Cincinnati Zoo’s Fiona turning 2
Monday, January 21
CINCINNATI (AP) — Now a half ton of fun, the Cincinnati Zoo’s famed prematurely born hippo will soon turn 2 years old.
The zoo says a variety of activities will celebrate Fiona’s latest milestone. The hippo was born Jan. 24, 2017, at a dangerously low 29 pounds (13 kilograms). Round-the-clock critical care and outside help including from the Smithsonian National Zoo and the Cincinnati Children’s hospital enabled Fiona to not only survive, but to thrive as a social media sensation. The zoo last month reported she had reached 1,000 pounds (454 kilograms).
Zoo spokeswoman Michelle Curley says the weather outlook isn’t good for Fiona to be outside on her birthday, but a behind-the-scenes party is planned that will be shared on social media along with a two-year highlights video.
Stole priest wore at DeWine inauguration had special meaning
By JULIE CARR SMYTH
Monday, January 21
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — For members of Ohio’s large new first family, the stole worn by Father Tom Hagan throughout Republican Gov. Mike DeWine’s inaugural weekend was a way to involve their beloved late daughter in the celebration.
First lady Fran DeWine sewed the priest’s garment from pieces of fabric cut from her late daughter Becky’s dresses and other clothing items. She gave it to him about six years ago, to wear when officiating her son Mark’s wedding.
“I was trying to think of some way in the program to include Becky, and the idea just came to me about Father Tom,” Fran DeWine said in an Associated Press interview. “He always wears a stole and he had one that was kind of rainbow colored, so I thought, ‘I could make it out of Becky’s clothes.’”
The clothes had been lovingly stored since Becky DeWine, who was 22 at the time, died in a car crash in 1993. She was the third of the DeWine’s eight children and was looking forward to a career in journalism after recently graduated from Wooster College.
Hagan runs the Hands Together charity in Cite Soliel, Haiti, and a school there named for her late daughter.
Fran DeWine said she thought for years about making Becky’s clothes into a memory quilt, but she could never settle on a satisfactory design. Then she thought of the stole and the project took off. “Actually, I made it fairly quickly once I had that idea,” she said.
The stole incorporates fabrics from throughout Becky’s life — a little pink-and-white checked baby dress, a skirt Becky made as her first 4-H project, a scarf that was part of her work uniform at Ponderosa, her running shorts and the white blouse with black polka dots that she wore in the last photo ever taken of her.
“Lots and lots of special little pieces in there,” Fran said.
Fran DeWine said assembling the stole was emotional for her and she struggled to pick only the most special items to include — but now that it’s done, it brings back many good memories.
“When I look at it, I see Becky at Ponderosa, I see her working on her 4-H project, I see her at the College of Wooster, I see her running,” she said. “I see her all these places. I see every part of her life in that little piece, and so it’s really special to me.”
Hagan reserves the stole for special occasions, especially when saying Mass with the DeWines.
DeWine said Hagan wore it on Sunday morning, Jan. 13, for a Mass at the DeWines’ home in Cedarville and again at Mike DeWine’s formal inauguration at midnight that night.
Hagan drew attention to the stole at DeWine’s ceremonial inauguration on Jan. 14, approaching Fran DeWine to place it around his neck.
“It is my great honor to be able to receive this stole that was made lovingly by Fran out of all the dresses of her daughter, Becky,” he told the crowd in the Statehouse Rotunda. “She’s with us now.”
DeWine said the very bottom piece on each side of the stole came from vestments that her parents donated to their church in honor of her uncle, Ralph Struewing, who died in Korea. He was also 22 when he died, so she said it was her way of tying the whole family history together.
Plane crashes into front yard of rural Ohio home; 2 dead
Tuesday, January 22
APPLE CREEK, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say two pilots are dead after a plane crashed into the snow-covered front yard of a rural Ohio home shortly after taking off from a private airfield nearby.
The State Highway Patrol says initial reports indicate the plane had engine trouble Monday morning after departing Stoltzfus Airfield in Wayne County, roughly 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Cleveland. It hit trees and took down power lines, and the front of the aircraft was destroyed.
