Tuesday, 31 May 2011

ending the stigma surrounding hiv & aids

if you didn't get a chance to watch the webcast live, you can watch it here:

my big moment is near the end where i sneak joshua the questions . . . under the table.

it was a beautiful experience for me. at the end, when the tapes quit rolling the whole room erupted in thunderous applause. it might sound out there to say, but it felt like there were way more voices than just the 10 of us in the room. i had this vision of all of those people who died because of stigma cheering with us. i hope this really is part of the beginning of a new dawn concerning this disease (and really all the other stigmatized diseases eg, mental illness)

Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse

The following was originally posted on CDC Public Health Matters Blog on May 16th, 2011 by Ali S. Khan.
Image of zombie
There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for. Take a zombie apocalypse for example. That’s right, I said z-o-m-b-i-e a-p-o-c-a-l-y-p-s-e. You may laugh now, but when it happens you’ll be happy you read this, and hey, maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency.
A Brief History of Zombies
We’ve all seen at least one movie about flesh-eating zombies taking over (my personal favorite isResident EvilExternal Web Site Icon.), but where do zombies come from and why do they love eating brains so much? The word zombie comes from Haitian and New Orleans voodoo origins. Although its meaning has changed slightly over the years, it refers to a human corpse mysteriously reanimated to serve the undead. Through ancient voodoo and folk-lore traditions, shows like the Walking Dead were born.
Photo: A couple dressed as zombies - Danny Zucco and Sandy Olsson from the movie Grease walking in the annual Toronto Zombie Walk.
A couple dressed as zombies - Danny Zucco and Sandy Olsson from the movie Grease walking in the annual Toronto Zombie Walk.
In movies, shows, and literature, zombies are often depicted as being created by an infectious virus, which is passed on via bites and contact with bodily fluids. Harvard psychiatrist Steven Scholzman wrote a (fictional) medical paper on the zombies presented in Night of the Living Dead and refers to the condition as Ataxic Neurodegenerative Satiety Deficiency Syndrome caused by an infectious agent. The Zombie Survival Guide identifies the cause of zombies as a virus called solanum. Other zombie origins shown in films include radiation from a destroyed NASA Venus probe (as in Night of the Living Dead), as well as mutations of existing conditions such as prions, mad-cow disease, measles and rabies.
The rise of zombies in pop culture has given credence to the idea that a zombie apocalypse could happen. In such a scenario zombies would take over entire countries, roaming city streets eating anything living that got in their way. The proliferation of this idea has led many people to wonder “How do I prepare for a zombie apocalypse?”
Well, we’re here to answer that question for you, and hopefully share a few tips about preparing for realemergencies too!
Better Safe than Sorry
Photo: Some of the supplies for your emergency kit.
Some of the supplies for your emergency kit.
So what do you need to do before zombies…or hurricanes or pandemics for example, actually happen? First of all, you should have an emergency kit in your house. This includes things like water, food, and other supplies to get you through the first couple of days before you can locate a zombie-free refugee camp (or in the event of a natural disaster, it will buy you some time until you are able to make your way to an evacuation shelter or utility lines are restored). Below are a few items you should include in your kit, for a full list visit the CDC Emergency page.
  • Water (1 gallon per person per day)
  • Food (stock up on non-perishable items that you eat regularly)
  • Medications (this includes prescription and non-prescription meds)
  • Tools and Supplies (utility knife, duct tape, battery powered radio, etc.)
  • Sanitation and Hygiene (household bleach, soap, towels, etc.)
  • Clothing and Bedding (a change of clothes for each family member and blankets)
  • Important documents (copies of your driver’s license, passport, and birth certificate to name a few)
  • First Aid supplies (although you’re a goner if a zombie bites you, you can use these supplies to treat basic cuts and lacerations that you might get during a tornado or hurricane)
Once you’ve made your emergency kit, you should sit down with your family and come up with anemergency plan. This includes where you would go and who you would call if zombies started appearing outside your door step. You can also implement this plan if there is a flood, earthquake, or other emergency.
    Photo: Family members meeting by their mailbox. You should pick two meeting places, one close to your home and one farther away.
    Family members meeting by their mailbox. You should pick two meeting places, one close to your home and one farther away.
  1. Identify the types of emergencies that are possible in your area. Besides a zombie apocalypse, this may include floods, tornadoes, or earthquakes. If you are unsure contact your local Red Cross chapter for more information.
  2. Pick a meeting place for your family to regroup in case zombies invade your home…or your town evacuates because of a hurricane. Pick one place right outside your home for sudden emergencies and one place outside of your neighborhood in case you are unable to return home right away.
  3. Identify your emergency contacts. Make a list of local contacts like the police, fire department, and your local zombie response team. Also identify an out-of-state contact that you can call during an emergency to let the rest of your family know you are ok.
  4. Plan your evacuation route. When zombies are hungry they won’t stop until they get food (i.e., brains), which means you need to get out of town fast! Plan where you would go and multiple routes you would take ahead of time so that the flesh eaters don’t have a chance! This is also helpful when natural disasters strike and you have to take shelter fast.
Never Fear – CDC is Ready
Photo: Get a Kit, Make a Plan, Be Prepared
Get a Kit, Make a Plan, Be Prepared
If zombies did start roaming the streets, CDC would conduct an investigation much like any other disease outbreak. CDC would provide technical assistance to cities, states, or international partners dealing with a zombie infestation. This assistance might include consultation, lab testing and analysis, patient management and care, tracking of contacts, and infection control (including isolation and quarantine). It’s likely that an investigation of this scenario would seek to accomplish several goals: determine the cause of the illness, the source of the infection/virus/toxin, learn how it is transmitted and how readily it is spread, how to break the cycle of transmission and thus prevent further cases, and how patients can best be treated. Not only would scientists be working to identify the cause and cure of the zombie outbreak, but CDC and other federal agencies would send medical teams and first responders to help those in affected areas (I will be volunteering the young nameless disease detectives for the field work).
To learn more about what CDC does to prepare for and respond to emergencies of all kinds, visit:
To learn more about how you can prepare for and stay safe during an emergency visit:
To download a badge like the one above that you can add to your social networking profile, blog, website, or email signature visit:

Sunday, 29 May 2011

horse herpes outbreak forces rodeo queens to ride stick ponies

favorite quotes:

"it's kinna weeird, but you can't rilly halp that the disease is goin 'round"

"an it'll give you 'xperience fir, you know things, if you happen to have a prollin' like this later in life, you already have the experience of riding a stick horse"

man, sometimes i forget what utah was like. it reminds me of this song.


Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Thursday, 26 May 2011

elizabeth warren

senate republicans are threatening to block ANY appointee to head the new "Consumer Financial Protection Bureau" with a bunch of weird rules that steal money from tax payers and serves the richies on wall street. basically they are setting up a system that insures that one guy is gets FILTHY rich on the backs of 10,000 people.

president obama has nominated elizabeth warren to head the agency, but she can't get a hearing (watch this to see just how UNFAIR some congressional hearings are to her. spoiler alert the chair of a congressional committee calls her a liar).

barney frank called the republican move "the worst abuse of the confirmation process i've ever seen" and added, "what it clearly says is that the president will have to make a recess appointment."

i agree.

this is m favorite elizabeth warren interview ever . . .

Senate Republicans are threatening to block any appointee to head the new Consumer Financial Protect Bureau unless it is watered down to serve Wall Street interests.

Representative Barney Frank called the Republican move "the worst abuse of the confirmation process I've ever seen" and added, "What it clearly says is that the president will have to make a recess appointment."

I agree.

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee has written a letter to President Obama supporting Warren's recess appointment, and it's been signed by top academics and other progressive organizations.

It's a great letter -- with a message I wholeheartedly support. Can you join them and sign the letter yourself?

Click here to add your name to the letter asking President Obama to appoint Elizabeth Warren -- then send this email to friends.

Monday, a banking leader who once called Warren the "Antichrist" said his initial impressions were wrong and urged a recess appointment. We have momentum, President Obama is paying attention, and an outpouring of national support will make a big difference.

Since the president appointed Elizabeth Warren to set up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau she has proven she can stand up to Wall Street. Now, it's time for a permanent leader to be appointed and, because Republican senators have vowed to block anyone, it's up to President Obama to use his power constitutional power to bypass Republicans and make a recess appointment.

Academics who know Elizabeth well -- like Lawrence Lessig and Dean Baker -- as well as prominent progressive organizations of all stripes like Democracy for America, Democracia, CREDO Action, the Sierra Club, VoteVets, MoveOn, and others have signed on to the PCCC's letter. Even Wall Street folks who support reform have signed on.

Can you add your voice to theirs? Click here to sign the letter.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

National Call to Action for Faith Leaders to End the Stigma that Surrounds HIV and AIDS, live from the White House

i've had quite a bit to do with this: I'M SUPER NERVOUS!

if you can participate, that would be even cooler because the more people on it, the better i will feel ;)

this is for you danny flowers!

The HHS Partnership Center and White House Office for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships are hosting an evening National Call to Action for Faith Leaders to End the Stigma that Surrounds HIV and AIDS, live from the White House this Thursday at 5:00 p.m. This event provides an opportunity for your congregation or community organization to host a watch party and join in the discussion on preventing and responding to HIV/AIDS in our communities, and supporting individuals living with HIV/AIDS.

The National HIV/AIDS Strategy calls for the Federal Centers for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships to actively engage faith communities to address HIV/AIDS and promote prevention and early treatment.

We hope you will be able to join us for this discussion. If you have a question for a member of the panel, please email Partnerships@hhs.gov by 12:00pm on Thursday, May 26, 2011. Be sure to include, your name, organization and location.


Joshua DuBois
Executive Director, White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

Chantelle Britton-Faison
Scientific Advisor, White House Office of National AIDS Policy

Rev. Edwin Sanders
Senior Servant and Founder, Metropolitan Interdenominational Church in
Nashville, Tennessee

Pernessa C. Seele
CEO and Founder, Balm in Gilead, Inc

Phillip Thomason
Minister of Outreach and Pastoral Care, Saint Mark United Methodist Church in Atlanta, GA

To view the webcast, visit http://whitehouse.gov/live.

For listen-in only, please use the information provided below.

Phone: 800-369-1709
Passcode: 3058216

A fact sheet from the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD Exit Disclaimer), designed to help faith communities pursue these and other activities, is also available: United in Battling HIV/AIDS: A Guide to Understanding How Faith Communities Can Make a Difference (PDF 248 KB). Read our blog post on this guide.