Saturday, November 7, 2009


I've been hanging out with the ladies of the Harlem Knitting Circle all day. It's a good way to get a lot done on a project, because there are no distractions like facebook or magazines to suck me away from my work, and the women there tell such interesting stories about their lives. One woman works at Mt. Sinai Hospital and she is collecting small baby blankets for the infants that don't live, so as soon as I can I'm going to make several to donate. One thing that I want to know is why the United States has such a low infant mortality rate in comparison to other developed countries? I've heard some statistics that place the US at about number 30 down the list, but I need to do some more research into this.

Following up on a previous post where I was ranting about vaccines, I was trying to reason with a coworker yesterday who adamantly believes that the flu vaccine contains particles taken from the lungs of exhumed WWI soldiers. "I heard it on the radio!" he said. "It's absolutely true!" Nothing I said would make him change his mind, but seriously--are there even lungs left in the body of a person buried in 1917? So I went home and did some research online and read a whole bunch of different things, but couldn't find anything even remotely related to his claim. My theory is that he's just deaf and completely misheard something on the radio. However, I did learn that childhood vaccines have been mercury-free since 2001, flu vaccines are still cultured in chicken eggs (I knew that they had been made this way, but didn't realize they still were) which helps explain why there are shortages. The vaccine-making process is long, precise, and reliant on a constant supply of 11-day old chicken eggs. Scientists are exploring cell-cultured vaccines, but the technology isn't there yet. So if you read anything on wacky sites that rail against the abomination of "animal tissues" being present in vaccines, it's just people freaking out about the vaccines being produced in eggs, and its all just really ridiculous.

So anyway, enough ranting about that. What I should really be doing is my laundry, but I'm so tired today for some reason. I was so comfortable at the library with the knitters that I stayed there from 10 a.m. until 2 in the afternoon, listening to stories about 9/11, going to Ghana and being courted by African princes, teaching in inner-city schools, and all kinds of things. I'm telling you, those ladies are amazing! I crocheted and listened until I got so hungry I had to leave and go get a sandwich and coke from good ol' Santiago Deli. The day is bright and sunny and I want to be tramping around Harlem, but my head hurts, and my body craves a nap. I can't believe that the sun sets now at around 4:45 in the afternoon! It's not enough daylight--my body wants to hibernate. Well, I'm going to fight it. I'm going to go do laundry, then go running, and then clean my house and (if I can just get up off this bed...) I'm not going to stop!

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