Monthly Archives: September 2016

New Hyperhidrosis Surgery Saves Cop’s Job

The 8 million Americans living with hyperhidrosis have to cope with excessive sweating that often interrupts their daily lives. In fact, those with hyperhidrosis sweat four to five times as much as the average person. For many people, including Officer Benjamin Hetrick, the symptoms go beyond just the physical.

Hetrick explained that he would often be in a constant state of panic, worried about his sweaty hands on the job — which, in turn, would cause him to sweat more. Conventionally accepted hyperhidrosis treatments like medicines, creams, and electric current therapy failed to work for the new police academy graduate.

Although his condition didn’t keep him from graduating, simple tasks that most police officers take for granted took Hetrick much longer: things like gripping and steering the wheel of his patrol car, putting on gloves, and handling suspects.

But Hetrick then heard about a new surgical procedure being used to treat hyperhidrosis. Developed by thoracic surgeon David Nielson, sympathectomy is less invasive than other surgeries that have been used to treat the condition. The surgery involves cutting the nerve that carries “sweat signals” from the brain — the communication that tells body parts to produce sweat. Normally, surgeons use large, multiple incisions to accomplish these results. Nielsen is able to use just one. Patients experience a dramatic change in the amount of sweat they produce, thus having an overwhelmingly positive impact on their lives.

After undergoing the surgery, Hetrick has experienced a complete 180-degree turn and has no regrets — other than waiting as long as he did to have the procedure done. Despite the fact that his insurance plan did not cover the procedure, he says the $6,500 cost was well worth it. This advancement presents a new, exciting option for hyperhidrosis sufferers who have failed to find success with other forms of treatment.

Study Finds Link Between Chronic Sleep Issues and Disabilities Later in Life

A recent study has found that chronic sleep issues may be linked with a greater risk for disabilities later in life.

According to the American Geriatrics Society, nearly one in five seniors has at least one impediment in performing daily tasks. Despite the fact that disability rates have been decreasing overall, the lifetime probability in developing a disability of daily living or becoming cognitively impaired for those aged 65 and older hovers around 68%.

Prior research has linked a lack of sleep with poor quality of health, but this recent study aimed to illuminate how sleep issues affect the ability to function on a daily basis. Instead of focusing just on senior citizens, the study used a data pool of 3,620 people between ages 24 and 75. The subjects were surveyed from 1995-1996 and again in 2004-2006.
Within the study, participants provided answers about any sleep issues they had experienced over the past year, as well as their capability to complete tasks like walking, running, bathing, dressing, bending over, completing chores, and climbing stairs.

In both sets of surveys, it was reported that 11% of participants experienced sleep issues. Those with sleep issues were 55% more likely to experience greater limits on their daily activities — like bathing, dressing, and walking — in the later survey than those with good sleeping habits. They were also 28% more likely to have issues with instrumental tasks like bending over, doing chores, climbing stairs, and running.

Researchers focused on other potential causes of these issues, including location, weight, whether the participants smoked, and other health factors. Age notably had no effect on the changes between the two surveys, but younger and middle-aged participants with sleep issues saw the biggest declines in physical abilities.

One possible explanation for the findings is that when sleep is not restful and rejuvenating, a person is less likely to be active during waking hours. Since poor physical activity and a sedentary lifestyle are linked as risk factors for disability, this may very well serve as the link.

Expert Dr. Andrew Lim of the University of Toronto, who was not involved in the study, states that being able to target specific aspects of poor sleep — like insomnia, snoring, sleep apnea, or restless leg synrome — may be helpful in exploring this link further. Poor sleeping habits can also be linked to joint pain, mental illness, and heart disease, all of which could also represent underlying causes of disabilities later in life.

In order to adapt a healthier sleep routine, Dr. Lim suggests avoidance of caffeine and alcohol, as well as keeping a regular schedule and taking the time to unplug and wind down before bed. Being able to obtain better sleep has an assortment of potential health benefits. If you’re one of those people who believes that “you can sleep when you’re dead,” you might want to rethink your approach if you want to lead a long, productive life.

