest or sleep?
Gender     Total             0 days           1-13 days    14-29 days   30 days
Male        152.513            33.6                 40.9            15.6               9.9
Female     251,468           28.1                 41.5            18                12.4

(Source: U.S. Census Bureau) –

Stats item #2 – Hours needed by children

Hours by age
Children need more sleep per day in order to develop and function properly: up to 18 hours for newborn babies, with a declining rate as a child ages.[17] A newborn baby spends almost 9 hours a day in REM sleep. By the age of five or so, only slightly over two hours is spent in REM.[32]

Age and condition Average amount of sleep per day Newborn up to 18 hours
1–12 months 14–18 hours
1–3 years 12–15 hours
3–5 years 11–13 hours
5–12 years 9–11 hours
Adolescents 9–10 hours[33]
Adults, including elderly 7–8 hours
Pregnant women 8(+) hours
(Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) –

S & R* NEWS ALERT* #1:  “I’m not lazy I have narcolepsy”Sleep disorder leaves sufferers misunderstood
(NC)”When people hear the word narcolepsy the first image that comes to mind is of someone instantly falling asleep at the most inappropriate time. We’ve often seen this scene depicted in movies or TV programs to amuse and entertain the audience. But for thoseliving with this rare sleep disorder the symptoms of narcolepsy are no laughing matter.
According to medical experts, narcolepsy occurs when the brain cannot properly regulate normal sleep and wake cycles. People that have narcolepsy experience severe daytime sleepiness and often fall asleep at odd times (for example, at work, at a party, even in midsentence while talking). These periods of extreme sleepiness are also called “sleep attacks.” A person with a severe case of narcolepsy can suffer from sleep attacks several times per day and often find it difficult to get through daily activities.
Dr. Rachel Morehouse, Director of the sleep center in St. John New Brunswick, explains that Narcolepsy is a condition which shows up late in adolescence in both men and women and symptoms include excessive daytime sleepiness, vivid hallucinations and sleep paralysis while awake, and cataplexy the sudden, temporary loss of muscle control, often triggered by emotions such as laughter.
REM sleep is a specific stage of sleep,  Dr. Morehouse added. œIt means rapid eye movement sleep and it’s that stage of sleep where we dream and we’re typically paralyzed so we don’t act out these dreams. People with narcolepsy seem to have pieces of REM sleep while they’re awake.It has been recently determined that people with narcolepsy have low levels of a brain protein called hypocretin. This protein controls wakefulness and without it, people have a hard time staying awake. In fact, the urge to sleep is so strong in these cases that it can disrupt a person’s life and cause great distress.
This has been the case for Castleton, Ontario native Lindsey Di Stasi, 32, who has lived with the condition for over seven years and has had to deal with its changing consequences. Di Stasi is on disability, can’t drive and limits contact with friends and family for fear of having a cataplexy or sleep attack in public.
…œI don’t see my family and friends as much as I’d like because when you get together with them, you laugh, you cry, you know, you have a good time, and I’m afraid to have a good time with my condition,  she admitted.
Like many narcolepsy patients, Di Stasi was initially misdiagnosed (it took three different specialists to finally diagnose her condition) and often deals with the misconception of being considered lazy.
People in general think I’m lazy and that I like to sleep,  said Di Stasi. œThey think people with narcolepsy are lazy but we’re not lazy. When we say ‘oh I’m tired’ it’s a different kind of tired than a normal person. We don’t have to do much to be exhausted. 
Di Stasi added that in order to be treated for narcolepsy it is very important that a person be diagnosed correctly. Doctor’s often confuse narcolepsy with other conditions such as depression, sleep apnea and insomnia. More information on narcolepsy and its symptoms can be found at (Source: News Canada)