Troopers say 55-year-old pilot Brian Stoltzfus and 56-year-old co-pilot Curtis Wilkerson died at the scene. Both were from nearby Apple Creek. No one else was hurt.
The crash shook but just missed Michael Morrison’s home. Morrison tells The Daily Record in Wooster he ran outside, spotted the wreckage in the yard and immediately called 911.
Interns work on prison inspections at short-staffed watchdog
Monday, January 21
CLEVELAND (AP) — The legislative watchdog evaluating Ohio’s prisons is so short-staffed that unpaid interns are working on inspections, prompting concerns from critics about oversight of the prison system.
But the Correctional Institution Inspection Committee’s inspection reports are up to date despite the “troubling” staffing situation, the panel’s interim chairman told The Plain Dealer in Cleveland.
The committee inspects 30 state correctional facilities and reports to lawmakers on issues affecting inmates, such as prison conditions, health care and use of force. The committee’s administrative staff shrunk over the past five years, from a handful of inspectors with criminal-justice backgrounds to a single full-time employee in recent months.
“As you might imagine, this has been troubling for me,” said Republican state Rep. Doug Green, of Mount Orab, who restarted the committee’s rare meetings last fall after becoming interim chairman. “People can go above and beyond for a while, but to do that with one employee is unrealistic.”
Critics argue that inspections should be done by knowledgeable, paid staff, not interns, and that the committee isn’t living up to its intended purposes.
“To have inexperienced interns investigating and evaluating what is going on in Ohio prisons is not what the statute requires,” two longtime inmate advocates, attorneys Alice and Staughton Lynd, said in an email to the newspaper.
The inspections at issue used to be posted online within a month. The online reports haven’t been updated since 2017, but Green said the inspections are up to date.
A prisons spokeswoman wouldn’t comment, nor would the committee’s full-time employee, 52-year-old senior research analyst Charlotte Adams, who served as an administrator in the prison system for almost two decades.
Both referred questions to Green, who said he hopes to bring accountability to the committee.
How it approaches its work could be affected by which lawmakers are named to the bipartisan committee in the new legislative session that just started. Those assignments are expected this week.
The committee has met sparsely over the past few years, especially since its leaders departed.
Then-director Joanna Saul resigned in May 2016 after clashing with lawmakers in attempts to access medical and mental-health information. The committee’s meetings then stopped after the lawmaker serving as its chairman resigned in October 2017.
Saul, now the prison ombudsman for Washington state, has argued that what happens in publicly funded prisons housing tens of thousands of inmates deserves an objective review.
“There are serious issues within the corrections system in Ohio, and people should be concerned that there is no oversight,” she told the newspaper.
Information from: The Plain Dealer, http://www.cleveland.com
It’s cold! A physiologist explains how to keep your body feeling warm
January 22, 2019
Author: JohnEric Smith, Assistant Professor of Exercise Physiology, Mississippi State University
Disclosure statement: JohnEric Smith has received research funding from multiple sports nutrition companies. He is a member of Dymatize Nutrition’s Advisory Board.
Partners: Mississippi State University provides funding as a member of The Conversation US.
Whether waiting for a bus, playing outside or walking the dog – during the colder winter season, everyone is looking for ways to stay warm. Luckily, the process your body uses to break down foods serves as an internal heater.
But when the weather is cold, some defensive strategies are also necessary to prevent your body from losing its heat to the surrounding environment. As the temperature difference between your warm body and its frigid surroundings increases, heat is lost more quickly. It becomes more of a challenge to maintain a normal body temperature.
And two people with the same exact body temperature in the same exact environment may have very different perceptions. One may feel frozen while the other is completely comfortable.
But beyond the subjective experience of coldness, researchers do know that natural physiological responses to cold as well as behavioral adaptations – like bundling up! – can help keep your body around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit and make sure you feel warm.
