Heat Attacks

Too Few Americans Take Aspirin to Prevent Second Heart Attack In an article from Doctor Gilbert Ross of the American Council on Science and Health it was revealed that only 26% of former heart attack patients take aspirin on a regular basis to prevent a reoccurrence of heart disease. Harvard Medical School did a study of data collected between 1980 and 1996. (This was a time when the use of aspirin was shown to have benefits for those who suffer from heart disease.) The percentage of aspirin uses rose 21%, up from 5%, between that 16 year period. While these results are a major improvement, the numbers are nowhere near what medical experts expected them to be. The regular intake of aspirin by heart disease patients has been proven to reduce the risk of blood clots, which are a major cause of heart attacks. The American Heart Association also recommends that people who suffer from unstable angina, a major warning sign of a heart attack which is characterized by sharp pain, take aspirin to reduce the chances of recurrent angina. Evidence of aspirin's benefits is seen mostly in patients who already suffer from heart disease, but it has been proven that it helps patients to prevent it from ever occurring as well. Patients are advised not to take aspirin for this reason without first consulting a doctor. This is because taking aspirin too often can cause some side effects which include ulcers and allergic reactions. This is also a reason that some doctors think the numbers in the study were so low- doctors are not aware that their patients are taking aspirin since it is an over the counter drug. Doctors also do not consider reporting the use of over the counter drugs to a study. More people should look into taking aspirin though. Results show that death rates have gone down considerably over the past 40 years for patients suffering from all forms of heart disease. This is amazing considering the highest risk factors still are not being treated. These include smoking, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. BibliographyGlibert Ross, M.D. American Council on Science and Health www.acsh.org March 13, 2000

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Gonorrhea We chose the bacterial disease gonorrhea. We were not able to find when the disease was discovered or who discovered it. Gonorrhea is a bacterial disease that is an infection caused by gonoccocus bacteria. This bacteria is round shaped and can live only in dark, warm, moist places. These places would include; inside your body, cervix, penis, throat, and rectum. It usually involves the urethra in males, and vagina, cervix, and fallopian tubes in females. For 2-9 days there are no symptoms of Gonorrhea. Then some do occur. There can be frequent burring urination and thick green-yellow discharge from the penis or vagina. Also, there may be rectal discomfort and discharge, joint pain, a mild rash, or sore throat and swollen glands. For men, the opening of the penis may be red and sore. Symptoms of gonorrhea show up more in males than in females, in fact, about half of the women with gonorrhea have no symptoms. Effects of this disease could include; gonococcal eye infection, blood poisoning, infectious arthritis, pelvic inflammatory disease, epididnmitis, endocarditis, sexual impotence in men, and infertility in women. Also, pregnant women can infect unborn babies. Gonorrhea can be diagnosed by tests that include blood studies. There could be laboratory cultures and microscopic analysis of the discharge from the reproductive organs, rectum, or throat. Of course, you will have to obtain some of the symptoms before the doctor will confirm that the tests be administered. This disease is transmitted by sexual contact. Any form of sexual penetration, oral, anal, and vaginal can transmit gonorrhea. There are other means of catching the disease, but they are not common. A person with gonorrhea can infect another area of their body by touching the infected area and transferring the excretions. Gonorrhea may also be spread in clothing or wash clothes if used by an infected person, and then soon after by someone who isn’t infected. Sometimes infected secretions from the vagina drip down around the anus causing infection in women. Gonorrhea is treated with antibiotics. Common ones include: ciprofloxacin, ofloxacin, cefixime, certriaxone, azithromycin, you can also take non-prescription drugs such as Tylenol or aspirin to reduce discomfort and inflammatory pain. To prevent getting gonorrhea, avoid sexual partners whose health practices are uncertain. Also, always use a latex condom during intercourse. Also, always be responsible and visit your doctor for regular check-ups. If you do find out you have it, you should stop sexual activities until cured. Gonorrhea can be transmitted through any kind of sexual intercourse. The symptoms are all but pleasant, and probably aren’t fun to experience. The disease will probably go away in 1-2 weeks with treatment. Gonorrhea will not go away by itself, even if symptoms disappear. A man’s chance of catching gonorrhea from an infected women is from 30-50%. A women’s risk with an infected man is much higher, being 60-90%. Remember, you can get gonorrhea over and over again, use a condom!

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SAMPLE OUTLINE FOR A PERSUASIVE SPEECH - By Tom Wingard Introduction Attention Are you getting a bit tired of that three inch spare tire Material around your waist? Are you becoming increasingly lazy, fat? Thesis/ I'd like to show you that we're all in need of exercise. Overview Now is the time to get started so that we can enjoy the health and psychological benefits the rest of our lives. Motivation I'm assuming that none of you will argue that exercise is harmful. You'll agree that exercise is beneficial. However, I'm not so sure all of us are actually exercising. I'd like to tell you, then, not how to exercise, but to persuade you to go out and get some exercise. Transition (First, I'd like to tell you why I'm so concerned about our inactivity.) Thought Pattern: PROBLEM-SOLUTION Body Problem: I. Lack of exercise is harmful to our health. A. Cardiovascular disease, the nation's leading cause of death, is caused by inactivity. 1. Clogged arteries and veins are a result of inactivity. (example) 2. Excess fat also caused by inactivity leads to a higher incidence of heart disease. (explanation and example) Internal (Statistically, then, you will die at an earlier age if summary you do not exercise.) Transition (Now some of you might be wondering why I'm preaching to a bunch of 20 year olds.) B. College students are not as healthy as we are often lead to believe. 1. High school seniors are in better health than we are. (survey) 2. We are on the threshold of decline as our level of activity drops. (explanation) C. This change is correlated with the changes in our lifestyles that occur between high school and college. 1. Most of us have less time to run around because we are studying more. (explanation) 2. Many of us have given up the sports we used to play competitively. (example) 3. Now that we're in college we have less motivation to exercise. (explanation) Internal (The point here is that exercise for us must come from summary within. But, statistically, that hasn't been happening.) Transition (This point becomes increasingly significant as we realize that this stage in our lives is a primary force in determining our future behavior.) D. Our inactivity now may lead to inactivity later. 1. Our choices in brand of beer will be carried on through the coming years. (analogy) 2. By being inactive now we are getting ourselves into a rut of being inactive. This rut can be avoided, but it is difficult. (explanation) Internal (I have shown you that by not exercising we are decreasing summary our life spans, and at this particular time in our lives we are especially vulnerable to becoming out of shape. This may carry with us for years, until it is too late. Transition (A fair question to ask here is: What is so great about exercise? If it's such a pain in the ass, it's not worth living a few more years. To this I would respond that it isn't such a pain.) Solution II. Exercise is not a large investment,but the yield is very high. We should all exercise to take advantage of this. A. To exercise, you don't have to lift weights for hours on end or join the wrestling team. Exercise can take as little as 15 minutes a day. (statistic) B. One advantage of being healthy is that your body needs less sleep. This may more than make up for the time it takes to exercise. (explanation) C. Studies show exercise clears your thoughts so that you can be more efficient. (testimony) D. Also, you'll feel better. 1. When hurrying to class you won't get winded so easily. (example) 2. You won't get sick as easily since exercise increases the body's resistance. (testimony and explanation) E. More important, however, are the effects on your body you don't feel. 1. Increasing your cardiovascular strength increases your heart's stroke efficiency. (testimony) 2. Researchers at San Diego State have found that increases in exercise slow the onset of senility. (testimony) Internal (If none of these facts impress you, keep in mind that summary/ exercise might make us look better and this might make transition girls take a little more notice of us.) Conclusion Attention Just as none of us wants to be called a fat slob by our material mothers, none of us wants to die earlier than we should. Underview So, we should all get into the habit of exercising regularly right now. If all of us now begin a routine of staying in shape, keeping in mind that it will make us healthier, give us a better state of mind, and body, we can make the future years of our lives more rewarding. Last Thought And why wait for tomorrow? Start today!