S & R* CHOICE ANECDOTE* #1:  Nightmare Scenario
General J. E. B. Stuart arrived at Stonewall Jackson’s camp late one night and, finding everyone else asleep, lay down beside Jackson’s bed to rest. As it was a cool night, Stuart unconsciously pulled Jackson’s blankets over himself and slipped between his sheets. When he awoke, Stuart was astonished to find himself in Jackson’s bed, fully clothed. Shortly thereafter, emerging from the tent, he was greeted by its rightful occupant: “General Stuart,” Jackson declared, “I’m always glad to see you here. You might select better hours sometimes, but I’m always glad to have you. But, general, you must not get into my bed with your boots and spurs on and ride me around like a cavalry horse all night!”[Trivia: As of this writing, New York City’s administrative code still required that hitching posts be located in front of City Hall so that reporters could tie up their horses.]Jackson, Thomas Jonathan [“Stonewall”] (1824-1863) American Confederate general
[Sources: B. Botkin, Civil War Treasury]
(Source: –

After her separation (within five years of marriage), Princess Mathilde embarked upon a long affair with Count Niewekerke. While the liaison was common knowledge, because of Mathilde’s position in the imperial family it was supposed to have been kept a secret… One afternoon while Mathilde was entertaining a group of ladies, her miniature greyhound came bounding over in search of affection. “Go away, you naughty dog,” the princess said, pushing the animal away. “Don’t you know you’re in disgrace?” She then turned back to the assembled guests to explain: “All night he kept jumping on the bed and I couldn’t get any sleep at all.” Shortly thereafter, when Count Niewekerke joined the party, the dog ran over to greet him. “You’re a very bad dog,” he declared, “and I’m not going to pet you. All night you kept jumping on the bed and I couldn’t sleep a wink…”
(Source: –

S & R* CHOICE ANECDOTE* #3 :  Garden Party?
One day while Groucho Marx was working in his garden (dressed in well-worn gardening attire), a wealthy woman pulled up in a Cadillac and attempted to persuade the “gardener” to come and work for her. “How much does the lady of the house pay you?” she asked. “Oh, I don’t get paid in dollars,” Groucho replied, looking up. “The lady of the house just a lets me sleep with her.”
(Source: –


Sleep is part of my life – just as it is for all you.  To be able to function at my peak, I need 7-8 hours every night.  When I get the required amount of sleep, I feel better and look better.

When my daughters where toddlers, I had trouble getting them to bed.  Typically, it would take me a while before they were asleep. But I persisted. All turned out well. They got their sleep and they grew up. 

I am interested in learning more about sleep.  

THE AUTHOR: Lawrence Epstein M.D./ Steven Mardon (Author).

Lawrence Epstein, M.D. is a Boston physician. Sleep Medicine is a specialty. He is the regional medical director for the Harvard-affiliated Sleep HealthCenters and an instructor at Harvard Medical School. He was recently president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. With the research done, when it comes to sleep, I think that this man is an honest to goodness expert.

Steven Mardon is a writer whose predominant area of interest is health and all things healthy.


Some of the numerous published works of Dr. Lawrence Epstein are:  

*Collop NA, Epstein LJ. Entering the age of portable monitoring.
J Clin Sleep Med. 2008 Aug 15;4(4):303-4. [PMID: 18763419]

*Epstein LJ. Polysomnographic technologists–troubled waters ahead? J Clin
Sleep Med. 2005 Jan 15;1(1):14-5. [PMID: 17561608]

*Epstein LJ. Specialized sleep care benefits patients.
J Clin Sleep Med. 2006 Apr 15;2(2):143-4. [PMID: 17557486]

*Ayas NT, Epstein LJ, Lieberman SL, Tun CG, Larkin EK, Brown R, Garshick E. Predictors of loud snoring in persons with spinal cord injury.J Spinal Cord Med. 2001 Spring;24(1):30-4. [PMID: 11587432]

*Casserly LF, Chow N, Ali S, Gottlieb DJ, Epstein LJ, Kaufman JS. Proteinuria in obstructive sleep apnea. Kidney Int. 2001 Oct;60(4):1484-9. [PMID: 11576363]

*Epstein LJ, Jervis  OJ Jr, Henderson  JH 2nd, Sullivan M, Mohsenifar Z. Measurement of gastric P(CO2) as an index of tissue hypoxia during obstructive sleep apnea.Respiration. 2001;68(1):28-34. [PMID: 11223727]

