Friday, March 1, 2013
Meanwhile, here is today's health policy haiku:
A CHANGE OF SEASONS IN WASHINGTON
My top health concerns:
Ryan Zimmerman's shoulder
and Strasburg's elbow.
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Wednesday, October 24, 2012
The all-day expo benefited Berks Encore, the senior service agency, and featured flu shots, health screenings, nutrition lectures, a fashion show, skating exhibition, senior art show, shopping tips and more than 130 vendors.
The event was held at the Body Zone Sports and Wellness Center, Spring Township, and attracted about 3,350 seniors.
While the attendance number dropped from the estimated 4,000 figure at last year's event, it appeared many seniors were more intent on finding specific information about health and fitness, nutrition, medical care and senior living options.
"This is the third year I've been here and I think it's great for all the older people," said Bette Fisher, 77, of Exeter Township. "I don't have any medical problems, but I do pick up all the literature."
"I come to look at all the health treatment possibilities," said Evelyn Kuter, 70, of Boyertown. "You need to get different views (on health matters) because the doctor is not a god anymore."
More seniors, particularly in their late 60s and 70s, stressed that they wanted to be educated on options available to them in all areas affecting their life.
Calling for more chairs for seniors at an afternoon session on Medicare changes, John Vogel, a trained Medicare specialist and Berks Encore volunteer, drew an audience of nearly 100 people, some of them torn between listening to him, but not wanting to miss a later performance of Jeff Krick, an Elvis impersonator.
"You know there has been an Elvis sighting," yelled one audience member to Vogel.
"They'll be back, they always come back," said Vogel, noticing a few seniors who stepped inside the door only to turn around and leave.
For some seniors, the Senior Expo was a completely new experience, but they trumpeted the convenience of being there.
"This is my first time here, and it's very nice," said Carl Bechtel, 70, a retired carpenter who worked for casket and organ businesses. "It's really good to have everything in one place."
"This is huge I didn't think it would be this big," said another first-timer, Theresa Kazmierczak, 77, of Reading, a retired office clerk. "That's why I'm sitting down. I'm tired."
One of the more popular events involved several talks and cooking demonstrations by Meredith Mensinger, Redner's Warehouse Markets dietician, showing seniors how to shop economically and stick to a dietary plan without feeling restricted or deprived.
She whipped up three recipes - turkey burgers, chicken chili and tortilla soup - before an audience of about 40.
"I call it assembling, not really cooking," Mensinger quipped.
"But I feel a lot of seniors are just overwhelmed with all the information floating out there," said Mensinger, a Redner's nutritionist for four years. "I used to work in a hospital, but this is a way to reach seniors every day."
And 72-year-old Barbara Shalters of Wernersville, sitting in Mensinger's audience, spoke up on her behalf.
Diagnosed last spring with celiac disease - a faulty absorption of gluten in the intestine - Shalters said she called Redner's and Mensinger offered to take her on a tour to show her the foods she should be eating and avoiding.
"She was absolutely wonderful, and that's the kind of help we really need whether the problem is diabetes, heart disease or obesity," Shalters said.
Friday, August 10, 2012
Monday, October 24, 2011
In a rather apposite twist to the usual celebratory mode, Kailash Bhingare, the organiser of the event, had got seven cartoonists -Vikas Sabnis, S D Fadnis, Mangesh Tendulkar, Vijay Paradkar, Sanjay Mistri, Charuhas Pandit and Ravi Paranjpe-to draw cartoons of Laxman, which were then presented to him. Among the speakers, who included Laxman's wife Kamala and daughter-in law Usha, was Ram Jethmalani, who referred to himself (some might say appropriately) as a "sinner with a balance sheet full of debits" . "The only credit I have is that I have known Laxman for decades," he quipped amid laughter. "And one new credit I have notched up is that I am present at his ninetieth birthday function."
Laxman sat through the proceedings , now calm, now tearyeyed . A frail shadow of his former self, there were, however, glimmers of the old persona when he peered curiously at the television channel mikes lined up on the table and once touched his forehead in a moment of exasperation. One almost expected him to expostulate , 'What is this nonsense, I say!', a Laxman-ism regularly applied to very many situations in the days when he was a revered and slightly feared figure in the Times of India. But speech is impossible for him now-his second major stroke in June last year robbed him of it, and he has been unable to communicate verbally with anyone except his wife. Mrs Laxman, very emotional on this day herself, says that he does "talk" to her "but not before others" .
But whatever his health setbacks , Laxman has forged ahead with uncommon courage. After his first stroke in 2003 which paralysed his left side, he resumed drawing in a day and his daily cartoon for this paper within a couple of months. The stroke he had last June was far more severe, but he has been drawing even after that, as a sketchbook full of ink drawings testifies. The once inimitable brushstrokes are, of course, weaker , but three of his favourite subjects-crows , Ganpatis and the Common Man-make their presence felt even today.
His most favourite subjectpoliticians-seem to be missing from the sketchbook, but Laxman is still hooked to their shenanigans and goes through the newspaper every day, says Mrs Laxman. Now that he no longer draws cartoons , how does he react to the absurd theatre of Indian politics? "With a slap on the forehead," says Mrs Laxman wryly. "A gesture is worth a thousand words."
Laxman's cartoons, needless to say, are sorely missed. The man who held readers in thrall for over six decades with his piquant wit and inimitable brushstrokes, was fondly remembered during a recent cataclysm in Indian politics. "During Anna Hazare's fast and his stand-off with the government, we got hundreds of calls from people ," says Mrs Laxman. "All of them had one thing to say: 'How we wish you were still cartooning!' "
That's a sentiment most of us share. Happy ninetieth birthday, Mr Laxman.
Friday, July 29, 2011
If the rest of the world equates Pakistan with terrorism and mayhem, it is for good reason and doesn’t mean that there is worldwide conspiracy to defame our good name, contrary to what our saviours in khaki would have us believe.
Pakistan is reaping the harvest of the past 30 years or so of its cultivation of the forces of bigotry, doublespeak, intolerance and hypocrisy in all aspects of its existence: Religious, social, political as well as intellectual.
Such is our infamy that whenever there is a lunatic who blows himself up in a foreign land, we wait anxiously, our fingers crossed, hoping that the perpetrator is not one of us. Our country accounts for more suicide bombings than Iraq or Afghanistan and has more than its fair share of sectarian and other hate crimes.
We keep blowing up our schools so that our girls don’t get an education, keep silencing our moderates who preach tolerance and keep living in the false belief that the world is out to get us. The fact is that for most of the rest of the world, which in any case is moving ahead, we are not more than a headache that refuses to go away.
Shame on all 180 million of us.
Monday, April 11, 2011
Norwich are keeping tabs on Dagenham and Redbridge duo Romain Vincelot and Danny Green.
Canaries boss Paul Lambert ran the rule over the Daggers' midfield pair in Tuesday night's defeat to Peterborough.
Meanwhile, Canaries' skipper Grant Holt has signed a new three deal at Carrow Road.