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Eating Disorders

Did you know that 90% of women dislike the way they look? And it’s all because of the media and their emphasis on the “ideal” figure of a woman. Supermodels like Kate Moss and other Barbie-doll-figure-inspired women grace the cover of magazines all over the world promoting a “perfect” shape. Girls of all ages think that this is what people want to see. They think that this is what they should look like and try to set impossible goals for themselves to look like covergirls. As a result, many women in North America suffer from psychological illnesses. Among the most common are eating disorders such as Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa. Anorexia and Bulimia generally arise in young women, but may also occur in older females and occasionally in men. People suffering from any of these sicknesses usually suffer from low self esteem. Victims may think things such as, “my life would be better if I lost weight,” or they may think that people would like them better if they were thinner. They may feel incapable and tell themselves, “I never do anything right,” or feel that “nothing I ever do is enough.” When they look in the mirror, victims see fat staring at them, no matter how thin and bony they may look to others. When shown pictures of themselves, Anorexia and Bulimia patients realize how thin they are but still are dissatisfied with their shape when they go to look in the mirror. Sufferers may lie about how much, how little, or when and where they have eaten so as not to admit to themselves or to others that they have a problem. They may also lie about vomiting and the use of laxatives. Depression or mood swings may also be symptoms of eating disorders. Lack of motivation, feeling isolated and alone, and having the feeling of no self-worth can lead to suicide. Eating disorders are commonly caused by a chemical imbalance in the victim’s brain. Everyone has a chemical in their brain called Seratonin. This is what controls your appetite. In Bulimia patients, this chemical is deficient and so they keep eating and eating. At that point they feel guilty and have the urge to dispose of the consumed food either by vomiting or having a bowel movement promptly after eating. Subsequently, their Vasopressin level increases and eventually takes over, making the disposal of food the norm. The opposite occurs in Anorexia patients. The Norepinephrine chemical in their brain is deficient. Norepinephrine is the appetite stimulant. In their case, they have no desire to swallow anything for fear of becoming obese. Compulsive Overeating is another eating disorder although not as common as Anorexia or Bulimia Nervosa. Patients eat uncontrollably and gain a considerable amount of weight. And unlike Anorexia and Bulimia patients, Compulsive Overeaters are mostly male. Compulsive Overeaters eat mainly to cope with stress and anything that may be disturbing them. They, like Bulimics, understand that they have a problem. Most overeaters are people who were not taught how to deal with stressful situations. As Compulsive Overeating is not yet taken as seriously as other eating disorders, patients are directed to diet centers and health spas, but in the end, Compulsive Overeating can have the same consequences as Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa. The most serious consequence being death. Nevertheless, it can be conquered with therapy and counseling. If they knew what eating disorders do to their bodies, patients would seek help much sooner. In Anorexia patients, fatigue, lack of energy, and Amenorrhea are very common physical problems, as are hair loss, infertility, osteoporosis (caused by lack of calcium) and depression. The same goes for those who suffer from Bulimia. Also, Bulimia patients may have rotted teeth (caused by excessive vomiting), cathartic colon (caused by laxative abuse), and inflammation of the pancreas. There are many more physical consequences that victims may encounter upon suffering from these afflictions. People who suffer from Anorexia and Bulimia are “silently killing themselves.” These sufferers are mostly women, but a growing percentage of men are beginning to catch on to this terrible disorder. They try to convince themselves that there is nothing wrong, but deep down they know that what they are doing is hurting their bodies. Some people eventually realize that they need help and ask for it. These people usually end up in hospital beds if not until they die, for months and even years. Unfortunately, many people don’t report their illness and don’t get help. Eventually, they die. To give you a better view on how uninformed BC’s ministry of health is regarding this subject, here are three things that it does not know: 1. The number of eating disorder patients there are in the province 2. How much money they spend on eating disorder patients. 3. The number of patients hospitalized in one year. Patients should be treated in hospitals where they can be monitored but, unfortunately, not many patients have medical insurance and without it, a hospital bed is expensive. It costs the BC government $775 a day for only one bed. If the patient hasn’t any insurance, financial problems for the family could emerge. Even if they were able to afford to be treated in a hospital, there are long waiting lists. At St. Paul’s hospital in Vancouver, eating disorder patients must wait 3 years to be assessed. Unfortunately, this is too late. In 1992, four young women died within a 4 month period on Vancouver Island alone. This may have been because the waiting lists were too long and they didn’t receive adequate help in time. Fortunately, provincial funding for eating disorder patients has increased, but not nearly enough. Consequently, groups have set up support homes such as Safehouse in Vancouver. Safehouse is a temporary home for patients to turn to. There, patients receive a bed and therapy, are convinced to eat and most importantly are given love all at half the cost of a day in the hospital. At Safehouse, most of the volunteers have experience dealing with eating disorder patients and know how to help them recover. Therefore, many Anorexia and Bulimia sufferers turn to Safehouse for help. Sadly, many doctors, when turned to for help, are not very understanding. Some tell their patients that they will have to live with the conditions and that there is nothing they can do. Some tell their patients that they will die and some doctors even have the nerve to tell their patient that they should feel responsible because it is their fault. On the other hand, some doctors give all the help they can but still just give up hope in the end. All of this is unacceptable and it only happens because not enough people are adequately informed about the consequences that the patient and their family members have to suffer. Dealing with a sick family member can be awfully stressful. In that case, the family needs support. They have to find out all there is to know about eating disorders and related psychological illnesses. If possible, family members should gather information on what they can do to help. But most importantly, they can never give up hope. Their sick family member needs all the help and motivation possible to get well again. Someday, scientists hope to develop a pill or medication for Anorexia and Bulimia victims. This would control the Vasopressin levels of the patient’s brain but until then, psychological help is all they can be given. A few facts about eating disorders… -Up to 3% of young Canadian women suffer from Anorexia Nervosa -More than 5% suffer from Bulimia Nervosa -Up to 17% of eating disorder patients die -30% of eating disorder patients get better on their own -Another 30% get well with the help of doctors -The other 40%, the medical system doesn’t know what to do with -8% of women suffer from eating disorders in their lifetime but do not report it -90% of Bulimia patients were sexually abused -30% of eating disorder cases are chronic -The youngest recorded case of an eating disorder was 18 months -The oldest recorded case of an eating disorder was 62 years -More people die from eating disorders than from any other psychological illness -The first diagnosed case of Anorexia Nervosa was almost 300 years ago BibliographyBooks: 1. Neuman, P, and Halvorson, P. 1983. Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia: A Handbook for Counselors and Therapists. New York, NY. © Van Nostrand Reinhold Company Inc. 2. French, B. 1994. Coping with Bulimia. Hammersmith, London. © Thorsons. 3. Hirschmann, J, and Munter, C. 1995. When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies.. New York, NY. © Ballantine Books. 4. ______. 1996. “Anorexia Nervosa,” “Bulimia Nervosa.” The 1996 Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia. © Grolier Electronic Publishing Inc. Internet Connections: 1. ______. 1996, 1997, 1998. “Anorexia Nervosa,” “Bulimia Nervosa,” “Compulsive Overeating.” Something Fishy © Something Fishy Website. 2. Thompso

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Diabeties In Native Americans

Scott Johnson English 101 / 1314 Mrs. Wendalll 14 February, 2000 Diabetes in Native Americans The Native American way of life has certainly changed over the course of the last one hundred years. What used to be a very strong presence on the American frontier is now a humbled group of people pushed onto ground that nobody else wanted. Along with this change came diabetes, which now affects more than sixty percent of the Pima Indians in Arizona and fifty-seven percent of the Aberdeen area of the Indian Health Service (which includes North and South Dakota, Iowa and Nebraska)(Sandrick 42). Native Americans did not have a problem with this affliction until this century. Due to a sudden change in diet and lifestyle, Native Americans have experienced a sharp and sudden rise in diabetes. When the Native Americans were forced onto reservations they stopped hunting and preparing their own food. Instead the U. S. Government gave them food that their bodies were not used to digesting. Indians were not used to eating flour, lard, canned meats and poultry that are swimming in fat, and canned fruits and vegetables packed in sugary syrup (Sandrick 42). They had survived mainly on vegetables and lean buffalo meat that was prepared in a way that many generations before them had done. These foods had kept their bodies with sufficient nutrients for their daily routines and way of life. Their bodies could not handle the extra fat and sugar in their diet. This, coupled with a decrease in intense exercise increased obesity, and brought on the rise of diabetes. The sudden lack of exercise resulted in a large weight increase in the Native American community. Indians were used to roaming the countryside. They had to follow the buffalo or move to warmer weather. Now, they were put into permanent homes and handed their food. This created an overweight, obese group of people. When most of us think of the Great Indians of the last century, we think of a thin, well-defined figure standing stern and serious. When we think of a modern Indian, we have an image of a larger, more rounded type of person. A rounded, non-chiseled face has replaced the classic Indian, high cheekbone, profile. This makes it harder for their bodies to keep blood sugars at a normal level. The result is Type II diabetes. Native Americans most commonly get Type II diabetes. Type II diabetes is not as serious as Type I, but still has serious affects if not properly attended. Some complications include blindness, amputation, stroke, and early heart attack. With Type II diabetes, most of these side effects can be handled with a change in diet and a doctor approved exercise routine (Nash 52), but there is still a steady rise in the number of Indians being diagnosed with diabetes each year. “Most (Native Americans) don’t have access to what you and I would consider healthy food—green vegetables and fresh fruit,” says DeCora, who founded the Porcupine Clinic on the Pine Ridge Reservation 16 years ago (Sandrick 42). Native Americans need to learn to prepare and eat different foods in order to eliminate this problem. They need to learn to adapt to their new situation in order to survive. The sudden and recent change in the Native American way of life has prompted many problems. The most serious problem is diabetes. Through education of the disease, and strict dietary and exercise routines the problem can be controlled. American Indians need to take these steps to make sure their culture is preserved. Nobody can change what has happened to the Native Americans in the past, but they can change what will happen to them in the future.