*Epstein LJ, Dorlac GR. Cost-effectiveness analysis of nocturnal oximetry as a method of screening for sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome.
Chest. 1998 Jan;113(1):97-103. [PMID: 9440575]

*Loube DI, Strollo PJ, Epstein LJ, Davenport WL. The effect of quiet tidal breathing on lateral cephalometric measurements. J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 1995 Oct;53(10):1155-9; discussion 1159-60. [PMID: 7562168]

*Will MJ, Esther MS, Tiner BD, McAnear JT, Ingmundson P, Epstein L.  A Comparison of Cephalometric Analysis with Ethnicity in Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome. Sleep. 1995 Dec;18(10):873-5. [PMID: 8746394]

*Epstein LJ, Strollo PJ Jr, Donegan RB, Delmar J, Hendrix C, Westbrook PR.  Obstructive sleep apnea in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease.Sleep. 1995 Jun;18(5):368-76. [PMID: 7676171]

*Epstein LJ, Meyer RD, Antonson S, Strigle SM, Mohsenifar Z. Persistence of Pneumocystis carinii in patients with AIDS receiving chemoprophylaxis.Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1994 Nov;150(5 Pt 1):1456-9. [PMID: 7952576]

*Epstein LJ, Mohsenifar Z, Daar ES, Yeh V, Meyer RD. Clinical experience with atovaquone: a new drug for treating Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia.Am J Med Sci. 1994 Jul;308(1):5-8. [PMID: 8010339]

*Epstein LJ, Mohsenifar Z. Use of Nd:YAG laser in endobronchial granular cell myoblastoma.
Chest. 1993 Sep;104(3):958-60. [PMID: 8365322]

*Belman MJ, Epstein LJ, Doornbos D, Elashoff JD, Koerner SK, Mohsenifar Z. Noninvasive determinations of the anaerobic threshold. Reliability and validity in patients with COPD.Chest. 1992 Oct;102(4):1028-34. [PMID: 1395738]

Reviews, Books, Book Chapters, and Other Publications

*Rahangdale S, Epstein LJ. 2007. “Positive airway pressure therapy”: Theory, indications, effectiveness, adverse effects. In Fundamentals of Sleep Technology, ed. N. Butkov and, T. Lee-Chiong. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

*Epstein LJ, Mardon S. 2006. The Harvard Medical School guide to a good night’s sleep. New York: McGraw Hill.

*Epstein LJ, Silber MH. AASM’s response to the ASAA letter to the editor.
J Clin Sleep Med. 2006;2:363-4.

*Epstein LJ. Specialized sleep care benefits patients.
J Clin Sleep Med. 2006 Apr 15;2(2):143-4. [PMID: 17557486]

*Epstein LJ, Stepanski EJ. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita – A call for assistance. 
J Clin Sleep Med. 2005;1:333.

*Epstein LJ. Milestone Achieved: The specialty of sleep medicine. 
J Clin Sleep Med. 2005; 1:407-9.

*Epstein LJ, Wagner PD, Kvale PA. Pulmonary physicians in the practice of sleep medicine.  A joint 3 society editorial appearing in the journals of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, American Thoracic Society and the American College of Chest Physicians. Sleep. 2005 28:1496-97. American Journal of  Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 2005 172:1357-8.  Chest. 2005 128:3788-90.

*Epstein LJ, Medical Editor. 2005. Improving Sleep: A guide to a good night’s rest. Harvard Medical School Special Health Report. Harvard Health Publications .

*Epstein LJ. Polysomnographic technololgists – troubled waters ahead? 
J Clin Sleep Med. 2005 Jan 15;1(1):14-5. [PMID: 17561608]

*Epstein LJ, Brown R. 2003. “Sleep Disorders in Spinal Cord Injury.” In Spinal Cord Medicine: Prinicples and Practice, ed. Lin VW, 169-177. New York: Demos.