What your body does
Your blood courses through your body carrying nutrients, oxygen and other biological important substances. And this delivery system also brings heat produced in the muscles to the skin, where it’s released.
When you enter a cold environment, your body redistributes blood to the torso, protecting and maintaining the warmth of the vital organs there. At the same time, your body constricts blood flow to the skin. Narrowing the roads to the skin means less heat can make the journey, and so less is lost to the environment. And minimizing how much blood goes to the skin – which is in closest proximity to the cold – means you can hold onto more of your internal heat longer.
Another defensive strategy the body uses to stay warm is cranking up muscle activity. This in turn increases your metabolism and creates more heat. Think of a brisk winter walk when the mercury has really plunged – your teeth may chatter and your arms and legs may shake uncontrollably in shivers. This seemingly nonproductive use of the muscles is actually an effort to increase body temperature by breaking down more nutrients to stoke your internal furnace.
Differences in body size, body fatness and metabolic activity influence how different individuals experience cold. Smaller people with lower levels of body fat lose more heat to the environment than larger people with more body fat. A bigger individual may have increased muscle mass, which is a producer of heat, or elevated body fatness, which functions as an insulator to reduce heat loss. These differences are not easy to change.
Things you can do
In order to maintain a feeling of warmth, you can manipulate your clothing, your activity and your food.
The most common thing people do to stay warm is wear a coat, hat and gloves. Obviously increasing clothing thickness or piling on the layers helps. Winter clothes serve not to warm you up, but more as a means to keep the heat you are producing from dispersing to the surrounding environment.
Contrary to popular belief, the head is not a greater source of heat loss than any other adequately covered body part. If you were to wear a warm hat and no coat, your torso would contribute the most to heat loss, thanks to how your body redistributes its blood in cold conditions. If you can keep your torso warm, you’ll maintain blood flow to your limbs and can often keep the arms, legs, hands and feet warm.
Secondly, being physically active causes your muscles to contract, breaking down more nutrients, which generates additional heat. This additional heat production can help maintain body temperature and the feeling of warmth. Maybe you’ve noticed this in your own life if you’ve run in place for a bit or done a quick set of jumping jacks when you’re out in the cold.
Unfortunately, physical activity or layers of clothing can tip the balance past what you need to offset heat losses. In that case, you’ll experience an increase in body temperature – and your body will start sweating in an effort to cool down. This is a bad outcome, because the evaporation of sweat will lead to greater rates of heat loss.
Finally, eating increases the body’s production of heat. The process of breaking down food is going to slightly increase body temperature. Sometimes campers will have a snack before bed in an effort to stay warmer through the night. While the metabolic impact of a small snack may not be huge, the tipping point between heat balance and heat loss is pretty small.
You may also notice the urge to urinate – what physicians call cold diuresis. It’s a side effect of constricting blood vessels and the resulting increase in blood pressure as the same amount of blood has a smaller space available to travel through your body.
And if you’re the type who tends to feel cold and leave your coat on even inside, you might want to rethink the habit. Your skin will be flush with blood as your body tries to dissipate excess heat inside. Worst of all, you may start to sweat. Once you head back out the door, you might feel even colder initially than you would have as the cold air saps the heat from your skin and your sweat evaporates. To stay comfortable, your best bet is dressing appropriately, whether inside or outdoors this winter.
Sigrid Junkermann: Maintaining adequate vitamin D status is an additional strategy to prevent colds. Ever noticed that they usually occur during the dark season of the year? Maybe they should be called “darks” instead of colds (;-) ? Here is some scientific evidence to support this contention: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5310969/
And does magnesium play a role in vitamin D status? It looks like it, according to this study: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-12-magnesium-optimizes-vitamin-d-status.html?
Magnesium is found in chlorophyll, so eating greens, and (ha!) drinking espresso, anyone? https://nutritiondata.self.com/foods-000120000000000000000.html
Opinion: Improving Your Conversation Game
By Jill Ebstein
I recently interviewed a group of 20-somethings to better understand their inspirations and aspirations and repeatedly heard a common goal of “wanting to make a difference.” To hear this group tell it, we live in a troubled world with too much brokenness, and they want to help in some small way that relates to their particular interests and talents. They are less about the paycheck or the rickety ladder to success and more about their communities, social impact and feeling connected to a noble endeavor.
