Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Study finds Genetic Links to Autism

"An international team of scientists including several Canadians has discovered genetic links that put children at greater risk of developing autism."

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Monday, June 29, 2009

FreeCrohn's Cookbook

One of my favorite frugal living sites, The Freebie Blogger, posted this one earlier today.
Free Crohn's Cookbook via the Crohn's Online

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

United Airlines to pay $850K in Disability Case

"Chicago-based United Airlines agreed to settle a disability discrimination suit stemming from practices at San Francisco International Airport. The case involved a United policy restricting overtime for workers who had been placed in light-duty assignments.

Samuel Chetcuti, who has epilepsy, worked as a storekeeper for United at the San Francisco airport. His medical restrictions kept him from operating heavy machinery and working high above the ground, but they did not limit the number of hours he could work. Unfortunately for him, United’s light-duty policy did."

Full article at Business Management Daily

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Free Wizdom Kit for Kids with Diabetes

Free Wizdom kit for kids with Diabetes (pictured) from the American Diabetes Association

Via the Freebie Blogger

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tongue Vision

I recently wrote about Erik Weihenmayer who is the adventurer who is blind. Here is a video of him demonstrating and using the Brainport Vision Device which converts visual data from a camera in to tactile data that he receives via a panel on his tongue.

This technology got quite a bit of exposure a few months ago, but I hadn't seen any good demonstrations of this before now. So, enjoy.

Brainport components

brainport vision device
close up of tongue tag

Wired Science

Brainport Technologies

Erik Weihenmayer's Site

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Link Dump

Guardian Newspaper on Susan Boyle's mental health
Boston.com article on Massachusetts', Ablevision TV "exposing people with disabilities to the mainstream audience and showing that we're all people with abilities. We're all different people and we all have something to bring to the table"
Schizophrenic Brains Not Fooled by Optical Illusion (Wired Magazine)
Double Hand Transplant Reawakens Brain Control (Wired Magazine)
April 2, 1922: Rorschach Dies, Leaving a Blot on His Name (Wired Magazine)
National Museum of Health and Medicine Flickr page
Eye Spy: Filmmaker Plans to Install Camera in His Eye Socket (Wired Magazine)

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

FDA-Zicam linked to Loss of Smell

An FDA press release warns consumers that certain Zicam cold remedies are linked to loss of smell.

"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today advised consumers to stop using three products marketed over-the-counter as cold remedies because they are associated with the loss of sense of smell (anosmia). Anosmia may be long-lasting or permanent.
The products are:
--Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Gel
--Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Swabs
--Zicam Cold Remedy Swabs, Kids Size (a discontinued product)
The FDA has received more than 130 reports of loss of sense of smell associated with the use of these three Zicam products. In these reports, many people who experienced a loss of smell said the condition occurred with the first dose; others reported a loss of the sense of smell after multiple uses of the products.
“Loss of sense of smell is a serious risk for people who use these products for relief from cold symptoms,” said Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER). “We are concerned that consumers may unknowingly use a product that could cause serious harm, and therefore we are advising them not to use these products for any reason.”

Full FDA Press Release

(via Slashdot)

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Bumpy books for children

Bumpy Books are books that have a tactile input to teach children letters and how to read using a multi-sensory approach. It is based on the Orton-Gillingham multi-sensory approach. A video on their site (not the one below) gives some other methods of providing tactile input in the teching of letters. It also explains some of the different approaches to teaching letters, language and reading.
Bumpy Books website provides some a link to "Listen to the Sounds". It sounds like its the audio of someone using the book with a student, not audio integrated into the book, though this isn't made clear. I think I'd actually prefer the latter, as many kids enjoy pushing the buttons and hearing the feedback, and it would allow the child to use the book independently (though would likely increase the cost substantially). It appears that there is only one book available at the moment and it's unclear whether more are planned. I like the concept, though it looks like an instruction manual from what I can see in their demo. Also, the price for Bumpy Books is $25.00 which is fairly prohibitive for families. The video below gives a nice demonstration of the books.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Cancer Sucks

I think that Katie would have liked this sticker I spotted today. After all, she enjoyed the Platypus I found for her.

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Monday, June 1, 2009

Blind Mountain Climber

I stumbled across the book "Touch the Top of the World" by Erik Weihenmayer at my local library. Eric is an adventurer who is blind, and this book covers his early life, when he had some vision, coping with the loss of his vision and his interest in trekking and mountain climbing.
I especially liked his discussion of adjusting to his vision loss, and about using a cane, and a guide dog. He has a nice ability to describe his experience without jargon or making it more than it is, such as when he was losing his vision and how he first learned to use echolocation.There is also great discussion about how he and his climbing partners have developed strategies to accommodate him on hikes, and climbs. In one amazing part, he is scaling the 3000 ft El Cap in Yosemite and has to run across the face, swinging on his rope to reach a hand hold. He is guided by his partners, and is able to make the catch.

I have never been especially interested in mountain or rock climbing, and he made it an engaging subject, never mind that he's doing this without the use of his sight.
The video below is his ascent of Everest. In it you you see his use of bells on his climbing parter's poles to keep track of the trail. Great book and video.

Larger version at Hulu

Erik Weihenmayer's Site
offers more information on his speaking engagements, books, videos and even a free curriculum on Touch the Top of the World for teachers.

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