# Weight and Mass Facts

• Mass is the amount of matter in an object.
• Weight is not the same as mass. Scientists say weight is the force of gravity pulling on an object. Weight varies with the mass of the object and the strength of gravity.
• Objects weigh more at sea level, which is nearer the center of the Earth, than up a mountain.
• A person on the Moon weighs one sixth of their weight on Earth because the Moon’s gravity is one sixth of the Earth’s gravity.
• Weight varies with gravity but mass is always the same, so scientists use mass when talking about how heavy something is.
• The smallest known mass is that of a photon (see light and atoms). Its mass is 5.3 times 10- 63 (62 zeros and a 1 after the decimal point) kg.
• The mass of the Earth is 6 x 1024 (six trillion trillion) kg. The mass of the Universe may be 10 51 (10 followed by 50 zeros) kg.
• Density is the amount of mass in a certain space. It is measured in grams per cubic centimeter (g/cm3).
• The lightest solids are silica aerogels made for space science, with a density of 0.005 g/cm 3. The lightest gas is hydrogen, at 0.00008989 g/cm 3. The density of air is 0.00128 g/cm3.
• The densest solid is osmium at 22.59 g/cm3. Lead is 11.37 g/cm 3. A neutron star has an incredible density of about one billion trillion g/cm3.

# Planting Cauliflowers

Cauliflower can be difficult to grow however, the proper preparation will minimize failure. Soil, location of the vegetable bed (which determines the amount of sunshine the crop will receive), the time of year it is planted and how it is cared for once cultivation begins all play an important part in whether you reap big healthy heads of cauliflower or ‘button’ heads (very small crops). The most basic rules are always ensure soil is deep and rich, observe each type’s growing season and water regularly but, more is required.

From the onset, identify a spot that will serve as your vegetable bed, it should be one that gets full sunshine. Make sure that soil is evenly moist, well-drained and healthy. Using the remains or fruits and vegetables for compose is a good organic start to health soil. Simply leave them to rot in the bed them mix the mush into the soil. Store bought organic and non-organic fertilizers or soil mixes can be used if preferred. The soil’s pH balance should range from 6.0 to 7.0.

For early varieties, start indoors approximately one month before the time the last frost is anticipated. Once 6 inches tall, move them to the bed or garden, be sure that the external environment is 50°F. When transplanting, all of the plant should be covered just before their bottom leaves are reached. Use the soil to build a ‘saucer-like’ structure of soil around each; this will help to seal in moisture.

For a fall harvest seeds must be sown directly into their permanent place. Seeds should be planted in clusters of four with each cluster set two feet apart. Watch as each seedling sprouts and remove anything except the sturdiest one from the group.

## Caring for the Cauliflower Plants

Cauliflower plants require an estimated 1 inch of water weekly especially when small so that soil can be kept evenly moist. Where rainfall occurs to provide this water, avoid watering again to avoid sogging or water logged plants. Once the flower head (referred to as a button or curd) reaches egg size, start blanching. Blanching is a process used to protect the heads from the sunlight and moisture which will result in them being pure white. If the process is not done then heads will have a yellowish-green discoloration.

There are two blanching options. You can either pull the outer leaves over the head and bound them with an elastic band or loop soft or heavy twine around the leaves and tie them over the head after gently lifting them to cover it. Neither head nor foliage should be wet when blanching since the locked in moisture can rot the plant.

The time it takes cauliflower to grow will depend on the type that was planted. As a rule, harvest them once they are full however, this must be done before the sections start to loosen up. Careful observation once heads grow to 3 or 4 inches in width is necessary.

If you grow other plant, another tip that can result in a great harvest is a three year crop rotation especially if peas and beans where grown in the soil before since such soil is bound to be nutrient rich.