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Community Assesment Plan

Substance Abuse Prevention Community Assessment The community that we have chosen to assess is Springfield, Missouri. Springfield is located in Green County in Southwest. According to the USDC, Bureau of the Census in 1999 the population estimate for the Springfield Metropolitan area was 308,332. The annual population growth rate is 1.8% for Springfield. This is compared to 0.6% for the state of Missouri and 1.2% for the United States. Population density of Springfield is 2,068 people per square mile. Comparatively speaking this density is located between the densities of Kansas City (1,397 people per square mile) and St. Louis (6,406 people per square mile). The average family size of Springfield is 2.96 and the approximate percentage of persons in a family is 77.6%. The age-sex pyramid for Springfield MSA has peaks around 15-24 and 35-44 for both males and females. Overall the chart shows that Springfield has a slow to medium growth pattern. The population of Springfield is predominantly Caucasian while Asians, African-Americans and Hispanics represent a very small percentage of the population. Of the total workforce of 171,577 in Springfield only 3,305 people are unemployed which is 1.9% of the total workforce. Since 1990, as a general trend, unemployment rate has dropped from about 5.6% to the current level. According to the Missouri Division of Workforce Development in August 2000 the total breakdown of persons employed by sector is as follows: Number Employed Percentage of workforce Government 19,600 11.4% Services 49,500 28.9% Finance 8,700 5.1% Retail 33,700 19.6% Wholesale 11,100 6.5% Transportation & Utilities 12,800 7.5% Mining & Construction 8,600 5.0% Manufacturing 23,500 13.7% Other 4,077 2.4% According to the Missouri State Census Data Center, the median household income in 1995-1996 was $31,499 and the BEA Per Capita Income was $25,059. There are several major employers in the Springfield MSA. These include Bass Pro Shops, The Battlefield Mall, Tracker Boats, Prime Trucking, Cox North Hospital, Cox South Hospital, Saint John’s Hospital, John Q Hammons Enterprises, as well as several government state and county offices. The Springfield school systems are also a major employer of the city. The school system is one of the strongest in Missouri. The largest high school, Kickapoo, has received Gold Star and Blue Ribbon national recognition for outstanding secondary schools. The three major problems areas in Springfield are alcohol abuse including dunk driving and use by minors, tobacco use, and use of marijuana primarily among adolescents. These three major problems are influenced by many different risk factors. 1. Factors contributing to alcohol abuse: The two main problem areas that have been noted within alcohol abuse are drunk driving, and minors consuming alcoholic beverages. It seems that many people who drink and drive do so as a direct act of defiance for the law. Other possible risk factor for drinking and driving include peer pressure, and lack of overall law enforcement which leads to feelings of security. Minors consuming alcohol is a totally different situation. This use generally stems from lack of parental influence, depression, resistance to authority, lack of law enforcement, and easy access to alcohol. 2. Factors contributing to tobacco use: There are several risk factors that lead to the use of tobacco products. Generally people begin using as a result of peer pressure, observation of role models smoking, lack of parental supervision, high tolerance for deviance, and exposure to advertising. 3. Factors contributing to the use of marijuana: A few of these factors are rebelliousness, nonconformity to family values, resistance to authority, relatively easy access, and an overall lack of anti-drug enforcement. With these three main problems now established, it is important to see the way that various individuals or groups of individuals throughout the community can help to prevent these problems: 1. Individual: The individual is responsible for making productive decisions that will help to get his or her life back on the right path away from any type of abuse or addiction. Also, the individual must be responsible enough to recognize that there is a problem and ask for help if necessary. 2. Peer Group: It is essential that the peer group provide a supportive network for the individual to overcome his or her problems. It is also the responsibility of the peer group to seek help for the individual when necessary. 3. Parental: The parents play a key role if the individual holding the problem is an adolescent. The parent must be able to listen to and communicate with their child about his or her problems. Also, they must be able to provide necessary discipline as is necessary. Finally, the parent must provide a positive role model for his or her child that discourages negative behavior and reinforces behavior that is positive. 4. School/Teacher: The school is responsible for providing effective drug use prevention programs at an early age. This allows the individual to build a strong set of values regarding drug use and abuse that can be held throughout life. 5. Media: The media is widely regarded for its high influence on increased alcohol and tobacco use. It is therefore the responsibility of the media to erase this reputation. They must deliver messages portraying the negative aspects of drug use to allow people to see the true consequences of drug abuse. 6. Others: If outside members of the community condemn the use and abuse of the drugs listed in the main problem areas some of the appeal towards use of the drug will be eliminated. As will a great deal of peer pressure. In order to combat the three major problems identified in the Springfield area we have formed a coalition named Community Wide Prevention Program (CWPP). Our mission statement is as follows: We the people of the CWPP have come together to increase the coordination between government, industry, schools, service providers, and citizens in the city of Springfield. Together we are going to reduce drug and alcohol use among the people of Springfield and to change the social attitudes regarding substance abuse based on measured drug use data. The people that are part of the CWPP team play an important role and our objectives couldn’t be carried out to the fullest extent without their help. The members of the coalition are as follows: Police Chief Wigam Head D.A.R.E. Officer Martin Major Community Business Leader John Q. Hammons School Superintendent Troutwine Mayor Digler Hospital Administrator Gurian In determining the major problems of Springfield we have discovered many disturbing statistics. The main purpose of our plan is to change these statistics. However, to fully understand our plan we will present you with the detailed problems that we have seen within the community of Springfield within each of our three major problem areas. 1. The abuse of alcohol is a major concern for any community because it has ties with a number of other social concerns. Alcohol use is a factor in about half of all deaths from motor vehicle crashes, homicides, and suicides. Alcohol abuse is also often linked to spousal abuse and other family violence issues. Alcohol is also a significant contributor to dysfunctional families school dropout and lost economic productivity. One thing that makes alcohol abuse, as well as underage drinking so prevalent is the fact that alcohol is considered a ‘socially approved narcotic’. Although DWI and teen DWI rates for Springfield are actually lower than state and national average levels, they are still a major point of concern. In a recent survey, 3% of the population reports having driven at least once in the past 30 days after consuming ‘too much’ alcohol. This is quite disturbing considering the fact that they were fully aware of their actions. In a 1997 survey in Greene County it was determined that 51% of high school seniors have consumed more than one alcoholic beverage in the past two weeks. 37% of seniors reported binge drinking, which is more than four or five drinks. These numbers are particularly disturbing because everyone in high school is below the legal drinking age. This forces us to answer the questions, where do these kids get the alcohol they are consuming and how can we stop the consumption. 2. Tobacco use is also a significant concern in the Springfield area. At a time when smoking among adults is decreasing in popularity, it is increasing among adolescents and teenagers. Every day, an estimated 3,000 teenagers begin smoking. According to the Surgeon General, in the lifetimes of those 3,000 teens, 60 will die in traffic accidents, 30 will be murdered, and 750 will die from smoking related diseases. Nearly 85 percent of all smokers say they started smoking before age 18. Studies show that the younger a person starts smoking, the more likely they are to become addicted and continue the use of nicotine. Some prevention specialists see cigarette smoking as a gateway drug, a substance that leads to the use of other drugs. This is because smoking is seen by many adolescents as an act of defiance of authority and often takes place in groups where other acts of defiance take place. In the Springfield area alone 21% of people surveyed said that they smoke cigarettes and nearly half of all high school seniors have tried smoking. This is disturbing due to the fact that 434,000 Americans, including 10,000 from Missouri, die each year from smoking-related cancers, heart disease, and respiratory diseases. 3. Marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug in the United States. In 1996 50% of all high school students reported using marijuana at least once. This is a 3% increase over a one-year period. In the Springfield area the increase is greater. Use increased 10% over a recent two-year period. This is obviously far greater than the national average and is a source of concern. Any use of marijuana is disturbing simply due to the fact that it is illegal. In addition, it has been proven to cause cancers, to prevent the development of male sexual characteristics in adolescent boys, and cause burn out (user appears to be dull and slow). The main goals of our plan are as follows: Alcohol Goal: Significantly reduce use among minors as well as drunk driving. Objective: Reduce each by 20% over a five-year period. Means of accomplishing objective: With cooperation of D.A.R.E. officials and schools we will institute alcohol abuse awareness programs such as mock drunk driving accidents, D.A.R.E. counseling, and speakers promoting appropriate use of alcohol. All of this will take place during regular school hours beginning at the elementary schools and continuing throughout high school. Contents of the programs will be age based. With cooperation of local liquor patrol we will impose an aggressive campaign towards reducing the sale of alcohol to minors. This will be accomplished by liquor patrol agents posing as gas station and grocery store attendants. This will also effectively increase adult awareness of the problem. Finally, also with cooperation of the police, we will set up DWI checkpoint on random major streets every Thursday through Saturday evenings. This should effectively reduce the amount of drunk drivers on city streets. Tobacco Goal: Significantly reduce tobacco use among people that are younger than 18. Objective: To reduce tobacco use by 35% over five years. Means of accomplishing objective: Together with local businesses and the mayor we are going to post aggressive anti-tobacco advertisements. The advertisements will be graphic and show what tobacco use can do to your lungs, throat, and/or mouth. This will be done to show people what can really happen to your body if you choose to use tobacco. With cooperation of the local school districts we will impose anti-tobacco programs in junior high and high schools. This will be a mandatory program that will take place once in the fall and once in the spring. By doing this we will be able to see progress from each semester to the next. Finally, with cooperation of local businesses and local government we will impose a no smoking law in public places and a no smoke break law for underage users. This will prevent underage users from being able to smoke in certain places. By taking away smoking privileges people will be forced to cut back on their tobacco habits. Marijuana Goal: To reduce use and distribution of marijuana throughout the population. Objective: To reduce marijuana use and distribution by 50% over five years. Means of accomplishing objective: Together with the schools and local D.A.R.E. officials we will put more of an emphasis on the use of marijuana than other drugs to be discussed. This is due to the fact that marijuana is usually the first drug that “new” users prefer. With the cooperation of the police and local government we will impose stronger consequences on marijuana distributors and other users. These consequences will include longer jails terms for major distributors as well as higher fines and more drug abuse prevention programs. Together with local businesses we will create an anti-marijuana advertising campaign. These will be signs posted around the city and even bigger billboards along the highway. Also, we will run an ad campaign on local radio and television stations. In January of each year we will receive $100,000 for a total of $500,000 over the next five years. This money will be received by a combination of government grants and support of local business owners. The project will begin in January 2001. The coalition will immediately begin its advertising campaign as well as weekend DWI checkpoints. Also, the liquor patrol will begin posing as gas station and grocery store workers. Funding for these will be divided as necessary between current local advertising rates and current police pay rates. Beginning in August of 2001, we will implement school education programs in the elementary and secondary levels of education. These will take place with the cooperation of school officials, local D.A.R.E. officials, and with outside speakers. The funding allotment for this program will be evaluated quarterly throughout the five year period in order to ensure proper funding for each aspect of the entire program. Projections for exact funding of specific portions of the plan will be determined as each plan is implemented and re-evaluated. Timeline Year 1 January February March April *Receive funding*Implement all programs except school based programs *Evaluate funds allotment *Continue programs *Continue programs May June July August *Evaluate funds allotment *Continue programs *Continue programs *Continue programs*Implement school based programs September October November December *Evaluate funds allotment *Continue programs *Continue programs *Continue programs*Year end progress evaluation *There will be monthly CWPP meetings to determine progress and examine funding. *Years 2-5 will carry out the already established programs. Evaluation As of September 2001 the overall results of the program have been quite positive. Community awareness has grown and adult recognition of the problems has increased greatly. We may need to implement more active police support in the reduction of marijuana distribution in the city. This is due to the increase of the amount of the drug being locally grown. School programs, although young, have been widely accepted by parents. Students also seem to see the necessity of these programs. Funding projections are on line due largely to active support of local business owners. Within the next fiscal year we may be able to implement more in depth plans primarily in the region of reducing alcohol sales to minors with further increased participation of local liquor patrol officials. Bibliographynone

