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Category Archives: Communities Digital News

Netflix’s ’13 Reasons Why’ graphically explores teen suicide

(image via wikimedia/Amanda Nobles)

(image via wikimedia/Amanda Nobles)

Teenage suicide is an American tragedy, with an estimated 10 out of 100,000 teens determining to end their lives each year. According to the CDC, in 2013, 17 percent of U.S. students in grades 9-12 seriously considered attempting suicide in the previous 12 months.

Writer Jay Asher, in his novel “13 Reasons Why,” brings the tragedy of teenage suicide to the fore in a graphically written method, depicting the tragedy of a school girl named Hannah Baker who leaves behind a series of pre-suicide tapes for her classmates.

Each person who received the package of her suicide diary is numbered among those she
believed contributed to her tragic decision. Her instructions to them were specific: Starting with the first recipient of her tapes, teenager Clay Jensen, each recipient was instructed to listen to the entire 13 individual tapes then give to the next person mentioned until all 13 persons had listened to them.

Asher’s spellbinding novel became the subject for a motion picture that was to star actress Selena Gomez as Hannah. Discussions on the film began as early as 2011. However, for a variety of reasons, the film project was eventually shelved in favor of a projected TV series. The project was ultimately taken on by streaming video king, Netflix.

Read more on Laurie’s article at LifeCycles in the Communities Digital News

World Asthma Day: Breathing fresh air into a serious health issue

(image via wikimedia)

(image via wikimedia)

Today is World Asthma Day and many Americans are celebrating in style!

On May 2, 2017, from 11:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. a massive lunch box
demonstration is planned in our nation’s capital, and all concerned
Americans are invited.

Located at Union Station and Massachusetts Avenue, between 1st and 2nd
Streets in Northeast Washington, D.C., an installation of 77,000 lunch boxes
or trays will be displayed.

The combined 77,000 lunch boxes represents the total number of American
children who miss school each day due to being stricken by asthma.

As a joint effort by the national Allergy and Asthma Network and Moms
Clean Air Force, also in partnership with Alliance of Nurses for Health
Environments and Breathe DC, each lunch box will contain a note about the
effects of asthma on children across the U.S. which will be delivered to
members of Congress to help raise awareness.

Asthma affects approximately 18-24 million Americans with approximately 6
million being children.

Read more on Laurie’s article at LifeCycles in the Communities Digital News

PTSD: Painful memories that never fade

(image via health.mil)

(image via health.mil)

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder — PTSD — is a human response that can result from experiencing a highly traumatic event. Post-traumatic stress disorder has many root causes including genetic predisposition, hormones and temperament, sexual assault, physical attack, a life-threatening event, a natural disaster, an accident or other life-altering events.

Many members of the military experience PTSD, especially those who engaged in active combat. It can go completely undetected, and can occur at any time if left untreated.

Reports from the National Vietnam Veteran’s Study in the 1980s indicated that 15% of male Veterans had PTSD at the time of the study. During a follow-up study conducted in 2003, it was discovered that 4 out of 5 Vietnam-era Veterans exhibited PTSD symptoms 20-25 years later.

Read more on Laurie’s article at LifeCycles in the Communities Digital News

Earth Day to be celebrated world-wide on April 22, 2017

(image via flickr/Gletham)

(image via flickr/Gletham)

The first Earth Day occurred on April 22, 1970. It is estimated that on that day, 20 million Americans flocked to the streets in a massive demonstration to raise awareness and demonstrate their grave concerns for the negative
impact of the environment on Mother Earth.

What was notable about the first Earth Day was that it brought millions of Americans together in one resounding voice supporting a great cause, regardless of political affiliation, background, age, social status, education and the like.

Founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson, Earth Day gave rise to the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency. The massive public outcry that built from this point eventually led to the passage of the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.

There has been great progress in cleaning up the environment since the first Earth Day. The air is now cleaner to breathe, freeways are less damaging to the atmosphere due to lower tailpipe emissions, waterways are freer of dangerous pollutants, foods are labeled with detailed information about their contents and household cleaning products are becoming progressively greener and more easily available.

Read more on Laurie’s article at LifeCycles in the Communities Digital News

Red Alert: Your dinner plate color can increase what you eat

(Promotional image | Courtesy www.bellacor.com)

(Promotional image | Courtesy www.bellacor.com)

If you are trying to keep from overindulging in too many high-calorie treats or reduce your food intake, your choice of plate color could make a big difference.

A Boston University psychology study first published in 2004 found that eating food from a red plate could increase your calorie intake by 25 percent. That’s not what most of us want to hear when we are trying to keep that weight gain in check.

But researchers concerned about the poor nutrition of those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease turned this information to their advantage. Forty percent of these patients lose a dangerously unhealthy amount of weight. The researchers wondered if this information couldn’t be put to good use.

So Boston University bio-psychologist Alice Cronin-Golomb and her research partners conducted their own study in 2010. Sure enough, their findings confirmed the earlier study.