Construction Industry to Make 21st Century Updates

construction siteThe U.S. construction industry employs 7.8 million workers, but that number could drop with the addition of digital building initiatives. Companies are using 3D design, drone mapping, and robotic labor to expedite the rate of construction projects.

While construction practices have not changed significantly in decades, and construction companies spend the third lowest amount of money on IT services among all industries (only agriculture and hunting rank lower,) it is possible for the industry to mirror other industries in recent years and take on a more modern, digital approach to construction.

Delays and other obstacles have increased the cost of construction, but this is normal to expect. A report by global management partner McKinsey & Co. says that larger projects can be up to 80% over budget and take 20% longer than anticipated to construct.

Insignificant savings have prevented construction businesses from adopting computerized models in the past, but now that technology has come so far, employers are beginning to consider it.

The $19.8 billion Elizabeth train line in London, developed by Crossrail Limited, was designed using an intricate virtual 3D model of the rail network. Data from architects’ CAD systems and maps of existing utility lines were combined to make a comprehensive layout and better plan the rail’s construction.

Crossrail’s head of technical information Malcolm Taylor, believes that the addition of the 3D model “is a significant contribution to being on time and to budget.”

On this side of the pond, a New York City-based robotics company has used an automatic brick laying robot. SAM, which stands for Semi-Automated Mason, is able to pick up bricks, apply them with mortar, and lay them in less time than it would take a worker to.

SAM was used to build a two-story corporate building in Buffalo, NY with just a six-man crew. SAM was able to lay a brick every nine seconds, which usually takes the average mason 30 seconds.

While some jobs may be replaced by robotic machines in the near future, these machines still require human oversight.

A Message For Brides Everywhere: Watch Out Or Your Dog May Steal the Show On Your Big Day

More than 3.5 trillion photos have been taken in the 186 years since the first photograph, but nothing compares to adorable puppies and weddings. What do you get when you mix the two? Pictures that are sure to tug on your heart strings.

Caroline Logan Photography

Caroline Logan Photography

Kelly O’Connell and her black lab mix Charlie Bear have been inseparable for the past 15 years. Wherever O’Connell went, Charlie would follow and they were often referred to as two little kids, just happy in each other’s company.

So when Charlie Bear was diagnosed with a brain tumor earlier this year, O’Connell was crushed. With his condition rapidly deteriorating, O’Connell and her fiance James Garvin were planning to put him down a week before their wedding.

The pair, who are both veterinarians, wanted Charlie to attend their special day but were setting up plans to put him to sleep due to consistent, rapid seizures that weren’t going away. But then things changed.

“We were just like ‘this is too much, I don’t want to do this for him anymore,’” O’Connell explains to The Washington Post. “Eventually, it was almost as if he was like ‘no I want to see this.’ He got better.”

Charlie mustered up strength to attend the outdoor wedding, and calmly sat at his mother’s feet for the entire ceremony with a smile on his face. When he couldn’t make it back up the aisle, O’Connell’s sister, the maid of honor, picked him up and carried the massive black lab to the exit.

Jen Dziuvenis, the wedding photographer, had no idea Charlie Bear would be included in the special day until she showed up to shoot it. She was moved to tears, explaining “This is what love looks like…It was just the most touching display of that that I’ve seen, and it was spur of the moment, it just happened, because that’s how these people are.”

As a veterinarian, O’Connell understood that her “soul dog” had to be put to rest as he was unable to enjoy activities he used to love. After Charlie Bear enjoyed himself at the wedding, he was put to sleep a few days later.

Dziuvenis believes Charlie made it through the ceremony in order to make his mom feel better. She believes the black lab’s presence gave the bride peace of mind on a stressful day, and that above all Charlie wanted to make sure his mom was going to be taken care of after he passed.

Charlie’s story is not the only wedding to recently involve four legged friends.