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Cerebral Palsy

Katherine Dillon Child Psychology Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a term used to describe disorders of movement that result from injury to the brain. It is a problem of muscle coordination. The muscles themselves are not effected but the brain is unable to send the appropriate signals necessary to instruct the muscles when to contract or relax. Cerebral Palsy can be caused by numerous problems occurring in the prenatal period, prematurity, labor and delivery complication in the newborn period due to genetic or chromosomal abnormality to the brain may not develop in the typical way. Some environmental factors such as drugs metabolic problems, and placental dysfunction may also lead to CP. Previously it was thought that most infants with cerebral palsy had brain injury because of difficulties during labor and delivery. Today only, a small portion of children who are later diagnosed to have Cp. had birth injuries or oxygen deprivation during delivery. There are three types of Cerebral Palsy. Spastic Cp. is the most common among children. Children with Spasticity will have tight or sometimes rigid muscles and are unable to move included limbs well. The imbalance and increased muscle tone may be slight and may appear as clumsiness. However this imbalance can also appear very severe so that the child in unable to move voluntarily with good control. Choreothetoid Cerebral Palsy is a term used when children have abrupt involuntary movements of the arm and legs. For people with this type of Cp. controlling the extremities to carry out activities is extremely difficult. Then there is mixed Cp. in which a person suffers a mixture of spacitiy and choreathetoid movement. Most Children with Cerebral Palsy can be diagnosed by the time they reach the age of eighteen months. Any predictions for an infant under 6 months are little better then guesses, and even for children younger then one it is difficult to predict the pattern of involvement. By the time the child is two years of age the physician can determine whether the child with Cp, has hemiplegia, dipelgia, or quadriplegia. It is worth saying that a child with Cerebral palsy does not stop doing activities once they have begun them. Such a loss of skills is called regression and that is not a characteristic of Cp. If regression occurs it is necessary to look for a different cause of the child's problem. In order for a child to be able to walk, some major events in motor control have to occur. A child must be able to hold his head up before he can sit on his own, and must be able to sit independently before he can walk on his own. It is generally assumed that if a child is not sitting up by himself by the age 4 or walking by age 8, he will never be an independent walker. But a child who starts to walk by age 3 will certainly continue to walk when he is 13 years old unless he has a disorder other then Cp. The first questions usually asked by parents after they are told there child has cerebral palsy are What will my child be like? and Will he walk? When it comes to expectations and questions of what the future holds for a child with Cerebral Palsy, it is important to maintain a combination of optimism and realism. About one, half of all children with Cp. have seizures. A seizure is an abnormal message that may cause someone to loose control of his or her body. Children may take special medication to reduce their seizures. About one Fourth to one, half of kids with Cp. have some type of learning problem. It may be a learning disability or it may be more severe learning problem like mental retardation. Many children with Cp. may need ongoing therapy and devices such as wheelchair. Generally, 90% of children will live up to there 20's and beyond. However children with quadriplegia (affecting all 4 extremities) and severe mental retardation have a lower survival rate. Services for the school age child may include continuing therapy, regular or special education, counseling, technical support, community integration opportunities, recreation and possible personal attendants. An essential factor seems to be a supportive family. People are extensively affected by cerebral palsy can still be highly functional and independent. The HEALTH Resource Center, the clearinghouse on post-secondary education or individuals with CP, are enrolled in colleges and universities. There are increasing number of measures that can be taken prenatal to reduce risks of cerebral palsy. The best advice is to get medical care as soon as you know you are pregnant. Controlling diabetes anemia, hypertension, and nutritional deficiencies during pregnancy will help prevent some cases or prematurely which can reduce the chance of Cp. There is no cure for Cerebral palsy yet. Important advances have taken place in the last 15 years, which have had a great affect on long term well being of children born with Cp. Advanced technology, including computers and engineering devices has been applied to the needs of persons with Cerebral palsy. Technological innovations have been developed in the areas of speech and communication, self-care and adapting living arrangements and work sites. The future may bring applications that are even more significant. Coping with Cerebral Palsy may be difficult. Parents may feel disappointed, depressed even angry at first. Some parents blame themselves for their child's disability, while some families find comfort in spirituality. Other parents learn what they can ab

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Calcium In A Plant Based Diet

Many people choose to avoid milk and other dairy products because they contain fat, cholesterol, allergenic proteins, lactose, and frequently traces of contamination. Milk is also linked to juvenile-onset diabetes, and other serious conditions. Happily, there are plenty of other, safer and more reliable sources of calcium. Keeping your bones strong depends more on preventing the loss of calcium from your body than on boosting your calcium intake. Some cultures consume no dairy products and typically ingest only 175 to 475 milligrams of calcium per day. However, these people generally have low rates of osteoporosis. Many scientists believe that exercise and other factors have more to do with osteoporosis than calcium intake does. Calcium in the Body. Almost all the calcium in the body is in the bones. There is a tiny amount in the bloodstream which is responsible for important functions such as muscle contractions, maintenance of the heartbeat, and transmission of nerve impulses. We constantly lose calcium from our bloodstream through sweat and other excretions. It is renewed with calcium from the bones. In this process, bones continually lose calcium. This bone calcium must be replaced from food. Calcium needs change throughout life. Up to the age of 30 or so, we consume more calcium than we lose. Adequate calcium intake during childhood and adolescence is especially important. Later, the body begins to slip into “negative calcium balance” and the bones start to lose more calcium than they take up. The loss of too much calcium can lead to soft bones or osteoporosis. How rapidly calcium is lost depends, in part, on the kind and amount of protein you eat as well as other diet and life-style choices. Reducing Calcium Loss. A number of factors affect calcium loss from the body: • Diets that are high in protein cause more calcium to be lost through the urine. Pro tein from animal products is much more likely to cause calcium loss than protein from plant foods. This may be one reason that vegetarians tend to have stronger bones than meat eaters. • Caffeine increases the rate at which calcium is lose through urine. • Alcohol inhibits calcium absorption. • The mineral boron may slow the loss of calcium from bones. • Exercise slows bone loss and is one of the most important factors in maintaining bone health. Sources of Calcium: Exercise and a diet moderate in protein will help to protect your bones. People who eat plant-based diets and who lead an active life-style probably have lower calcium needs. However, calcium is an essential nutrient for everyone. It is important to eat calcium-rich foods every day. The following chart will tell you the calcium content of many foods. Legumes Calcium (mg) Chickpeas, 1 cup, canned....................78 Great Northern beans, 1 cup boiled.........121 Green beans, 1 cup boiled....................58 Green peas, 1 cup boiled......................44 Kidney beans, 1 cup boiled.................50 Lentils, 1 cup boiled..............................37 Lima beans, 1 cup boiled......................52 Navy beans, 1 cup boiled...................128 Pinto beans, 1 cup boiled.....................82 Soybeans, 1 cup boiled......................175 Tofu, raw, firm - 1/2 cup......................258 Vegetarian baked beans, 1 cup..........128 Wax beans, 1 cup canned................. 174 White beans, 1 cup boiled.................161 If using “Calcium Fortified” products, check the source of the calcium. BibliographyVegetarian Journal Future Link The Internet

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What is Anemia? Anemia is a deficiency of red blood cells or hemoglobin in the blood. The word anemia comes from two Greek roots, together meaning “without blood.” At the beginning of the nineteenth century, “anemia” referred to the pallor of the skin and mucous membranes. After medical science advanced, blood cell counts could be done. Anemia became the disease we know today. Symptoms of Anemia Mild anemia may have no outer symptoms. Weakness, fatigue, and pallor are very common symptom. Symptoms of severe anemia are shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, lightheadedness, headache, ringing in the ears, irritability, restless leg syndrome, mental confusion, dizziness, fainting, and dimmed vision. Types of Anemia Iron deficiency anemia- the most common type of anemia; occurs because of low iron levels. Folic acid deficiency anemia- levels of folic acid are low because of inadequate dietary intake or faulty absorption. Pernicious anemia- inability of the body to properly absorb vitamin B12. Hemolytic anemia- red blood cells are destroyed prematurely. Sickle cell anemia- inherited abnormality of hemoglobin; occurs mainly in people of African or Mediterranean decent. Thalassemia anemia- inherited disorder in the synthesis of hemoglobin. Aplastic anemia- decreased bone marrow production. Diagnosis of Anemia Determining the cause of anemia is very important because it may be the sign of a very serious illness. A physician should ask about family history of anemia, gallbladder disease, jaundice, and enlarged spleen. A stool test should be done and the physician should check for swollen lymph nodes, an enlarged spleen, and pallor. Laboratory tests can test both the numbers of red blood cells as well as look at their appearance. Treatments of Anemia Because there are so many different types of anemia as well as causes, treatments vary widely. If the type of anemia results from a vitamin deficiency and there is no underlying cause, treatment is simple. Vitamin supplements can be taken or a change in diet can be made. Transfusions and bone marrow transplants for some other types of anemia can be made. New drugs are currently being tested to help anemic patients. Bibliographyhttp://www.healthy.net/library/books/healthyself/womens/anemia.htm http://www.webmd.lycos.com/content/dmk/dmk_article_5461922 http://www.sleeptight.com/EncyMaster/A/anemia.html http://www.sleeptight.com/EncyMaster/S/sickle_cell.html Understanding Anemia by Ed Uthman, MD (from: http://www.neosoft.com/~uthman/unanemia/unanemia_ch1.html)