# How to Decorate Lamp Shades

A plain lampshade is like a blank canvas, just waiting for the artist’s creative touch. The best type for decorating is a simple shape made of plain smooth fabric or thick paper. If you are experimenting, it is best to use the least expensive type because you will feel less restricted knowing that failure won’t cost a fortune. A fabulous result can always be repeated on a better quality shade.
Mix colourful hand-painted stripes with pieces of velvet ribbon to an old lampshade to give a rich variety of texture and colour.
This lampshade has been enhanced by an Elizabethan border design, applied using a combination of sponge and stencil techniques. The pattern would also look sumptuous using a deep blue or red with gold.
Stencils, stamps or freehand brushstrokes can be used to paint colourful motifs and patterns. The simplest are often the most effective and it is worth trying a light behind the shade to see how the pattern will show up at night. Try a pattern of dots, zigzags and stripes in earthy colours on a cream background to give an African look, or use black silhouettes on a terracotta-coloured shade for a classical Greek effect. Sky-blue stripes on a white shade look really fresh and burnt-orange patterns on a yellow shade seem like instant sunshine. Before you embark on the whole shade, first paint a small area to check the effect on the fabric or paper.
Photocopy a black and white image, then make copies to cut out for a decoup-aged shade. Use wallpaper paste to stick the photocopied cut-outs in place on a paper shade, then apply clear varnish to give a smooth finish and prevent any curling at the edges. Another good alternative is to use your lampshade as an unusual photograph album. Stick old photographs all around the outside. They will fade with age, creating a nostalgic feel.

### INSTANT EMBELLISHMENTS

Armed with a glue gun and a plain shade you can really go to town. Almost anything can be stuck on to the surface or dangled from the edge. The range of trimmings available today is very extensive and you can buy fringes, ribbons, beads and baubles to suit every style.
Large shades look particularly striking dressed up with upholstery fringing and matching tassels glued around the bottom edge.
Add beautiful ribbons in shot taffeta and silk tied into swags and bows. Or use milliner’s velvet finished off with fake flowers or fruit.
Dress smaller shades with finer decorations such as borders of beadwork or fine fringing.
A border of hold buttons looks good in primary colours against a plain background and wooden or leather buttons have a solid country feel.
Alter the hard-edged shape of a shade by covering it with another material, such as coloured net (tulle) or draped butter muslin, both of which allow plenty of light through. It is best to use lightweight fabrics otherwise the softening effect will be lost when the bulb is lit.

1. Measure the length of trimming needed to go around the shade plus a small seam allowance at each end. Stitch the seams flat to prevent the raw edges from fraying.
2. Heat a glue gun and apply some glue to the surface of the shade. Attach the trimming immediately. You will get an instant bond as the hot glue cools on contact. If you are working with very fine trimmings it may be neater to stitch the trimming on to the shade.

1. Carefully cut a strip of card to use as a spacer to accurately mark the position of the holes around dye top and bottom edges of the lampshade.
2. Set the punch to the required hole size and make a hole at each dotted mark.
3. Attach one end of the string to the inside of the shade using the glue gun or a dab of all-purpose glue.
4. Lace thick string in and out of the punched holes. Cut the string when you reach the end and secure it at the back with glue. Repeat with the other line
5. These delicate-looking shades, made from Japanese handmade paper and photocopies of real leaves and flowers, match the soft glow of candlelight. They have been treated with fireproofing spray for safety.

# Lavoiseir Facts

• Antoine Laurent Lavoisier (1743- 1794) was a brilliant French scientist who is regarded as the founder of modern chemistry.
• He was elected to the French Royal Academy of Sciences at just 25 for an essay on street lighting. A year later, he worked on the first geological map of France.
• Lavoisier earned his living for a long while as a ‘tax farmer,’ which meant he worked for a private company collecting taxes.
• In 1771 he married 14-year old Marie Paulze, who later became his illustrator and collaborator in the laboratory.
• Lavoisier was the first person to realize that air is essentially a mixture of two gases: oxygen and nitrogen.
• Lavoisier discovered that water is a compound of hydrogen and oxygen.
• Lavoisier showed that the popular phlogiston theory of burning was wrong and that burning involves oxygen instead. The frontiers of science
• A Lavoisier showed that old theories about burning were wrong and that oxygen is essential in order for burning to take place.
• Lavoisier gave the first working list of chemical elements in his famous book Elementary Treatise of Chemistry (1789), which was illustrated by his wife Marie.
• From 1776 Lavoisier headed research at the Royal Arsenal in Paris, developing gunpowder manufacture.
• Lavoisier ran schemes for public education, fair taxation, old-age insurance and other welfare schemes. But his good deeds did not save him. When Lavoisier had a wall built round Paris to reduce smuggling, revolutionary leader Marat accused him of imprisoning Paris’s air. His past as a tax farmer was remembered and Lavoisier was guillotined in 1794. Lavoisier had a wall built round Paris to reduce smuggling; revolutionary leader Marat accused him of imprisoning Paris’s air. His past as a tax farmer was remembered and Lavoisier was guillotined in 1794.