Flowers, like engagements rings are typical inclusions in a wedding. The majority of brides — 75% — have engagement rings made of gold and diamonds, and any guest will most likely see their bling sparkling while wrapped around a gorgeous bouquet of flowers.

However, Sarah Crain had a different idea.

Instead of blossoming flowers, Crain and her bridal parties used puppies as accessories for their wedding photos. It is safe to say that the five coonhound-boxer puppies stole the show.

These little four-legged divas all were named after the original First Ladies, Martha, Abigail, Dolley, Elizabeth, Louisa, and the bride carried a pitbull named Biggie Smalls.

The bride helped to establish Pitties Love Peace, a pitbull rescue and rehabilitation center in their Elizabeth Town Pennsylvania community. She explains that animals were always a big part of her life, and that even though her husband didn’t grow up with animals, she turned him into a dog person.

Each of the pups have been living with foster families, but were all able to make it to the wedding for their special debut. And there weren’t any accidents to speak of!

The photographer, Caroline Logan tells Inside Edition that these puppies made the big day that much more special

.

After all, “Who needs bouquets when you have puppies?”

CDC Eases Travel Advisory in Miami Neighborhoods, but Zika Zone Continues to Expand

There’s good and bad news for the people of Miami concerned about the Zika virus. While the Centers for Disease Control has officially lifted its travel advisory for pregnant women in the Wynwood neighborhood, the Zika zone in Miami Beach has expanded to include 4.5 miles of area known to harbor virus-carrying mosquitoes.

Florida Governor Rock Scott celebrated the advisory lift in Wynwood on Monday, where no new cases of Zika have been reported within the past 45 days.

“We had an issue, everybody took it seriously and we solved it,” Scott said, crediting the aggressive tactics deployed to control mosquito populations in the area. “…Everybody should be coming back here and enjoying themselves.”

The CDC, however, remained more cautious.

“We want to continue to emphasize to pregnant women that they still should consider postponing non-essential travel for all of Miami-Dade (County). That is still in effect,” said CDC spokesman Tom Skinner.

Any location in the state of Florida is never more than 60 miles from a beach, but the Miami-Dade area in particular has had significant issues with Zika, where 93 locally-transmitted case have been confirmed so far.

People infected with Zika may not exude any symptoms or experience only mild illness. However, the mosquito-borne virus has been linked with birth defects in children of infected women, including an abnormal brain and skull development known as microcephaly.

Despite the ease of caution in Wynwood, the CDC recommends that any women who may have come in contact with Zika wait at least eight weeks before attempting to become pregnant. Men who may have had the virus should wait six months to attempt impregnation, as the virus may also be sexually transmitted.

Future efforts to combat Zika on U.S. soil may depend on Congressional approval, where a spending bill to fund Zika control has been repeatedly delayed.

Washington University Study Finds U.S. Spends More Than $1 Trillion On Incarceration

The cost of incarceration in the U.S. is now over $1 trillion, which is six percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).

“The $80 billion spent annually on corrections is frequently cited as the cost of incarceration,” said Carrie Pettus-Davis, assistant professor at the Brown School, “but this figure considerably underestimates the true cost by ignoring important social costs.”

Science Daily reports that Washington University in St. Louis released a new study showing how much the amount of money spent on incarceration really does dwarf the money spend on corrections.

The study, “The Economic Burden of Incarceration in the U.S.,” co-led by Pettus-Davis and doctoral student Michael McLaughlin, looks at the rapidly growing cost affecting incarcerated individuals, families, and communities at large.

“For every dollar in corrections spending, there’s another $10 of other types of costs to families, children, and communities that nobody sees because it doesn’t end up on a state budget,” added McLaughlin. “Incarceration doesn’t happen in a vacuum.”

The U.S. now leads the world in incarcerated persons and money spent on doing so. Over the last 40 years, the prison population grew seven-fold.

Major epidemic crimes like drunk driving, which costs the U.S. nearly $200 billion, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, are much more than the annual amount spent on corrections in general, but are significantly less than how much Americans are paying for the entire incarceration system.