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Recent Memory Loss That Affects Job Performance It's normal to occasionally forget assignments, colleagues' names or a business associate's telephone number, but generally remember them later. Those with a dementia like Alzheimer's disease, may forget things more often, and not remember them later. They may repeatedly ask the same question, not remembering either the answer, or that they already asked the question. Difficulty Performing Familiar Tasks Busy people can be distracted from time to time and leave the carrots on the stove, only remembering to serve them at the end of the meal. People with Alzheimer's disease could prepare a meal, forget to serve it, and even forget they made it. Problems with Language Everyone has trouble finding the right word sometimes, but can finish the sentence with another appropriate word. A person with Alzheimer's disease may forget simple words, or substitute inappropriate words, making their sentence incomprehensible. Disorientation of Time and Place It's normal to forget the day of the week or your destination for a moment. But people with Alzheimer's disease can become lost on their own street or in a familiar shopping mall, not knowing where they are, how they got there or how to get home. Poor or Decreased Judgment People can become so immersed in an activity or telephone conversation they temporarily forget the child they're watching. A person with Alzheimer's disease could entirely forget the child under their care and leave the house to visit a neighbor. Problems with Abstract Thinking People who normally balance their checkbooks may be momentarily disconcerted when the task is more complicated than usual, but will eventually figure out the solution. Someone with Alzheimer's disease could forget completely what the numbers are and what needs to be done with them. Misplacing Things Anyone can misplace their wallet or keys, but eventually find them by reconstructing where they could have left them. A person with Alzheimer's disease may put things down in inappropriate places -- an iron in the freezer, or a wristwatch in the sugar bowl -- and not be able to retrieve them. Changes in Mood or Behavior Everyone has a bad day once in a while, or may become sad or moody from time to time. Someone with Alzheimer's disease can exhibit rapid mood swings for no apparent reason: e.g. from calm to tears to anger to calm in a few minutes. Changes in Personality People's personalities ordinarily change somewhat at different ages, as character traits strengthen or mellow. But a person with Alzheimer's disease can change drastically, becoming extremely irritable, suspicious or fearful. Loss of Initiative It's normal to tire of housework, business activities or social obligations, but most people regain their initiative. The person with Alzheimer's disease may become very passive and require cues and prompting to get them involved in activities. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- These ten warning signs also may apply to dementias other than Alzheimer's disease. People concerned about these warning signs should see a physician for a complete examination. The Is It Alzheimer's? Ten Warning Signs campaign has been funded through an educational grant from Parke-Davis. Home Contribute Volunteer Membership What's New Calendar of Events Links About Alzheimer's Programs & Services Search Last updated: June 17, 1997 Please return to http://www.alz-nova.org or call 800-207-8679 or (703) 359-4440 for more information about services in Northern Virginia. © 1997 - 2000 Alzheimer's Association, Northern Virginia Chapter. All rights reserved.

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INTRODUCTION For my research project I have chosen the genetic disease albinism. There are a few reasons why I chose albinism as my topic. First and foremost, in kindergarten I had a friend who was an albino, and although I have not seen him in over 10 years I am still curious as to what the causes of albinism are. Back then, my mother explained it to me by saying, “that’s just the way his skin is” which is a fine way to explain it to a five year old, but now I find myself wanting to know more. Another reason I am curious about albinism actually extends from my first reason. I often wondered if there was any chance that my kids could possibly be born with it. I know now that it sounds a little bit ridiculous but I would sometimes worry that I wouldn’t be able to take my children to the beach (I knew this because my friend from kindergarten could never come with us when we went in the summer). I also used to wonder whether or not my friend could see the same way I could, since his eyes looked so different from mine. As a result of all of this, I could not turn down the opportunity to research a disease that has held my curiosity for such a long time. PHENOTYPIC CHARACTERISTICS The most prominent phenotypic characteristic of albinism is obviously the lack of skin coloring. Albino skin is whitish in appearance, sometimes seeming to be almost translucent. Similarly, albino hair is also very pale, appearing closer to white than blonde. Albinism makes the skin extremely sensitive to sunlight. Albinos need to be very careful about exposure to the sun as they have a very high risk of burning due to lack of protection from ultraviolet rays, which is normally provided by the pigment melanin (2). Similar to the skin, albino eyes also lack color; the irises usually appear pinkish. People with albinism often have eye problems. First of all, they suffer from severe sensitivity to bright lights. Cases of extreme nearsightedness or farsightedness that cannot be completely corrected with eyeglasses are also common. People with albinism also sometimes demonstrate an involuntary back and forth movement of the eyes called nystagmus. Finally, people with albinism are more likely to develop astigmatism. It is possible to have albinism that affects the eyes without also affecting the skin. This is known as ocular albinism (3). INHERITANCE Albinism is an autosomal recessive disorder. All the children of two affected homozygous affected parents are also affected. This means that two parents who have albinism, and who possess two recessive alleles each for albinism will produce affected children 100% of the time. Being a relatively rare disorder, albinos are often the children of unaffected parents (this is the case with autosomal recessive disorders). Parents who are both heterozygotes (both carriers of the disease but not having it themselves) have a 75% chance of producing a normal, non-affected child. Because albinism is not carried on the sex chromosomes, it is expressed equally in both males and females, and either parent can transmit the disorder. Albinism also affects people of all races equally. Approximately 1 in 17,000 people has one of the types of albinism, which amounts to roughly 18,000 people in the United States (1). GENETIC AND CELLULAR ORIGINS Albinism is located on chromosome 11q 14-21. The gene associated with albinism is called OCA1 (among a few others). OCA1 codes for the protein tyrosinase. This protein is responsible for converting tyrosine into something called DOPA (dihydroxyphenylalanine). DOPA plays an important part in the formation of melanin by next becoming dopaquinone. Dopaquinone then forms black-brown eumelanin or red-yellow pheomelanin. Melanin is a pigment, the absence of which causes albinism (2). Albinism occurs when something causes the OCA1 gene to function improperly. This improper function disrupts the production of tyrosinase. With tyrosinase production malfunctioning, it is impossible for the body to make DOPA and as a result the body is also prevented from making melanin. The absence of melanin causes the lack of color in the skin of people who are affected with albinism (2). MOLECULAR ORIGINS The cDNA sequence for the OCA1 gene is 1607 bases long; 325 Adenine, 466 Cytosine, 439 Guanine, and 377 Thymine. Albinism results from mutations in genes involving the biosynthesis of melanin pigment. The OCA1 gene is not the only gene with which albinism is associated, however (4). There are actually six genes that are now known to be responsible for causing albinism: the tyrosinase gene (TYR), the OCA1, OCA2, and OCA3 genes, the tyrosinase-related TYR1 gene, and the CHS1 gene. The function of only two of the gene products is known; tyrosinase and tyrosinase-related protein-1, both of which are enzymes in the melanin biosynthetic pathway. Frameshift mutations, Nonsense mutations, and Missense mutations in the OCA and TYR genes can all disrupt the biosynthetic pathways that produce melanin and ultimately result in albinism however there are too many of them to list here. Since it is not known what function the other gene (CHS1) listed above carries out, it is not yet known what mutations on it leads to the development of albinism (1,4). While researching, I could locate no evidence of any genetic testing that might be available for detecting albinism. I would imagine that if there were one it would be similar to other genetic tests we have studied. You would have to use specific probes to search the DNA strands for one of the many different mutations which are known to result in albinism, although I would question the efficiency of this method since there are quite a lot of them. It is probably also possible to use RFLP markers to test for the presence of albinism, but again the number of different mutations that cause albinism is high enough that the efficiency of such a test would be greatly in question (1,4,5). CONCLUSION Now that my study of albinism has come to an end, I feel what I can only describe as a sense of closure on a subject that has been (at least in some small part) in my thoughts for the past fifteen years. My knowledge of this disorder has come a long way since my curiosity about my kindergarten friend. Obviously my fear that I would catch the disease from him is long gone, but I wish I could say the same for some other more realistic fears. The mutations that cause albinism (and for that matter many other genetic disorders) remain something of an enigma. We know where they are, but we are still unable to prevent or repair many of them with any great rate of success. I’m sure that greater (or at least better-equipped) minds than mine have wondered what direction research in albinism should take, but in my opinion they should look into a cure for the disorder. Is there some way we can stimulate the OCA and TYR genes into correctly performing their jobs, or maybe introduce melanin directly into those suffering from this disorder? I think that once our scientists and researchers better understand the human genome and it inner workings, the cures for genetic diseases like albinism will follow shortly after. Then maybe my friend from kindergarten can finally come with us to the beach. BibliographyREFERENCES 1. www.cbc.umn.edu/iac 2. www.albinsim.org 3. www.eyeassociates.com/images/albinsim.html 4. www.ncbi.nlm.gov 5. www.genome.wi.mit.edu/SNP/human/index.html