# Flower Arranging Tips

Add to the impact of the design by using a scooped-out melon, with its deeply ridged texture, as an unusual container. Watermelons, pumpkins and marrows (squash), or oranges and lemons also make interesting short-term flower holders. You can dry the shells in an oven at a low temperature for a longer-lasting display.

Choose flowers that contrast dramatically with each other in size, shape and texture for this arrangement, such as huge, glossy yellow lilies and tiny, fluffy mimosa flowers, as well as yellow roses, mauve Singapore orchids and carnations. Eucalyptus foliage makes an attractive accompaniment.

1. Gather together the materials you will need: a scooped-out melon or other container, a knife, a dessertspoon, a plastic foam-holding saucer, a cylinder of absorbent stem-holding foam, pre-soaked in water, narrow florist’s adhesive tape, scissors and florist’s scissors.
2. Cut a thin slice from the top of the melon, and a sliver from the base so that it will stand steadily. Scoop out the melon seeds into a bowl using the spoon. Scoop out the melon flesh into a second howl, taking care not to pierce and damage the shell.
3. Press the plastic saucer over the top of the melon and press the soaked foam into the indent. Crisscross 2 lengths of adhesive tape over the foam and saucer and down on to the melon shell. Arrange stems of mimosa to make an irregular shape.
4. Arrange the orchids to make a triangular outline, the tallest one in the center and 2 slightly shorter stems at the sides. Position the carnations to give weight to the design at the top and sides. Cut the lily stems and position them at the heart of the design, where the fully opened flowers will be seen head-on.
5. Add the cream roses, positioning some at the back so that they will he viewed through the more prominent flowers, and one low at the right. Complete the design with light sprays of foliage, placing some on the left of the arrangement to balance the rose. Keep the foam permanently moist, adding water at least once a day.

## Other Container Ideas

You can use all kinds of baskets, pots, jugs, teapots and even decorated food cans as unusual holders for flowers. Rustic baskets always look attractive, either left plain or painted to harmonize with a particular colour scheme. If you are using soaked absorbent stem-holding foam in a basket, line the basket with a sheer of plastic, or fit a plastic container inside.

## Fixing a Saucer of Stem-Holding Foam

Preparing a container in this way allows you to use a tall vase, carafe or jug as a pedestal, positioning flower and foliage stems to slant both downwards and horizontally, or in any direction you choose. You will need a tall container, a strip of florist’s adhesive clay, a plastic foam-holding saucer, a cylinder of stem-holding foam (either absorbent or dry according to the materials to be arranged), narrow florist’s adhesive tape and scissors.

1. Cut small lengths of adhesive clay and press them on to the underside of the plastic saucer, where they will come into contact with the top of the container. Press the saucer firmly in place to hold it securely.
2. Soak the foam if it is to hold fresh flowers and foliage. Press the foam cylinder into the indent in the saucer. Cut 2 lengths of adhesive tape long enough to go over the foam, across the saucer and down on to the container rim. Stick them in place, crisscrossing them on top of the foam.

# Selecting a Dog

Once you have decided to take on the responsibility of a pet dog, the next is to decide how old a dog you want—a six-weeks-old puppy or a grown The ideal is a newly weaned puppy about six weeks old. At this age puppy is dependent on its owner for feeding, companionship and protection, and your fulfilling of these requirements will build a strong bond between the puppy and you. If there are young children in the family an especially strong bond will be formed between puppy and children, mainly :ecause of the long periods each day they will spend in each other’s corn- :any. If possible, defer getting a pup until your family is complete, as some as become very jealous of a new baby..
There are, of course, some disadvantages to purchasing a pup. Toilet raining, for example, can be quite time-consuming (and frequently frustrating). Also, for the first eight to twelve months, during their teething phase. Puppies have a habit of chewing toys, socks, shoes and sometimes furniture.
One way to overcome these annoyances is to choose an older dog, but then ou may be getting somebody else’s problems. The dog may have irritating traits which will take considerable re-education. Tender loving care, however, will win. the hearts of most pups (and adult dogs).
Before you purchase a dog, ask yourself why you are buying it. Is it to be a watchdog, a companion or a sporting dog? How much time will you have 😮 exercise and care for it? Will it live in an urban community, or in a country area where there is plenty of territory for the dog to run free? When you have considered these factors, together with the characteristics described earlier, you will be able to select a breed of dog that will suit your particular purpose and set of circumstances.

