Category Archives: Health

Movember

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During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces in the UK and around the world. The aim of which is to raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and testicular cancer.

Once registered at movember.com each Mo Bro must begin the 1st of Movember with a clean shaven face. For the entire month each Mo Bro must grow and groom a moustache. There is to be no joining of the mo to the sideburns (that’s considered a beard), there’s to be no joining of the handlebars to the chin (that’s considered a goatee) and each Mo Bro must conduct himself like a true gentleman.

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A Mo Sista is essentially a woman who loves a Mo. An individual that is dedicated to supporting the Mo Bros in her life through their moustache growing journey; whether it be a friend, colleague, family member or partner. These inspirational women are committed to raising awareness of men’s health issues and much needed funds for men’s health along the way.

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Mo Bros effectively become walking, talking billboards for the 30 days of November and through their actions and words raise awareness by prompting private and public conversation around the often ignored issue of men’s health.

At the end of the month, Mo Bros and Mo Sistas celebrate their Movember journey throwing their own Movember parties or attending one of the Gala” Partés held around the world to stand tall and celebrate the moustache.

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Movember 2011 photos

Mooooo

xxx

 

The Town Where FOOD is FREE

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Imagine a place where you can grow and pick your own food anywhere you please. It already exists and its ideas are spreading. Ross McGuinness (from Metro in focus) talks to the two ‘old birds’ behind the Incredible Edible phenomenon.

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Something extraordinary is growing in a small West Yorkshire town. Food.
In Todmorden, it is growing at the health centre, the church, along paths and at the police, bus and fire stations. It is everywhere.

From plums and pears to cauliflowers and cabbages, the town has got it covered. And it is all completely free.

Incredible Edible, founded by two residents four years ago, began with a few herb gardens here and there. Now it is a social movement.

Hundreds of trees and vegetable patches have been dug and are available for residents to pick what they want when they want.

The scheme is now so integrated into the community that local schools have put it in their curricula. The goal is to teach children basic skills such as preparing soil, nurturing seeds and growing their own.

Food campaigners such as Bob Geldof have long argued that there is more than enough land in the world to feed the world’s population, if people act ‘coherently and cooperatively’.

The irony is that food prices continue to rise in western Europe while famine returns annually in Africa.

So it’s not surprising the Incredible Edible idea is catching on.

More than 30 other areas in Britain have taken on the name and similar schemes are running all over the world.

Hundreds of foreign visitors have been to Todmorden to see how the idea works.

Incredible Edible was founded by Pamela Warhurst and Mary Clear, who wanted to cut through all the red tape that often comes with community projects and just get out there and grow.

That is precisely what they did. Passers-by can lift herbs, vegetables and fruit from trees, shrubs and beds throughout the town. That includes apples, apricots, gooseberries, blackcurrants, strawberries, leeks and rhubarb.
‘Incredible Edible was created to help everyone do something positive about their future using the universal medium of food,’ said Mrs Warhurst, 61, who spoke at last week’s Thinking Digital Conference in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear. Her speech was given a standing ovation.

‘For some it’s about self-sufficiency, but the truth is, it’s about something bigger,’ she said.

‘We believe in people and the power of small actions. We are not prepared to wait on the off chance a leader somewhere will twig that we are creating huge resource problems for our children and their children.

‘We are not prepared to moan that it’s all too complicated. Food is the language we use to inspire people to act differently and it just works.’

Mrs Warhurst has worked in the environment sphere for several years and is also the chairwoman of the Forestry Commission Board.

Incredible Edible relies on volunteers and donations.

‘Believe it or not, the movement has reached every continent,’ she said. ‘Not because we have a huge marketing budget but because there is a simple truth at the heart of what we do. We can all do something positive about our future and we can start with food.’

Mrs Clear, 56, Incredible Edible’s co-founder, said: ‘It started with ordinary people wanting to make a difference, to reconnect people with food, farming, the land, community.

‘We never envisaged that four years later it would become a world movement. We have no staff, no office, no filing cabinet or telephone number other than our own, and yet a world movement has happened.
‘Most of the time we’re running on empty because we are inundated with requests for inspiration and information. We had the balls to stick with it and carry it through, without referring to the usual models – consultants and bureaucracy.

‘We don’t take too much notice of bureaucracy and rules. We say ‘‘just do it’’. If you don’t harm anybody just do it, get on with it. I don’t think I’m going to go to prison for changing an ugly space into a beautiful space.’

Mrs Clear said it was hard to believe their idea had sparked ‘vegetable tourism’ with tours booked to the town.

‘It’s not an empire, we just say: ‘‘If you agree to our principles, do the same’’.
‘We started it four years ago just before the doom and gloom so the winds have been with us.

‘This economic doom and gloom has really underlined our thoughts about the future. Money is useless. Passion is everything.

‘We don’t want to be victims. It’s totally pointless blaming government. Just crack on with it. If you really want to make a difference in the world, be the change you want to see. I think Gandhi said that.

