We've had a bit of a population explosion recently at What's Up? Media.
Did the summer take a toll on your skin?
The ever-expanding skin care industry dominates a global market.
We’ve had several heavy thunderstorms lately. Here in the Chesapeake Region heavy rains can bring high bacteria levels to our waterways. Earlier this summer, Diana Muller, South Riverkeeper, reminded us of this with the following email alert:
The combination of more frequent heat waves and overweight players is increasing the risk of heat-related illness and death for high school football players, according to scientists participating in a telephone press conference held August 4, 2011 by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). To protect their players, the speakers said, high school coaches need to be more diligent in following guidelines for teenagers practicing in high heat and humidity. “This is not just about making sure players drink a lot of liquids,” said Michael Bergeron, director of the National Institute for Athletic Health & Performance at Sanford Health, and one of the country’s leading authorities on how young athletes are affected by exercising in hot weather. “It’s also about making sure they have the time to get acclimated to practicing under these conditions and adjusting the work-to-rest ratio appropriately. “Even when athletes are well-hydrated, if it’s hot enough and you go hard enough, people can die,” added Bergeron, who has written guidelines for what coaches can do to reduce the risks to their players. “The bottom line: heat-related deaths on the athletic field are preventable.” Earlier this week, two high school football players in Georgia and another in South Carolina died of apparent heat-related illnesses and last week a high school assistant coach in Texas died after collapsing during a practice. Another speaker on the press call, Andrew Grundstein, of the Climatology Research Laboratory at the University of Georgia, has analyzed heat-related deaths of football players since 1980. Among his findings: • The death rate has increased since the mid-1990s. • Nearly 95 percent of those who died would be considered overweight based on their body mass index. • Most of the deaths occurred early in the August practice period, with nearly 25 percent happening during the first three days of practice. • The overwhelming majority—86 percent—of those who died were linemen. • Most of the deaths occurred in the eastern half of the United States. Grundstein also discovered that the conventional wisdom that coaches can reduce the risk by practicing in the morning is inaccurate. “That’s one thing that surprised us,” said Grundstein. “Many coaches assume that morning practices are safer because they are cooler. But almost 60 percent of the deaths came after exposure during morning practices. The mornings may be cooler, but they also may be more humid which can increase the heat stress.” Deke Arndt, chief of the Climate Monitoring Branch of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, said that based on climate change projections, record temperatures and intense heat waves are likely to occur more frequently in the future. He also pointed out that many U.S. cities have set records for overnight temperatures this summer, which often is associated with higher humidity. “Overnight temperatures don’t get as much attention as record highs,” Arndt said, “but in recent summers, we’ve been seeing that extremes in warmer low temperatures have been outpacing those for afternoon temperatures in terms of setting records.” Last week, the Centers for Disease Control reported that an average of 6,000 people go to emergency rooms every year for heat-related illnesses from sports or recreational activities. The highest percentage are males between the ages of 15 and 19.
A new study warns of dangerous bacteria on cell phones of hospital patients.
Eat some asparagus and call me in the morning.
According to the Weather Channel, the high temperatures in Wichita Falls, Texas, for at least the next two weeks will be between 103 and 109. They haven’t had a day under 100 degrees since June 21…when the high was only 98 degrees. We’re not talking Death Valley here, but northern Texas, about half way between Dallas and Oklahoma City. That hot is too hot. For Marylanders, multiple days with high temps above 100 degrees are a rare occurrence, until lately, that is. We have been “broasting” like chickens on the rotisserie at Giant for weeks. Moods are lousy, tempers hot, too, and ordinary tasks become a trial. Fox 45 TV in Baltimore made matters worse by slapping one of their weather warning logos (the state of Maryland, this time in bright magenta) on the top of the screen telling us about the “excessive heat warning” and keeping it there for hours straight. Gee whiz, Fox 45, so glad you pointed that out to us…and ruined our viewing of the Baseball Game of the Week last Saturday. If it hadn’t been for your alert, thousands of viewers might have been able to relax and forget about the heat for a while. So what can make life more livable in weather like this (other than avoiding watching Fox 45)? Here are some tips to stay cool under the collar…figuratively and literally: This one is a biggie: Try and park in the shade. It makes a huge difference. If the outside temperature is 90 degrees, within 60 minutes the interior temperature of a parked-in-the-sun car will reach 133 degrees. Take a little extra time plotting out your errands and incorporate destinations with trees or covered parking. Even if it means parking a little farther away from an entrance, it will pay off in dividends. As a fallback position, buy one of those auto shades you put over the front windshield. (And it’s a good idea to use it year-round as the sun can damage your dashboard.) Go out early in the day. Ever consider going to the grocery store before work? It’s much less crowded and everyone you encounter (store clerks, fellow customers) seems friendlier. Don’t try to rush. Take a note from cultures more used to the heat and slow down. Not stressing out and allowing five more minutes to get to work may be the coolest thing you’ll do all day. Drink fluids…slowly. It’s never a good idea to gulp down a slushy (oh, the brain freeze!). Use a straw and sip a cool beverage. Or taking your time to enjoy a frozen Italian water ice, one little spoonful at a time. And one person we know swears by a glass of really cold milk as an instant cool down. Melt right in when you drink water. Before you leave the house, fill a wide-mouth plastic bottle with ice cubes. As you go about your errands, the ice will melt and you’ll be left with nice, cool water to quench your thirst. Stay out of urban areas as much as possible. Buildings, sidewalks, and pavements all absorb heat and retain it. Those concrete jungles can get mighty steamy. We’re lucky in the Chesapeake Region; we’re surrounded by more water than infrastructure. Make meal prep a breeze. These days are perfect for stopping by Whole Foods, the Fresh Market, Main Ingredient, and Graul’s etc. and picking up some healthy, already-prepared food. And, finally, if the kids go under the sprinkler, join them.
Hot enough for you? Frigid temperatures and hours of snow-shoveling are distant memories. Now Marylanders are reveling in sun-drenched days, balmy nights and…bugs!
Long gone are the days women sported leotards, leg warmers, and sweat bands while “aerobicizing” to the music of Michael Jackson.