## Color

In general, light-colored animals have weaker skin and are more susceptible to skin infections than darker-colored animals. In hot climates, they are more susceptible to sunburn and ‘hot spots’ or dermatitis.

## Sex

A female desexed will make the best pet. Desexing takes place at five to six months before the bitch has her first season. Desexing makes the bitch less Likely to wander; and it eliminates the problems caused by the bitch coming :n season every six months and attracting hordes of male dogs to the house. It is an offense to allow a bitch ‘on heat’ to enter a public place, even on lead.) Desexing prevents unwanted litters and it reduces the possibility of mammary tumors and an infected womb.
Contrary to popular belief, desexing does not alter the personality of the dog, The only disadvantage is that some dogs become fat—invariably this is because the owner has not thought to reduce the dog’s diet since it reached maturity.
A male dog should be desexed if breeding is not contemplated. Domestication and confinement to urban territorial limits are completely unnatural to the male dog’s natural needs; dogs are naturally pack animals and undersexed male dogs tend to roam, gathering in public places such as schools and shopping centers where they frequently become involved in fights with other male dogs over bitches on heat in the area. A frequent consequence of this is that the dog finishes up in the pound, where it may contract diseases requiring expensive veterinary treatment. If the dog is not collected within a stipulated time, it may be destroyed at the pound.
Male dogs away from home are not fulfilling the requirement for which they were acquired—namely as a pet or as a guard dog. In addition to roaming, sexually frustrated male dogs may begin ‘riding’ children or the outstretched legs of visitors (very embarrassing to some). In order to reduce the stray dog population, it is therefore important to desex male dogs as well as female. Unfortunately, there is considerable (and illogical) reluctance on the part of dog owners to have male dogs desexed. Perhaps they should take a tip from horse owners: any male horse not wanted for breeding is always desexed (gelded) at the earliest opportunity.

## Size

It is important for a prospective owner to consider the size of the territory that will be available to the dog . Small dogs will be satisfied by urban blocks of land. while large dogs require much more territorial space. Small dogs require less food; they therefore excrete less feces. which are becoming g. a problem in inner-urban areas. They also require less medication, because it is administered on a per-weight basis. In most cases the small pet will satisfy the companionship and watch-dog needs of the average urban family.

## Temperament

Most dogs were bred for specific purposes, and it is only recently that many have been chosen as pets. Some breeds were developed to be aggressive hunting or work dogs. It is important to understand the temperament of a particular breed. Some breeds are prone to biting, such as Dobermans, Cocker Spaniels, Terriers, Dachshunds, Corgis, Border Collies and Cattle Dogs. It is rare for a dog to bite its owner, but it is the owner’s responsibility to ensure that the dog doesn’t bite visitors.