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Aids As An Invader

Acquired immune deficiency syndrome, also known as AIDS, is a silent invader. The first cases of this disease were reported in the early 1980’s. AIDS is caused by the infection known as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which is a microscopic organism that can grow and multiply inside living cells. HIV attacks and disables the body’s immune system. The immune system is the system that usually fights off illnesses. “When the immune system breaks down, a person with AIDS will develop life-threatening illnesses.” (Flynn & Lound, 6) The invasion of the AIDS virus in an individual’s body leaves the body open to an invasion by many other different infections, called “opportunistic diseases.” These infections are the main causes of death of AIDS patients. Because there is not yet a cure for AIDS, once the disease invades the body there is no way to get rid of it. AIDS is a life-threatening disease and those infected are often treated as invaders although they are the ones who were invaded. Although AIDS first appeared in the United States in the early 1980’s, HIV “first gained a foothold in humans some fifty or more years ago in Africa.” (Joseph, M. D., 14) At that time many hunters and their families killed and ate monkeys that carried the then undiagnosed and unnamed virus. Stephen C. Joseph, M. D. said that in the 1970’s, when he practiced medicine in Central Africa, he saw “patients with wasting syndromes, atypical progressive infections, bizarre malignancies-all undiagnosed due to lack of laboratory facilities or lack of specific knowledge.” Joseph went on to say that “most of the mortally ill children I was caring for had a combination of severe malnutrition and one or more infectious diseases. These children were in a way the analog to today’s people with AIDS -they suffered malnutrition to such an extreme that their immune systems collapsed.” (Joseph, M. D., 15) The 1970’s is when the AIDS virus first erupted in the United States. This is when certain rare types of cancer and many other serious infections were starting to show up in many people who were healthy beforehand. “Strikingly, these were disorders that would hardly ever threaten persons with normally functioning immune systems.” (Grolier) It wasn’t until 1981 that these symptoms, which were symptoms of HIV, progressed and were given a formal name and description we now know as the AIDS syndrome. Since the first AIDS cases were reported, more than 1 million people have been diagnosed with the AIDS virus and over 200,000 have died in the United States alone. Of the more that 1 million people who have been infected by HIV, most don’t even know that they have been infected because they still have not developed any symptoms. The first high risk group was among homosexual men. AIDS first appeared among the gay community. Now, homosexuals are not the only people who are getting AIDS. The syndrome is now widespread among heterosexuals also. AIDS is an invader because it unwantingly enters the body without any warning signs. There is no way in telling whether or not a person has HIV or even full-blown AIDS. Anyone can get AIDS. The only way that an individual can be safe from this silent invader is to stay away from high risk activities. These activities are sexual intercourse, whether it be homosexual or heterosexual, with an infected individual and exposure to infected blood or blood products, such as through a blood transfusion or by using infected hypodermic needles during drug use. The number of women being infected by the AIDS virus is increasing very rapidly. “AIDS has become the leading cause of death for women between the ages of 20 and 40 in the major cities or North and South America, Western Europe, and sub-Saharan Africa. In the United States, AIDS has hit hardest among black and Hispanic women.” (Grolier) Eighty percent of children born to women with AIDS acquire HIV from their infected mothers. “Between 24 and 33 percent of children born to infected women will develop the disease.” (Grolier) AIDS first invades the body as HIV, and an individual with this virus may not show any symptoms at all. The period from when a person is first infected with the virus to the development of AIDS can vary anywhere from 6 months to 11 years. Between 26 to 46 percent of those individuals infected go on to develop full-blown AIDS within 7 years of infection. Once a person is diagnosed with having AIDS and the disease sets in, they usually die within 3 years following a rapid decline in health. (Grolier) There are many other infections and cancers that invade the body as a result of AIDS and it’s affect on the body’s immune system. “The most predominant and threatening is Pneumocystic carinii, Pneumonia, which is frequently the first infection to occur and is the most common cause of death” (Grolier) Many AIDS patients develop cancers, such as Hodgkin’s Disease. These cancers cause tumors that are usually very aggressive and respond very poorly to chemotherapy. There is not yet a cure for AIDS, but there are treatments available to help lengthen the time before an individual develops full-blown AIDS. The only two drugs that have been licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are azidothymidine (AZT) and dideoxyinosine (DDI). “AZT interferes with the virus replication and has been found to prolong life significantly in some patients and delay the onset of full-blown AIDS in persons with no symptoms, but its potentially toxic side effects may preclude uses in many cases. DDI acts similarly but is recommended for those who cannot tolerate AZT.” (Grolier) Predictions have been made that within the next ten years a vaccine should be available to protect against HIV infection. The problem with finding a vaccine or cure for AIDS is that “many different strains of HIV exist, and even within a given individual’s body the virus can undergo mutations rapidly and easily.” (Grolier) Although AIDS is an invader and cannot be gotten rid once it enters the body, the disease can be prevented from ever entering the body in the first place. Education is the most powerful tool in the fight against AIDS. In order to gain a knowledge of HIV and AIDS, there have been many books and brochures written on the subject. Further spread of the disease can be prevented by avoiding all of the high-risk behaviors. By staying away from these certain behaviors, an individual can stop the AIDS virus from ever invading the body. There are many well-known people who have been invaded by AIDS or who have died from it. The first famous person to reveal that he had AIDS was movie star Rock Hudson, who died from the disease in 1985. Since then, many other well-known people have revealed that they have the disease and many others have passed away. Two other celebrities who have died as a result of the AIDS syndrome are tennis star Arthur Ashe and rapper Eazy E. Arthur Ashe contacted the disease when he received HIV-infected blood during open heart surgery, while Eazy E got the disease from practicing unsafe sex. Basketball great Irvin “Magic” Johnson and Olympic swimmer Greg Louganis are two well-known people who know live with AIDS. Both contracted the disease by having unprotected sex. Because of his disease, Magic Johnson has taken on the fight against AIDS by increasing awareness about the disease and educating young people. He has also started the Magic Johnson Foundation to support AIDS education and prevention, to fund research, and to help care for people with the disease. (Flynn & Lound, 59) AIDS as an invader goes beyond just the invasion of the body itself. Those people infected with HIV and AIDS are often considered to be invaders themselves and are treated as if they are lesser people than everyone around them. Most of the people who react this way do because of a lack of education of the disease. These individuals respond with fear and prejudice. One case that shows how AIDS infected individuals are sometimes treated, is that of Ryan White of Kokomo, Indiana. Ryan was a teenager who contracted AIDS through a blood transfusion. “In 1985 Kokomo officials banned 13-year-old Ryan from school, claiming his medical condition posed a health threat to other students. Hostile Kokomo residents held protests against Ryan. Local restaurants threw away plates and silverware after he had used them. Someone even shot a bullet through the White’s living room window. Before Ryan’s death in 1990, he and his family moved from Kokomo to a more tolerant community in nearby Cicero, Indiana.” (Flynn & Lound, 56) Another example of how people with AIDS are treated as invaders is the case of three little boys who were banned from attending public school in Arcadia, Florida, because they had HIV. Richard, Robert, and Randy Ray all contracted the AIDS virus from blood transfusions and were hemophiliacs. The Ray family went to court and won the right to return back to public school. Although they had won their battle in court, the Rays left Arcadia because their home was destroyed by a firebomb. (Flynn & Lound, 56) The people who do these sort of acts, like trying to keep a child with HIV or AIDS from going to school or bombing the house of a family with someone who has the disease, don’t usually think of how much pain these children and their families are going through already. These people don’t think of how they would feel if they were going through the same situation. Racism also plays a role in how people with HIV or AIDS are considered to be invaders. AIDS has hit hardest in those communities in which there is a lot of poverty and also are made up of mostly African-Americans and Hispanics, who are already considered to be invaders because of their race. Because the poor and those people who are of different races are already discriminated against, when these people are then labeled as having AIDS, they are then considered as being more of an invader as originally thought. (Flynn & Lound, 56) In conclusion, the truth about AIDS is that no one is safe from the disease if they decide not to stay away from high-risk activities, such as unsafe sex. HIV needs only a warm body in order to survive. Being rich, athletic, or famous cannot protect an individual from catching this very serious and fatal disease. What people need, is to educate themselves so that they will know exactly how the AIDS virus is transmitted and how to protect themselves from getting it. By doing this, everyone will then stop treating those with HIV or AIDS as if they are some kind of invader. Instead they will realize that these people are the victims of invasion. Bibliography“AIDS.” The New Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia. Release 6. Compact disk for the Macintosh Computer. Flynn, Tom & Lound, Karen. AIDS: Examining the Crisis. Minneapolis: Lerner Publications Company. 1995. Joseph, M.D., Stephen C. Dragon Within the Gates. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc. 1992.

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Against Health Maitance Organizations