*”The Harvard Medical School Guide to a Good Night’s Sleep” (Harvard Medical School Guides) [Paperback]

THE BOOK: “The Harvard Medical School Guide to a Good Night’s Sleep” (Harvard Medical School Guides) [Paperback] by Lawrence Epstein (Author), Steven Mardon (Author).

Dr. Lawrence Epstein has the pulse of the people in America and worldwide. He knows that they are having a tough time getting enough sleep.  He addresses such topics as insomnia, sleep apnea, snoring, long haul air travel, navigating shift work/family, etc. He has a  proven six-step plan. He adresses sleep problems and tell-tale signs. He has explanations and suggestions about: (a) Making a bedroom a better sleep place; (b)  Battling insomnia; (c)  Reducing snoring/disturbances; (d) De-flexing legs; (e) Addressing fatigue during the day; (f) Considering the sleep drug option; (g) Helping your sleep time by improving that of your child; etc. .

Indeed, this is an excellent resource to become better informed and improve your sleep habits and your quality of life. Check it out! 


Sleep is very important to the human body. Sleeping is as essential to health and well being as are diet and exercise. Without sleep, the human body can’t survive. Indeed, without enough rest, people will have a shorter life span. And as we age, getting a good night’s sleep, becomes harder.

Furthermore, the lack of sleep can be very dangerous. According to statistics, more accidents occur because of lack of sleep than with drugs or alcohol.  It struck close to home –  a friend’s son fell asleep at the wheel and was killed.  He was only 25- years old. 

Children need to have sufficient sleep so that they can grow up healthy, both physically and mentally.  Of course, if a child doesn’t get enough, they don’t do as well academically.  A tired child can’t focus well and therefore will have trouble absorbing what he/she is taught.

My personal comments

Sleeping properly and sufficiently is important. Looking good is another aim. I remember watching an interview with the actress, Sophia Loren.  The host asked her, “What is the secret to your beauty?” She laughed and replied, “8 hours sleep every night”. 

Each night, through sleep, the human body heals and renews itself from its state of fatigue caused by the day just passed. Being asleep during the hours from 1:00 A.M. to 2:00 A.M. is best. I am under the impression that the moon is also involved.     

The point

There are benefits to sleep. Getting the needed rest sounds simple enough, but it is not always easy!

Everyone should NOT:
1. Exercise late at night — this will hinder you from getting a good night sleep;
2. Have an alcoholic drink late at night – having a nightcap before bed could keep you up;
3. Have coffee late at night – caffeine in the evening will affect you (for 6-8 hours); 
4. Turn to sleep aids to fall and/or stay asleep – instead, if at all possible, don’t use such; as they are not the solution. Dependence is a fear. Natural sleep is better.
Everyone should:
1.Make his/her bedroom amenable to sleep. It should not be decorated with loud colors, but rather tranquil shades.
2. 1. Endeavor to get enough rest every night; in this regard, 

2.1.1 Try to go to bed at the same time every night. Going late during the weekend can throw your sleep pattern out of whack – it might take time before you’re back on track.

2.1.2 Aim to be asleep before 1:00 A.M. so as to be sleeping between the key hours of 1:00 A.M. and 2:00 A.M.; 

2.1.3  Unwind before trying to sleep  – this time is crucial as it calms you down;

2.1.4 Have a book for light enjoyment reading on the night stand – it is relaxing;

2.1.5 Turn off the TV – it could provide too much stimulation; instead, turn on a classical radio station at this time – it is Sooooooooo soothing; 

2.1.6 Visualize the happy moments in times past, … when you do close the light; it can give you some peace even after a stressful day.  

3. Ensure that children have a proper bedtime for their age and that they are tucked in on time;

Good night nurse! I have a big day tomorrow. Please turn off the light and pass me my silk eyes shades for sleeping. Sleep well!

Take it out for a spin and tell me if you agree.

And that’s my thought of the week on books, what’s yours? *
“Books are life; and they make life better!*”
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Posted by on March 6th, 2011 Comments Off on “SLEEP DISORDERS: I want a good night’s sleep, don’t you?*”