## Selecting from Litter

Your own veterinary examination of your prospective purchase, particularly a puppy, is most important.
The type of care the mother received while carrying the pups—that is. vaccinations, worming and nutrition—will determine the health of her pups She should have had a vaccination booster midway through the pregnant, to confer a good immunity on the newborn pups and should have been wormed during the pregnancy to eliminate the possibility of worms in the new-born pups. A well-balanced diet—with particular attention to calcium— is important. Check the number of litters the bitch has had in the preceding couple of years. Bitches should not have more than one litter per year, as too many litters deplete the mother’s bones of essential vitamins and minerals and the puppies will therefore be weak.
At the kennels, check the surrounding area for hygiene. Check the other animals in the breeder’s establishment to ensure that they are all healthy with glossy coats.
Once you are satisfied that the breeder’s credentials are up to standard, examine the pups. Ask the breeder about their diet and the worming and vaccination program. Examine the pups at first from a distance and don’t be fooled into taking the weakest pup out of sympathy. Always select the strongest looking pup—the one with the glossy coat and bright eyes. ,Check around the anal area to ensure there is no evidence of diarrhea. If you are selecting a dog for showing, take along someone familiar with the ideal characteristics of the particular breed. Don’t select a sleepy pup. Once you have selected the pup at a distance, pick it up and feel its weight in the palm of your hand. Pick up the other puppies in the litter and compare their weight. The pup should feel firm and heavy.
Examine it for abnormalities such as a cleft palate, overshot or undershot jaw. An overshot jaw is particularly common in Collies and Whippets, and undershot jaws are common in the short-snouted dogs, such as Boxers. Maltese Terriers, and Pekinese. Check the puppy’s abdomen at the umbilicus for hernia. Count the number of digits on the toes. There should be four main digits, with a dew claw in some breeds. If the dew claw is missing, don’t be concerned as in most breeds these are snipped off when the pup is one to two days old. The puppy’s gums should be pink in color, not pale. Examine the internal area of the ear and smell this area. Some puppies have ear mites which they have contracted from their mother. Ear mites cause a smelly inflammation of the ear. In most cases this condition can be cured by the vet.
Puppies under six weeks of age should not be taken from their mother. Before taking the pup get a written copy of the diet the puppy is on. Do not change this diet for about a week to ten days, as the stresses of a change in environment are enough to upset the pup without a change of diet at the same time. Also get from the breeder the puppy’s worming history and find out when the pup should next be wormed. Collect any vaccination cards that indicate what vaccinations have been done and when the next ones are due.
If possible, obtain from the breeder a piece of cloth or blanket that has been used in the puppy’s bedding, so that on the first few nights the puppy will at least have a familiar smell around it. Make the first night comfortable for the puppy. A hot water bottle should be placed in the bed clothing, a ticking clock in his box, plus something of a smelly nature, either the piece of bedding from the breeder or perhaps a pair of used socks. And remember. nothing makes a puppy happier than a full tummy before it goes to bed.

# HIV

The immune system is a wondrously complex and efficient mechanism that continuously defends us from a formidable number of microscopic enemies. Most of its functions are carried out silently as would be invaders are identified and destroyed before they multiply enough to cause any symptoms. Even when defenses are temporarily overcome, in the vast majority of cases the immune system mobilizes enough reinforcements to contain and eventually overcome the infection. Many infections provoke a complex biochemical “memory” called immunity, which helps prevent future invasions by the same organism. One vital component of the immune system is the population of white cells called lymphocytes that play an important role in defending against viruses, fungi, parasites, and certain bacteria. A subgroup called helper T cells is necessary for the normal function of all lymphocytes. It is these cells that are gradually destroyed by the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, which results in a gradual deterioration of immune function. Eventually the affected individual develops unusual infections or severe cases of common infections, at which point he is said to have AIDS, or acquired immune deficiency syndrome.

HIV gains access to an uninfected person primarily through events in which blood or certain body fluids pass from one individual to another:

• From an infected mother to her baby, through contact with the mother’s blood either before or at the time of birth. The majority of children with HIV/AIDS have acquired the disease this way. A pregnant woman infected with HIV has a 25 to 35 percent risk of transmitting the virus to her baby (If she has active AIDS, the risk can be as high as 60 to 70 percent.) However, medical treatment can decrease the likelihood of transmitting the virus to her baby to less than 10 percent; therefore, it is now widely recommended that every expectant mother be tested for HIV as part of routine prenatal care.
• From the breast milk of an HIV-infected mother to her baby. Infants born to mothers with HIV should be fed formula.
• Through sexual contact with an infected individual.
• Through shared needles during intravenous drug use, or (much less commonly) improperly cleaned tattoo needles that have been in contact with an infected person.
• Through contaminated blood products during a transfusion. (Careful screening of donors and blood products has virtually eliminated this type of transmission.)
• Through an accidental needle stick of a health-care worker who is drawing or processing blood from an infected person. (This is also an extremely rare cause of HIV (AIDS transmission.)