One challenge in being a difference maker is ensuring these ideals survive the cynicism that comes with age. Much is needed to stay the course: a deep internal reserve, the ability to improvise and call an audible when a lesson is learned, a support structure to cheer us on, and the continuing building of new skills. The newspaper I grew up with, the Denver Post, displayed daily on its front page, “There is no hope for the satisfied man.” As relates to acquiring new skills, more prophetic words were never written.
On a typical 21st-century list of valuable skills, one that is never mentioned is a high-quality conversationalist. The list usually cites analytics, technology, communications, problem solving and the vague attribute of “leadership,” which is hard to define, but we know it when we see it. But conversationalist? Not on any job description.
To me, being a gifted conversationalist has huge payback. Imagine entering a meeting where the group is tasked with getting a delayed widget out the door. There sits a person from product marketing, R&D, finance, operations and sales. Because the hats we wear often define us, the product marketing person is focused on meeting customer needs. The R&D person considers the engineering challenges and design trade-offs. Finance wants to know why it’s costing so much. The operations person is drilling down into important minutia like packaging. In the back of the room sits a sales manager with a smirk on his face who finds the discussion to be all about nothing and just wants to sell the darn widget.
In this room of palpable stress, the conversationalist arrives and warms up the mood, making people more comfortable. Suddenly people are talking. Whoa! Is that a chuckle I hear? Suddenly the world feels friendlier, less scary. We are in a far better place to surface our differences and broker conflict.
The same holds true in our personal life. The conversationalist can take us out of our echo chamber where people of like mind reinforce like views. Instead, we get to experience the value of interacting with a more diverse group and stretch our thinking. This is hard and has been known to raise one’s blood pressure. But done in the safe hands of a gifted conversationalist, we get to hear and feel heard. It is nothing short of a miracle.
A conversationalist’s gift can sometimes happen in seemingly small moments. I once had the opportunity to be a guest on a TV talk show. As I sat in the reception area, I was quite nervous — mouth dry, my mind going in a million directions as I sought one catchy phrase I could use. That is until the show’s host greeted me with some old-fashioned schmoozing. “How was traffic?” and then, “Thank you so much for coming.” She seemed like a neighbor, and that brief interaction kept me relaxed, even on the set.
In all these instances, the conversationalist diffuses tension and moves anxious people from feeling irritable to somewhere between civil and warm. But how?
While there is no recipe per se, there are some common practices used to get a conversation going including:
—Activate your curiosity: If you find people interesting and you want to know more, they will feel validated and engage better.
—Ask simple questions that are easy to field: The conversationalist feels no need to be the smartest person in the room. Rather, throw a slow pitch over home plate that is likely to be hit.
—Enjoy listening: Once we get ourselves to the place where we enjoy listening, our best instincts take over. The questions are natural, and the pleasure is mutual.
—Use humor if possible: This does not mean rip-roaring laughter, but something that elicits a smile or a chuckle is welcome. Self-depreciating humor works. Irony can be funny. So can artful exaggeration.
—Read the cues: Visual cues are critical. Are people making eye contact? Smiling? Crossing their arms with a hint of defiance? A gifted conversationalist will know when to raise the surrender flag and aim for another day.
To become a gifted conversationalist begin by valuing the skill. It is not glad-handing or idle chitchat but rather the art of making people feel connected. It paves the way for building relationships within a motley group. In its purest form, it is bridge building. So whether it is twenty-somethings trying to make a difference, or really anyone looking for an assist, consider adding “conversationalist” to your arsenal. You just might be surprised at the benefits it confers.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Jill Ebstein is the editor of the “At My Pace” series of books and the founder of Sized Right Marketing, a Newton, Massachusetts, consulting firm. She wrote this for InsideSources.com.