The study shows that aside from just the dollar amount to keep an inmate in prison, there are many more financial effects when incarcerated people are released. They find it very difficult to get a job and transition back into their communities, so they end up going right back to a life of crime.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that people who have been to prison are approximately 25 times more likely than those who have never been to commit a crime.

“If anything, we believe our study underestimates the true cost of incarceration,” said McLaughlin, “because there are some costs like poor emotional health that can’t be quantified by a dollar amount.”

Large Wind Farms Spreading Across the U.S. as Opposition Continues in Canada

In Canada, groups that strongly oppose the production of industrial wind farms are gaining momentum.

According to the National Post, activists attempting to stop industrial wind farming believe they finally have the political backing from the Liberal government. These groups have been trying for more than a decade to stop these wind farms.

“It looks like this will be the land,” said Jane Wilson, president of Wind Concerns Ontario, a group opposed to industrial wind farms. “I don’t know how the government could possibly justify more.”

Ontario power rates have significantly increased over the last eight years with residents paying more than $37 billion above market price for electricity. If rates continue on this path, it’s been projected that the rates end up costing Ontario citizens another $133 billion over the next 17 years.

“We inherited an electricity system that had been badly neglected under the previous government,” read the Energy Ministry’s official statement. “Brown outs, black outs, and smog days put our economy and our people at risk. We took that dirty, unreliable electricity system and we made it clean.”

In the U.S., wind energy produces 16 billion kWh per year, which is enough to power over 1.6 million homes.

Amazon — ecommerce and cloud computing powerhouse — agreed to purchase a Texas-based wind farm in late September.

According to Bloomberg Markets, Lincoln Clean Energy LLC is developing a 253-megawatt wind farm. The project is expected to be operational by the end of 2017 and will provide power to just fewer than 90,000 U.S. homes.

“Direct purchasing by large, long-term thinking customers like Amazon has quickly become a key driver of the transition to renewable power across the U.S.,” said Declan Flanagan, CEO of Lincoln Clean Energy.

Amazon plans on developing energy farms in North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, and Indiana.

Designers Lean Towards Natural and Repurposed Wood for Furniture

woodA full 100% of Amish furniture is hand crafted for each customer, and it seems that furniture designers are taking that approach to heart, even now preferring to use natural or re-purposed wood for projects.

Using natural wood in furniture and interior design isn’t a new concept, but it is one that a growing number of designers are leaning towards.

Stripping and painting a piece of furniture before placing it in a room was fairly commonplace until recently, when designers started expressing a desire to keep the natural wood present to enhance the beauty and natural feel of the piece.

“The natural colors of walnut, cherry, maple, sassafras, hickory and oak are so beautiful, I can’t find any reason to cover them up,” Ohio-based furniture designer Freddy Hill said.

Of course, designers often use a clear stain or a simple coat of varnish for aesthetic or safety purposes, but for the most part, they prefer to keep it natural.

However, even more designers, like Sheryl Kline, are designing old furniture in new ways.

Kline’s home includes a garage filed with old, wooden furniture, but it isn’t from her home. These items were all bought from various vendors and sales, and are slated to be re-purposed and sold again.

In fact, most of the pieces in Kline’s garage have already been slated for sale by interested buyers.

Her garage is more like a barn, measuring 45 feet by 90 feet, and has at least 50 pieces of furniture in it, she said.

Last December, she redid her bathroom, complete with old wood pieces. After her instagram post about the remodel went viral, she decided to take her love for re-purposing old furniture to a professional level.

“She really surprises me with what she tries to attempt,” her husband Doug Kline said. “There’s stuff that I look at and say, ‘there’s no way,’ but she turns a pig into a peach sometimes.”

Kline said she looks to her imagination to make a piece new again, but that she is also selective when purchasing furniture to remodel.

“I don’t want to preserve something that will fall apart,” Kline said.

Preferring to let her imagination and skill run wild with her work, Kline is less of a fan of natural wood than others.

However, those who work with natural wood are all about it.