It is important to note that HIV is not transmitted through everyday interactions – holding hands, hugging, sharing a meal, or other routine activities. It does not pass through the air. Tears, saliva, urine, and stool from an infected individual have not been proven to transmit HIV unless they are contaminated with blood. If blood – or body fluids that might contain it – from an HIV-infected individual must be handled or cleaned up, latex gloves should be worn to prevent direct contact with skin. The virus can be neutralized by a disinfectant such as 10-percent bleach solution (a given amount of bleach diluted by nine times that amount of water).

Initial contact with HIV may produce a mild flulike illness or no symptoms at all. For many months or years thereafter, there may be no unusual symptoms or signs of disease, but during this time the virus gradually destroys the T-cell population. The virus can be transmit-ted to others even while the affected person feels perfectly well. Eventually full-blown AIDS develops, during which a variety of infections become recurrent and disabling problems. These can include unusual pneumonias, chronic diarrhea, abscesses, bone and joint infections, unusually severe episodes of candidiasis or chicken pox, and central-nervous-system infections. The lymph nodes, spleen, and liver commonly become enlarged. An unusual form of cancer known as Kaposi’s sarcoma may develop. HIV also causes damage within the central nervous system. In infants and children, this can result in delays in physical, intellectual, and behavioral development or in the loss of abilities that had previously been present. Inevitably death results from a combination of one or more infections or other complications.

Among infants who are infected with HIV at birth, about 20 percent develop AIDS within the first twelve months and die before the second birthday. In the other 80 percent the disease progresses at a slower rate, and AIDS develops in less than 10 percent of these children each year. HIV that is acquired later in life (most often through sexual contact or intravenous drug use) tends to progress more slowly toward AIDS, and a number of years may pass before any evidence of the disease is apparent. HIV infection is diagnosed through a blood test that detects the presence of specific antibodies against the virus. If they are present, the individual is said to be HIV positive. Additional medical evaluation and ongoing follow-up are very important, even if no symptoms are present, in order to monitor the infected individual’s immune status and general medical condition.

• Slowing the virus’s proliferation and its damage to the immune system. While there is presently no cure for HIV infection, research continues to discover new treatment options that can help contain or slow the disease’s progress. Because these medication regimes are constantly revised based on new research findings, they will not be described here. However, the physician(s) involved in the child’s or adolescent’s care will review the current options, including benefits, risks, and costs. Treatment protocols may require careful attention to proper dosing and timing of multiple medications to obtain the best results.
• Reducing risk of infection. Children with HIV will normally receive routine immunizations, including DTaP (diphtheria/tetanus/pertussis), MMR (measles/mumps/rubella), hemophilus influenza type B and hepatitis B, as well as pneumococcus and influenza vaccines. OPV (oral polio vaccine) should not be given to HIV positive individuals or their immediate family members because of the risk of developing vaccine-related polio. However, IPV (inactivated polio vaccine) may be used instead. While not isolating a child, prudent efforts should be made to minimize his exposure to people who have common infections such as colds, stomach flu, or cold sores (herpes simplex virus infections), or more unusual diseases such as tuberculosis. Ongoing use of antibiotics that prevent certain infections may be recommended for those with significantly reduced levels of helper T cells.
• Treating infections that arise as a result of impaired immunity. This can become a major challenge AIDS progresses and more serious and complicated infections develop. Expert input from specialists, especially in infectious disease, will most likely be necessary.
• General support. Adequate nutrition, regular exercise, and attentive dental care for the infected individual, as well as continued emotional and spiritual support, are all very important in the process of living HIV. In many cases, one or both parents of an HIV-infected child have HIV and/or AIDS, complicating the process of providing care. Meeting the needs of both patient and family will usually require tapping into the resources of an extended family, local church, and community at large. It is very important that HIV-positive children, adolescents, and adults not be cut off from these sources of support, especially out of misguided fear of contracting this infection from casual contact. As deemed appropriate by their physicians, HIV-infected children should be allowed to attend school and activities with other children. Like those with diabetes, asthma, cancer, and other chronic conditions, their life experiences should not be entirely defined by their medical condition.