Throughout history, America has always strived for freedom and quality of life. Wars were fought and people died to preserve these possessions. We are now in a time where we may see these ideals crumble like dust in the wind. Health Maintenance Organizations, HMO’s are currently depriving millions of people from quality health acre and freedom of choice. This is occurring because people who are enrolled in HMO’s are unable to choose the doctor that they want. Also patients lose the quality of care because HMO’s interfere with the health care providers decisions. The Health Maintenance Organization has been proven to “sometimes interfere with physicians’ exercise of sound medical judgement and avoid covering necessary medical care, causing members to either pay out of their own pockets or go without” (Schlossman). This means that the insurance company does not really care about you. The insurance company only cares about how much money it has to spend on you as a person and if you need a type of special care that cost money either you can pay for it your self or just go without the care that is needed. This interference often compromises the patients’ ability to have freedom of choice in selecting a provider and to get the best quality for their health care needs. This freedom of choice is the ability to choice the doctor that you want as a doctor. Yet instead HMOs pick the doctor for you. All over the United States HMO’s have denied patients the medical care which they need. In Charlotte, North Carolina, for example, a boy named Ethan Bedrick was born with cerebral palsy. His doctors said that in order for him to be able to ever walk, he would need extensive therapy. Yet according to HMO policy, patients are only allowed a maximum of fifteen therapy sessions per year; therefore, his health plan said “NO.” The HMO said no when a little boy said please help. This proves why HMO’s frequently deprive patients of the optimum quality of life. This little boy’s future of being able to walk was crushed by an insurance company that was so money grubbing greedy that it could not stretch the rule for this case. Since the boy’s therapy is not being paid for the HMOs gets a bonus in their paycheck. They took the money that was supposed to go to the therapy and put it into their pockets. An epidemic has occurred in most senior citizens lives. Since January 1, 1999 440,000 senior citizens have lost their HMO privileges. In essence, HMO’s decided to arbitrarily eliminate the senior citizen plan. The sad reality is that many members who subscribed to these particular HMO’s for its senior citizens package are out of luck and without medical coverage. For many people over the age of 65 who once had HMO benefits are now scrambling to find a new insurance. There are people like Allen Martin from New York, who is over the age of 65. Due to a severe disease his kidneys do not work. As a result he needs dialysis, (which is when the waste material is flushed out of the body) three times a week. This process is extremely expensive costing hundreds of dollars each time and what was once paid for by the HMO, but now he has to find some way to pay for it on his own. In many cases doctors are unable to tell a patient the limitations of their particular HMO and how it interferes with the ability to provide good medicine. This is called the “gag rule”. These gag rules do not allow the doctors to say anything bad or against HMO’s. Also the rules restrain doctors from telling the patient certain things that HMO’s do not pay for such as special procedures that might benefit the patients condition. Doctors who work with HMO’s have to sign a contract. This contract states that a doctor is unable to tell patients certain things. Yet in frequent cases doctors have felt limited by their contract with HMO’s. This is because they want to tell patients important facts, but are unable to because of the contract. If the doctor’s break this agreement, they stand to lose their contract with the HMO. The Health Maintenance Organization created a situation where patients have lost the ability to select the doctor of their choice. In addition, many plans have something called a “Gatekeeper”. The gatekepper is a business man who probibly does not know anything abnout medicine or what to do in a critical medical situation and makes his descions soley on how much is it going to cost. The Gatekeeper tells you that you must see a Primary Physician before you can see a Specialist. This is just one extra step that the patient must take to get care. This process normally takes an extended amount of time resulting in an interference in quality of care. Freedom of choice is a fundamental aspect of being an American. This is being eliminated by HMO’s whose only concern is making money. These companies seem to have little interest in the quality of care and the health of the people of this country. Finally, the health care system in this country is being denied the opportunity to provide treatment which is based on the decisions of trained professionals, but rather is being dictated by money managers who profit from preventing care from being given. The United States has been built upon the principles of choice and quality. We must not allow these basic concepts to disappear.

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Aaa Sex Story

I'd always thought of her as a fairly shy girl, so I was totally unprepared for what happened next. As soon as we sat down on the sofa in the living room, she leaned over and kissed me. Not a little peck, but a full-blown french kiss. It must have lasted for ages as she pushed me down onto my back, pressing her firm breasts against my chest. When she broke the kiss, she looked into my eyes and said I've liked you for so long, but I never had the nerve to do anything about it. I want you. Before I could say anything else, she kissed me again. This time, though, she slid one of her hands down into my jeans to find my penis, which by this time was fully erect and longing for some action. Encouraged by this finding, she undid my jeans and pushed them and my underwear as far down my legs as she could until finally she had to break the kiss. She wasted no time in moving down to my cock and licking its head. She took me in her mouth, but not very deeply. I grabbed her head and gently pushed down, but she resisted. She came up off my *censored* and said Uh ... this is my first time; I hope I'm not too bad at it, then surrounded my cock with her lips once again. She took me a little deeper each time, with a little more suction, a little more tongue action. I didn't tell her, but it was my first time, too, and I'd never felt anything like this before. I lay my head back against the chair arm, closed my eyes, and the feeling swept me away. No wonder guys always talk about getting head, I thought to myself. She was evidently a quick learner, for she soon had me about to cum. I moaned Ohh .... ooohhhh ... I'm ... I'm about to ... , but I didn't get a chance to finish the thought. As every muscle in my body tensed up, I looked at her head bobbing up and down and I shot my semen into a woman for the first time. I guess she didn't quite know what to expect, as she coughed a little before managing to swallow a couple of times. She gave my cock one last suck and lifted her head, smiling. I grabbed her by the shoulders and pulled her head up to meet mine. I kissed her, passionately jousting with her tongue. I was surprised at the taste of my semen; I'd always thought it would be gross, but it actually wasn't so bad. When we broke the kiss, she looked me in the eye and said Did I do OK? The only answer I could think of was another kiss, as my hands went down to her skirt. I fondled her ass a bit while I removed the skirt and her panties. I broke the kiss and told her Now it's your turn. We exchanged positions and I moved down to her *censored*, kissing her breasts through the sweater on the way and wondering if I'd be anywhere near as good for her as she was for me. I gave her outer lips a little kiss, prodding between them with my tongue. Heidi shuddered and spread her legs some more, so I figured I was starting out OK. I spread her lips with my hands and found her clit with my tongue. Her response was a little moan. As I licked her clit, she grabbed my right hand and pushed it towards her breasts, under her sweater. She was wearing a front-closing bra; I wonder if she had anything in mind when she put it on today? It was quite a challenge undoing her bra without my tongue losing track of what it was doing, particularly with only one hand free to work on her bra, but I finally managed to get one of her magnificent breasts in my hand. I was running my fingers around her nipple, pinching it, pressing on it, squeezing her breasts; meanwhile, I was probing into her cunt with my tongue. Heidi was rolling her hips, moaning, encouraging me to probe deeper. I ran the index finger of my left hand over her clit and she responded with Oh God ... Oh ... aaaah ... She grabbed my head and pushed it between her legs as hard as she could; I can't say I minded what she was doing! I moved my mouth back to her clit, and I gave it a little bite as I pinched her nipple. I felt Heidi arch her back. She ground her cunt into my face as the waves of orgasm swept over her and her juices flowed freely onto my face. Finally, she loosened her grip on my hair and allowed me to catch my breath. I crawled up over her body to meet her mouth and let her taste herself. I guess she liked it, because she licked my face clean (it turns out that's quite a turn-on for me, as if I wasn't excited enough already). Well, she was lying there with her cunt exposed, and I was lying there with my tool standing at attention nearby, so there really was only one logical thing to do. I placed my cock at the entrance to her love canal and gently pushed in. I moved slowly because I was expecting her to be a virgin; it turned out she wasn't, but she didn't mind taking it slowly. I'd thought getting head was incredible, but this was something else. I drove my cock into her, thrusting deeper each time, as the feeling drove me crazy. After a short while, she panted Stop ... there's something I want to try. I stopped, without taking my *censored* out of her, and asked what it was. She just said Lie on your back, so I pulled out and lay on my back. She straddled me, held my *censored* in one hand, and slowly lowered herself onto me. It was heavenly. She put her hands on my chest, and I reached up and fondled her lovely breasts. Each time she moved down, I thrust my hips up to meet her. Soon, we were both about to come and we picked up the tempo, wildly ramming our bodies together. I felt her cunt tighten around my cock, and it sent me over the edge. I emptied my cum deep inside her warm body with a series of powerful convulsions. We kept moving until the orgasm subsided. Heidi slowly lowered herself onto my chest, her lips searching for mine. She kissed me with more passion than any of our previous kisses