It turns out that the explanation is a very simple one. Progressive neurological diseases affect your vision in addition to your thinking and memory. People suffering from Alzheimer’s disease cannot process visual information like they used to. They lose depth perception and contrast.

Read more on Laurie’s article at LifeCycles in the Communities Digital News

Gifting live bunnies for Easter: Perks and responsibilities

(image via pixabay)

(image via pixabay)

Bunnies are easily trained to perform minor tricks, even to use a litter box. They make loving, quiet and adorable pets with a potential lifespan of 7, 10 or more years, making the lure of giving children an adorable live Easter bunny is easy to understand.

There is great potential for an Easter bunny to become a wonderful member of a loving family. All that said, however, parents must proceed with great caution when considering buying a live bunny for their son or daughter’s Easter basket.

As with most pets, the novelty of a new pet declines once the work begins. While they seem placid and easy-going, rabbits can be difficult and expensive to properly care for, and, just as kittens become cats, that baby bunny soon becomes an ever-growing adult.

The naturally timid nature of a domesticated bunny can also be problematic for children who might not be patient in letting their cottontails adapt to their new home. Remember, rabbits can’t yelp, bark or meow when distressed.

Read more on Laurie’s article at LifeCycles in the Communities Digital News

April is Autism Awareness Month: Hearing the voices of ASD

(design by Sutton Porter/courtesy of Laurie Edwards-Tate)

(design by Sutton Porter/courtesy of Laurie Edwards-Tate)

Wear blue in April to promote National Autism Awareness Month.

With the underlying theme of promoting awareness and acceptance, this year’s theme is to encourage friends and collaborators to become partners in a movement which fosters acceptance and appreciation, according to the Autism Society.

“Wanting to be free. Wanting to be me. Trying to make people see. And
accept the real me.”
-Scott Lentine

Autism Month is a great opportunity for members of the legislative, medical, healthcare, social services, educational, developmental disabilities communities combined with families, patients, and concerned individuals to gather across America in support of Autism.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 1 in 68 children have autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

Read more on Laurie’s article at LifeCycles in the Communities Digital News

Stone fruit: Fresh, healthy and delicious

(photo by Sutton Porter/courtesy of Laurie Edwards-Tate)

(photo by Sutton Porter/courtesy of Laurie Edwards-Tate)

Peaches, plums and apricots are a beautiful sight to behold at any local grocer or farmer’s market.

The inspirational advent of spring brings a variety of glorious bounties from Mother Nature.

In addition to the springtime presence of an eclectic array of experiences, including frogs croaking, melodious birdsongs and colorful budding flowers, the season also provides a healthful selection of seasonal fruits.

Apricots are a golden yellow hue and are brimming with vitamin A. Additionally they contain potassium, protein and fiber.

Peaches are softly fuzzy and sweet, attracting eager buyers with their peachy hue. They contain vitamin A, potassium, protein and fiber.

Plums are a rich purplish color and contain vitamin A, potassium and small amounts of fiber.

What’s more, peaches, plums and apricots are all low in calories and contain fiber and sodium. They are also cholesterol-free.

There is much to appreciate and enjoy when a springtime recipe includes all of these spectacular fruits as main ingredients, ensuring a rich, delicious dessert that is also healthy.

Read more on Laurie’s article at LifeCycles in the Communities Digital News

Welcome spring with fresh seasonal superfoods

(image by Sutton Porter/courtesy of Laurie Edwards-Tate)

(image by Sutton Porter/courtesy of Laurie Edwards-Tate)

As the darkness and cold of winter comes to an end, new life begins to flourish and revel in the expanding sunlight bringing an abundance of seasonal foods making even the local grocery market a shopper’s paradise.

Some of the healthiest foods are available at this time of the year and health-conscious shoppers are eager to fill their grocery carts with the delicious and wholesome bounty of spring.

A superfood is a food product that can be included in a meal or eaten by itself while providing supplement-like benefits and Health.com highlights their top 10 superfood choices for spring.

Read more on Laurie’s article at LifeCycles in the Communities Digital News

Making a joyful noise: The beauty and sounds of birds

(photo by Sutton Porter/courtesy of Laurie Edwards-Tate)

(photo by Sutton Porter/courtesy of Laurie Edwards-Tate)

Springtime is almost here, and with it comes a variety of lovely birds joyfully singing in trees and building nests for their future young ones.

Many species of songbirds fly northward from faraway lands imbued with migratory passion.

Gracing humanity with their melodious symphonic sounds, North American songbirds call attention to the advent of springtime.

This predictable migratory event is fueled by their desire to find plentiful food supplies, suitable mates, and ideal nesting places for female birds to lay their eggs and tend to offspring.

According to Wikipedia, there are approximately 4,000 species of songbirds worldwide, with evidence suggesting they evolved over 50 million years ago.

Read more on Laurie’s column at LifeCycles in the Communities Digital News