## Who should be told about a child’s infection?

Despite more widespread public knowledge about HIV, there are many reasons it is not easy to tell other people that your child has this infection. Fear of negative reactions and uneasiness about disclosing the manner in which the virus was acquired (especially if one or both parents also infected) can make discussing this disease an intentionally charged issue for many people. For this reason, revealing the diagnosis to just anyone may not be in a child’s (or parent’s) best interest. A child’s doctor and health-care providers who deal with HIV infections on a regular basis can provide valuable input on this aspect. In general, the individuals who should be aware of the diagnosis are those who will be providing some kind of care for the child, including:

• Physicians, dentists, nurses, and other health-care workers who will be involved in medical treatment, whether on a short or long-term basis.
• Caregivers, whether at home or in a day-care environment.
• Relatives who are involved with the child on a regular basis.

Relatives and friends who are not directly involved in the child’s care may be made aware of the diagnosis if they are known to be trustworthy and supportive. Last but not least, the child himself should be informed of his condition in a manner compatible with his age and maturity. For younger children basic facts can be given on a need-to-know basis. An older child or adult will need more detailed information about his illness, its treatment, and his future prospects. In either way, this subject should be approached the same as any other difficult topic: with respect for the child, tempered by compassion and love, while avoiding secrets and misinformation.

# Crop Facts

• The first crops were probably root crops like turnips. Grains and green vegetables were probably first grown as crops later.
• Einkorn and emmer wheat and wild barley may have been cultivated by Natufians (stone-age people) around 7000Bc at Ali Kosh on the border of Iran and Iraq.
• Pumpkins are grown on bushes or on vines like these throughout Europe and North America.
• Flax was the most important vegetable fibre in Europe before cotton. It is still used in make linen.
• Pumpkins and beans were cultivated in Mexico c.7000 Bc.
• People in the Amazon have grown manioc to make a flat bread called cazabi for thousands of years.
• Corn was probably first grown about 9000 years ago from the teosinte plant of the Mexican highlands.
• Russian botanist N. I. Vavilov worked out that wheat and rye came from the wild grasses of central Asia, millet and barley from highland China and rice from India.
• Millet was grown in China from c.4500Bc.
• In northern Europe the first grains were those now called fat hen, gold of pleasure and curl-topped lady’s thumb.
• Sumerian farmers in the Middle East c.3000Bc grew barley, wheat, flax, dates, and grapes.
• Beans, bottle gourds and water chestnuts were grown at Spirit Cave in Thailand 11,000 years ago.

# Glue Ear

Glue ear occurs in children and seems to be increasing in frequency. It may follow on Endolymph fluid Vestibular nerve Hairs Gelatinous mass (capula) Eustachian tube from an incompletely cured otitis media infection when insufficient antibiotics are given or taken for an inadequate period of time to completely cure the infection.

Thin, serous (watery) fluid remains in the middle ear, and this gradually becomes thick and forms mucus, so resulting in the term “glue ear.”

## Glue Ear Symptoms

It is usually bilaterial (affecting both ears), and it is common in children in the five-to-six-year age group. Bacteria or viruses may be responsible, giving rise to the chief symptom, which is impaired hearing acuity.

The onset is often insidious, the child being completely unaware of his reduced hearing comprehension. Sometimes it is first noticed by visiting relatives, or the schoolteacher, or it may be picked up on a routine hearing test. The parents might notice the child is awkward or appears inattentive. This is due to the hearing reduction. Pain is absent, but mild aching may occur.

The doctor will find the drum lacks its normal luster, and its movement is limited during certain tests.

## Glue Ear Treatment

This is a specialized procedure, and is always surgical. An incision (called a myringotomy) is made into the drum and the thick mucoid material removed. A grommet is placed into the drum. This is an artificial Eustachian tube, and allows the pressure on either side of the drum to equalize, normally a function of the Eustachian tube. This allows ventilation of the middle ear.

Any infection of the ear, throat, sinuses or other parts of the respiratory tract is treated, arid adenoids may be removed. The grommets may be left in for many months, allowing the ear to heal gradually. As long as the grommets arc left intact, symptoms rarely recur. After they have been removed, the drum tends to heal and the patient is carefully observed. Sometimes, if symptoms recur, the grommets may be replaced. It is essential that the patient be treated efficiently and adequately by the ENT surgeon. This is necessary to restore normal hearing and to prevent long-term or permanent damage to the drum and apparatus of the middle car.