“What’s most important to me is trying to distill my designs down to their barest element. Nothing is added simply for the sake of decoration,” concluded Hill.

OSHA Awards $10.5 Million in Workplace Safety Grants to 77 Non-Profits Nationwide

worker with helmet in front of production hall

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a facet of the U.S. Department of Labor, has awarded $10.5 million in safety grants to 77 non-profit organizations throughout the country. These one-year safety and health training grants will provide education for both employers and employees in order for them to recognize, prevent, and avoid workplace hazards. The grants also serve to inform employees of their rights — and remind employers of their responsibilities — in regards to workplace safety and health.

OSHA already requires employers to conduct hazard assessments to determine workplace risks, including foot injury hazards. However, these grants will expand the knowledge of both employers and workers, and will emphasize the importance of maintaining a safe work environment.
These training grants are made possible by the department’s Susan Harwood Training Grants Program, which is specifically geared towards organizations in the non-profit sector. These organizations include labor unions, faith-based groups, colleges, and universities, and a large emphasis is placed on training small-business owners and high-hazard industries with vulnerable workers.

Approximately $3.6 million is being dedicated to developing programs and materials that highlight workplace hazards and prevention techniques. These grants will be awarded to 28 organizations and require the recipients to be well-versed in OSHA-designated health and safety topics, like workplace violence, confined spaces, and other hazards.
11 of the 77 organizations will receive $1.5 million in new capacity-building grants in order to establish safety training and assistance. One of these 11 organizations will receive a grant that will assess the organization’s needs before launching a full-scale program.

Additionally, 38 other grantees, all of which have demonstrated their ability to provide a safe and healthy work environment, will further benefit from this year’s grants in order to help sustain and improve upon their satisfactory performance.
OSHA’s grant program is noted as one of the most effective ways the Department of Labor has for communicating with at-risk workers in hazardous industries. The program can be conducted in 24 different languages, and helps educate vulnerable employees who might not be well-versed in training techniques. Since the program’s conception in 1978, it has provided training for approximately 2.1 million workers.

18-Year-Old Sues Parents Over Private Childhood Photos Shared to Facebook

social-mediaAccording to recent studies, approximately 78% of all American citizens currently have some form of social media profile. However, it’s apparent that not all social media users have a sound understanding of keeping private lives private.

An 18-year old in Austria is suing her parents for exactly that reason.

In order to convince her parents to remove nearly 500 embarrassing and private childhood photos from the social media site, the Carinthia, Austria native has opted to sue them.

“They knew no shame and no limit,” she said, adding that she wished to remain anonymous. “They didn’t care whether it was a picture of me sitting on the toilet or lying naked in my cot — every stage was photographed and then made public.”

Michael Rami, her lawyer, believes that he can win the case by proving that all of the photos posted violate her right to privacy as an adult.

Some countries, like France, have laws regarding these actions, in which violating your children’s privacy can result in fines and jail time. However, Austria has no such laws, which means this court case has a long way to go.

While children born in the age of social media have to worry about these things, those born before had the opportunity to live their live in relative privacy.

Even a lucky few celebrities like Mara Wilson got to live through their childhood stardom without having their lives dissected online.

Despite that, Wilson didn’t escape the social media age entirely.

In her new book Where Am I Now?, she reveals that a search led her to the horrifying discovery of her picture on a foot-fetish site for child stars.

“I think the world is waking up to the idea that privacy isn’t really something that we all have anymore,” said Wilson. “And that comes as no surprise to me … I’ve been living my life as if there were no privacy for a very long time.”

Rather than letting the Internet dissect her life, Wilson now uses it to her advantage. The former child star has a large presence on Twitter and on Facebook.

Although a little older than child stars like Demi Lovato and Emma Watson, Wilson still uses her position to speak out online, while not having grown up under its scrutiny.

For those born in the age of social media, however, privacy is even more scarce.

The Austrian native suing her parents is, unfortunately, one of those unlucky individuals whose entire childhood has been made public.

“I’m tired of not being taken seriously by my parents,” she said.