‘It’s just so simple and so right. Be that change. It’s infectious.

‘For two old birds I think we’ve done a good job.’

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For more information about Incledible Edible: www.incredible-edible-todmorden.co.uk/

Inspiring

Mooooo

xxx

Superheroines Breast Cancer Awareness PSA’s

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The threat of cancer is very real these days, and it seems like almost everyone either knows someone who has been affected by breast cancer, or has even been affected themselves. Every year thousands of women lose their battle against the breast cancer beast. This ad campaign, by Maisa Chaves for DDB Mozambique, was created to raise awareness of regular breast cancer exams among women at risk.
Four different Superheroines from DC and Marvel comics were chosen for the ads: Wonder Woman, She-Hulk, Catwoman and Storm. Each character is a total babe; but they’re not too cool for school, and we learn from this PSA that even Superheroines take self-examinations for breast cancer seriously. Each poster reads:

“Nobody’s immune to breast cancer. When we talk about breast cancer there are no women or super women. Everybody has to do self-examination monthly. Fight with us against the enemy and, when in doubt, talk to your doctor.”

Check out the rest of the Superheroines below, and if you haven’t done a breast exam in a while, then let this be a reminder and get to it.

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Mooooo

xxx

Blooming into gold

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In south-west China’s Yunnan province it produced a stunning vista as rock hillocks peep from a carpet of neon yellow by contrast to the bright blue sky.

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It’s a stunning transformation that take place every year – the landscape becomes a sea of gold as kilometres of oil crops reach full bloom. Rapeseed bursts into brighty coloured flowers in early spring.

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Rapeseed is the seed of the rape or rapeseed plant, a member of the mustard family. Unfortunate associations with the name of this plant aside, rapeseed is actually a major crop in many nations of the world, with the seeds being one of the principal components of the crop, although some cultures also eat the stalks, leaves, and flowers of rapeseed. For those who find the common name “rape” a bit offputting, this plant is also known as oilseed, rapa, rapaseed, or Brassica napus, more formally.

As the name “oilseed” suggests, the seeds of this plant are very high in oil. They can be ground into nutritious meal used in animal fodder, or pressed for the oil, which can be used for human food or in the production of biodiesel. Rapeseed greens are also popular in Asia, where they are eaten like other members of the Brassica genus, in a variety of dishes. Like other Brassicas, the greens have a slightly peppery bite.

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The United States, Canada, India, Australia, and European Union also grow rapeseed.

Mooooo

xxx

Do Something Amazing… Give Blood!

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I thought it would be nice to review my experience of giving blood in the hope that it will give others the push to go and donate.

Firstly, In the UK, it is so easy to sign up. Just go to http://www.blood.co.uk/  to find your nearest donation centre and dates available. You can choose a time to suit so, and there are so many centres you probably won’t have to travel too far (many colleges, community centres and town halls act as donation centres). You don’t even need to book a time/date (although it is recommended), you can just turn up and take the next available slot.

You will then fill in a quick questionnaire about your life style which will screen out high risk candidates. The national blood service unfortunately cannot accept donations from; “men who have sex with men”; people who have received blood since 1980; people with HIV; and people who have had tattoos/piercings in the last couple months. These are just a few examples of people who are classed as high risk for infection, (which could be deadly for the receiving patient). For the full list, go to: http://www.blood.co.uk/can-i-give-blood/who-cant-give-blood/

You then have a private 1 to 1, so you can ask any questions and they will test your blood for iron – for this reason it is highly recommended that you eat and drink plenty on the day of your donation. This is done by pricking a finger and taking a drop of blood – this is completely painless! If your blood has enough iron, and you ‘pass’ the questionnaire, then you are safe to donate and wait until a nurse is ready to see you.

You will then be called up and laid down on a trolley/stretcher. They clean your inner elbow, apply pressure and locate a suitable vein to take the blood from. They will then skillfully insert a needle, and you will feel a sharp scratch for a couple seconds. This is the worst part, and it isn’t even that bad, it lasts a few seconds.

They will then reassure you, and then you watch your bag fill up with blood. It takes between 5 and 10 minutes to take the required amount (approximately a pint). After that, they will take the needle out, apply a plaster and give you the usual advice of not to do any heavy lifting or exercise and drink plenty of water.

You will then be sent over to the ‘cool down’ area, in which you are offered drinks and snacks. Help yourself! After all, you need the energy and fluid to reproduce the blood you have just donated. You will then be asked if you want to donate again, and can make your next appointment there and then. That’s you done then, the whole process takes less than an hour and just think of the act of kindness you have just performed.

The blood you donate could save lives (as the blood is split into several components and each can be given separately). And lets face it, for something that is so easy and quick to do, and could potentially save several lives, there is no reason not to do it.

For more information in how to donate blood in the UK go to http://www.blood.co.uk/ and in the USA go to http://www.americasblood.org/.

Do something amazing… Give blood!

Mooooo

xxx