# Bilirubin

Bilirubin is a by-product of the breakdown of red bloods which normally circulate in the bloodstream for about four months until they literally wear out. ‘The liver processes and excretes bilirubin. If the liver is diseased, in hepatitis, or immature, as in newborns, the level of bilirubin in the bloodstream may become high enough to cause a yellow-orange discoloration of the skin, known as jaundice.

Before birth a baby’s bilirubin is largely managed through the mother’s circulation. After birth it takes a newborn’s liver a few days to take over this process, so the level of bilirubin in the baby’s bloodstream will innate by a modest amount. If a significant backlog forms, the baby’s skin will take on a yellow-orange hue, beginning with the head and gradually spreading towards the legs. Whether or not jaundice is significant will depend upon several factors, including the actual level of bilirubin, how soon and how fast it has risen, the suspected cause, and whether the baby is full-term or pre-nature. In some instances, extremely high bilirubin reels can damage the central nervous system, especially in the premature infant. If you notice your new baby’s skin color changing to bright yellow-orange, contact your baby’s doctor.

If there is any concern, the baby’s physician will order food tests to check the bilirubin level, and if needed, other studies will be done to look for underlying causes. Sometimes high levels of bilirubin result from a difference between a mother’s blood type and that of her new-born. For example, if the mother’s blood type is 0 and the baby’s is A or B, some anti-A or anti-B antibodies from the mother may cross the placenta into the baby’s circulation before birth. These antibodies can destroy any of the newborn’s red cells, leading to a high bilirubin level shortly after birth.

A more severe form of this process used to occur commonly in connection with a protein known as the Rh factor, which is either present on the surface of blood cells (making an Rh-positive or an Rh-negative). Whenever a mother with Rh-negative blood gave birth to an infant who was Rh-positive, the mother’s immune system could become sensitized to the Rh factor. If she had another pregnancy with an Rh-positive baby, her Rh antibodies would cross the placenta and destroy significant numbers of the new baby’s red cells. Babies born under these conditions were often jaundiced at birth and became quite ill, requiring immediate transfusions of antibody-free blood. Today Rh incompatibility problems are avoided by giving Rh-negative mothers a shot (called RhoGam) that prevents her immune system from developing Rh antibodies. In most cases, a newborn’s jaundice is the by-product of normal physiological processes and is not caused by an Rh or blood type incompatibility or other problems (such as infection). This so-called physiologic jaundice will eventually resolve on its own within 10 to 14 days. In some situations (depending on various factors), the baby’s doctor will recommend one or more of the following measures to help lower a bilirubin level that has become significantly elevated:

• Treat any underlying cause (such as an infection), if present.
• Increase the baby’s fluid intake by feeding her more often.
• Expose the baby to indirect sunlight for periods of 20 to 30 minutes – dressed only in a diaper in sunlit room where the sun does not shine directly on her sensitive skin. Since indirect sunlight has only a modest effect on clearing bilirubin, don’t use this approach unless you are sure that your baby won’t become too hot or too cold.
• Sometimes an enzyme found in the mother’s milk interferes to a modest degree with the clearing of bilirubin. Your physician may ask you to stop breast feeding for a short time and use formula until the problem improves, after which nursing can resume. In such a case, it is important that you continue to express milk to maintain your supply. This should not be an occasion to stop nursing altogether. Some healthy breast-fed infants will have a slight orange hue for weeks.
• A treatment called phototherapy may be utilized if the bilirubin level needs to be treated. Under a physician’s direction, the baby lies under a special intense blue light while wearing eyeshades like a sunbather at the beach. In addition, or as an alter-native, a baby can lie on a thin plastic light source called a Bill Blanket. Whether carried out in a hospital or at home (using equipment provided by a home-health agency), phototherapy usually reduces bilirubin gradually within two or three days, if not sooner.

A newborn whose jaundice resolves and then re-appears should be checked by a physician, as should an older infant or child who appears jaundiced for the first time. Some older infants who are taking solids and regularly enjoy carrots and other yellow vegetables may actually develop a slight orange hue, which is harmless and has nothing to do with bilirubin. This does not cause the whites of the eyes to become yellow. A more obvious yellow coloration of skin (as well as the whites of the eyes) in a child may indicate that the liver is inflamed or (far less commonly) that the drainage of bile from the liver is obstructed.