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Gonzales 1 The Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) was first discovered in 1981 as a unique and newly recognized infection of the body’s immune system (Mellors 3). The name AIDS was formally know as GRIDS (Gay Related Immune Defiance Syndrome). The first case of AIDS was discovered in Los Angeles, where scientists from the CDC (Center for Disease Control) were called in on a half dozen cases. The CDC was convinced what they were seeing was a new strand of virus. None of the staff members had ever seen a strand of virus that could do so much destruction to the immune system like this one did. Many theories about this disease were in question. Many scientists believed it originated in Africa. Many thought the virus existed in humans in South Central Africa for hundreds and thousands of years, causing only minor symptoms in isolated groups until it spread more widely. AIDS could also be traced back to 1959, where a blood sample was taken from a man from Zaire and then frozen. Labs later indicated that the blood sample had the AIDS virus strand in it. Some weird theories also arose in the science arena, where some scientists believed that the virus was caused by a mutation of an existing virus. Others thought it was a creation of God to punish sinful people. A former government worker claimed it was a plot by the CIA to eliminate the population. One scientist thought the virus was brought here from outer space. One more theory about this virus was this was nature’s way of telling us we have to many people. Gonzales 2 The AIDS rate was known to be very high in homosexual men. It was believed that the AIDS virus was carried from Africa to Haiti. Haiti was known as “gay paradise,” because it was a popular vacation spot for homosexuals. Bathhouses were the hang out for many homosexual men and a place where prostitution flourished. Some bathhouses reported that more than 1000 men would visit each year. Since many men from all over the world visited these bathhouses, researchers believed the spread of AIDS could be linked to this type of behavior. There are many symptoms that are associated with the AIDS virus, such as HIV (Human Immundodeficiency Virus). HIV is subdivided into two related types, HIV-1 and HIV-2. HIV-1 is individuals at high risk for developing the AIDS virus. HIV-2 is among people in West Africa and a few other cities that have the strand of the virus called SIV (Simian Immundefienciency Virus) which is found in wild African monkeys. The pattern of the HIV virus usually lasts up to ten years before any symptoms are detected. The first stage is the Primary HIV infection stage. This is where the disease is first detected. Following 3-6 weeks after the initial detection, the Acute HIV Syndrome stage kicks in. Some symptoms to look for in this stage are fever, headaches, sore throat, rashes, and diarrhea. The next stage is the Clinical Latency stage. This stage usually lasts for several years. Some symptoms to look for in this stage are fever, weight loss, fatigue, night Gonzales 3 sweats, and diarrhea. Some infections to look for in this stage are Herpes Zoster (Shingles), Herpes simplex, and lesions on the body. Following the pain and suffering that comes with all these symptoms; death finally takes its toll on another victim. The death toll that AIDS has inflicted on America today is unbelievably high. Within the past decade, the pandemic of HIV and AIDS infections has spread all across the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that by mid 1996 approximately 28 million people worldwide would had been infected with the HIV virus, of whom 8 million have developed the AIDS and nearly 6 million, including 1.3 million children had died (Mellors 4). It is estimated that about 22 million adults and children are infected worldwide from the HIV virus, and of the 22 million people, about 1 million are in the United States, 5 million in Asia, and about 14 million people in Africa. By the year 2000, the number of AIDS infections will reach about 40 million people across the world. Of all these cases reported in the world, men comprise about 50% of all AIDS cases, woman account for 40%, and children born with this disease comprise of 10%. In the United States, total of more than 500,000 cases were reported to the CDC in 1996. Of those, 500,000 people, 62% of these individuals died from AIDS. AIDS is now the leading cause of death in male’s aged 25-44. The number of cases have increased through the years, as shown here:  1985- 4,445 cases were reported.  1986- 8,249 Gonzales 4  1987- 12,932  1988- 21,070  1989- 31,001  1990- 33,722  1991- 41,595  1992- 43,672  1994- 78,279  1995- 71,547 The reported cases by sex were 40,080 men, and 6,255 women. Homosexuals and I.V. drug users account for 81% of cases in men. Heterosexual users account for 84% of cases in women (Key 4). Between the years 1994 and 1995, there was a drop in cases reported to the CDC. This is primarily due to the awareness and education of the public to the dangers of AIDS. Spreading the word of prevention is very costly, but the word has to get through to the young generation growing up. High Schools around the country should be educating young teens on this deadly disease. Between 40,000 to 80,000 American’s have the AIDS virus, statistics show that one out of four teenagers have the disease. Today, President Clinton is advising the White House Office of AIDS Policy to talk to young adults about AIDS and the consequences that come with having the disease (Washington 2). Studies have shown that teens that had sex education are less likely to be infected through sexual intercourse. Education is the key for prevention Gonzales 5 among teenagers, since it causes them to realize the dangers of unsafe sex and intravenous drug use. One of the major obstacles in sex education is that many adults refuse to believe their children are sexually active and do not want to seem as if they condone sex. When it comes to HIV status, do not take anyone’s word for it. Researchers found out that 40% of AIDS infected people do not tell their partners, and almost half of them do not even use condoms (Brietzke 88). Testing for HIV is the most important aspect in preventing AIDS. HIV testing is helpful because if a person is aware that he/she is infected, they can be more careful about not spreading the deadly virus. People are often afraid to get tested, for the fear of knowing they are infected. Home tests are now available for easier access and privacy. Researchers worry about young teenagers taking their own life if they were to find out they were infected with the HIV virus. The most important thing to remember about HIV prevention is, you are responsible for your own actions. If you have to use intravenous drugs, make sure the needles are always sterile. Practice safe sex and avoid sex with someone who might be infected. Get tested for HIV if you think there is any chance you may have contracted the HIV virus from someone. Ten years ago AIDS was discovered. To this day, researches still do not have a vaccine for this deadly disease. It took scientists three years after the virus was discovered to find out how it really works and operates (Key 11). The limited treatment Gonzales 6 available back in 1985 is not nearly as affected as it is today. Today’s treatment is more advanced, but it is very costly and demanding. The only inexpensive treatment that we can give today is prevention. AIDS dropped a stunning 44% in 1997, due to three new potent drugs (Mellors 5). These three new drugs are suppose to revolutionize AIDS care in the future. Typically people start taking these drugs when they learn they are infected with the virus, or when they start showing symptoms of sickness. People who were deathly ill were used to experiment with these new drugs. Months later the patients started showing signs of improvement. Still these drugs are not for everyone. One third of the patients did not improve and later died. The most common reason people stop taking the drugs was that the patients have to swallow 20 or more pills a day, and take them at a precise time. Missing a couple of pills may cause the virus to become immune to the medication. There are many patients that rely on this treatment because this is the only treatment that is making them feel better. To this day in America, the CDC estimates between 400,000 to 650,000 people to be infected with the virus within the next two years. The country needs to pull together and help educate the American people on the dangers of HIV and AIDS.

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Not so much a theory of the universe as a simple picture of the planet we call home, the flat-earth model proposed that Earth’s surface was level. Although everyday experience makes this seem a reasonable assumption, direct observation of nature shows the real world isn’t that simple. For instance, when a sailing ship heads into port, the first part that becomes visible is the crow’s-nest, followed by the sails, and then the bow of the ship. If the Earth were flat, the entire ship would come into view at once as soon as it came close enough to shore. The Greek philosopher Aristotle provided two more reasons why the Earth was round. First, he noted that Earth’s shadow always took a circular bite out of the moon during a lunar eclipse, which would only be possible with a spherical Earth. (If the Earth were a disk, its shadow would appear as an elongated ellipse at least during part of the eclipse.) Second, Aristotle knew that people who journeyed north saw the North Star ascend higher in the sky, while those heading south saw the North Star sink. On a flat Earth, the positions of the stars wouldn’t vary with a person’s location. Despite these arguments, which won over most of the world’s educated citizens, belief in a flat Earth persisted among many others. Not until explorers first circumnavigated the globe in the 16th century did those beliefs begin to die out. Ptolemy, the last of the great Greek astronomers of antiquity, developed an effective system for mapping the universe. Basing much of his theory on the work of his predecessor, Hipparchus, Ptolemy designed a geocentric, or Earth-centered, model that held sway for 1400 years. That Ptolemy could place Earth at the center of the universe and still predict the planets’ positions adequately was a testament to his ability as a mathematician. That he could do so while maintaining the Greek belief that the heavens were perfect—and thus that each planet moved along a circular orbit at a constant speed—is nothing short of remarkable. Copernicus made a great leap forward by realizing that the motions of the planets could be explained by placing the Sun at the center of the universe instead of Earth. In his view, Earth was simply one of many planets orbiting the Sun, and the daily motion of the stars and planets were just a reflection of Earth spinning on its axis. Although the Greek astronomer Aristarchus developed the same hypothesis more than 1500 years earlier, Copernicus was the first person to argue its merits in modern times. Despite the basic truth of his model, Copernicus did not prove that Earth moved around the Sun. That was left for later astronomers. The first direct evidence came from Newton’s laws of motion, which say that when objects orbit one another, the lighter object moves more than the heavier one. Because the Sun has about 330,000 times more mass than Earth, our planet must be doing almost all the moving. A direct observation of Earth’s motion came in 1838 when the German astronomer Friedrich Bessel measured the tiny displacement, or parallax, of a nearby star relative to the more distant stars. This minuscule displacement reflects our planet’s changing vantage point as we orbit the Sun during the year. How did the universe really begin? Most astronomers would say that the debate is now over: The universe started with a giant explosion, called the Big Bang. The big-bang theory got its start with the observations by Edwin Hubble that showed the universe to be expanding. If you imagine the history of the universe as a long-running movie, what happens when you show the movie in reverse? All the galaxies would move closer and closer together, until eventually they all get crushed together into one massive yet tiny sphere. It was just this sort of thinking that led to the concept of the Big Bang. The Big Bang marks the instant at which the universe began, when space and time came into existence and all the matter in the cosmos started to expand. Amazingly, theorists have deduced the history of the universe dating back to just 1043 second (10 million trillion trillion trillionths of a second) after the Big Bang. Before this time all four fundamental forces—gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces—were unified, but physicists have yet to develop a workable theory that can describe these conditions. During the first second or so of the universe, protons, neutrons, and electrons—the building blocks of atoms—formed when photons collided and converted their energy into mass, and the four forces split into their separate identities. The temperature of the universe also cooled during this time, from about 1032 (100 million trillion trillion) degrees to 10 billion degrees. Approximately three minutes after the Big Bang, when the temperature fell to a cool one billion degrees, protons and neutrons combined to form the nuclei of a few heavier elements, most notably helium. The next major step didn’t take place until roughly 300,000 years after the Big Bang, when the universe had cooled to a not-quite comfortable 3000 degrees. At this temperature, electrons could combine with atomic nuclei to form neutral atoms. With no free electrons left to scatter photons of light, the universe became transparent to radiation. (It is this light that we see today as the cosmic background radiation.) Stars and galaxies began to form about one billion years following the Big Bang, and since then the universe has simply continued to grow larger and cooler, creating conditions conducive to life. Three excellent reasons exist for believing in the big-bang theory. First, and most obvious, the universe is expanding. Second, the theory predicts that 25 percent of the total mass of the universe should be the helium that formed during the first few minutes, an amount that agrees with observations. Finally, and most convincing, is the presence of the cosmic background radiation. The big-bang theory predicted this remnant radiation, which now glows at a temperature just 3 degrees above absolute zero, well before radio astronomers chanced upon it. Friedmann made two simple assumptions about the universe: that when viewed at large enough scales, it appears the same both in every direction and from every location. From these assumptions (called the cosmological principle) and Einstein’s equations, he developed the first model of a universe in motion. The Friedmann universe begins with a Big Bang and continues expanding for untold billions of years—that’s the stage we’re in now. But after a long enough period of time, the mutual gravitational attraction of all the matter slows the expansion to a stop. The universe then starts to fall in on itself, replaying the expansion in reverse. Eventually all the matter collapses back into a singularity, in what physicist John Wheeler likes to call the “Big Crunch.” Gravitational attraction is a fundamental property of matter that exists throughout the known universe. Physicists identify gravity as one of the four types of forces in the universe. The others are the strong and weak nuclear forces and the electromagnetic force. More than 300 years ago, the great English scientist Sir Isaac Newton published the important generalization that mathematically describes this universal force of gravity. Newton was the first to realize that gravity extends well beyond the boundaries of Earth. Newton's realization was based on the first of three laws he had formulated to describe the motion of objects. Part of Newton's first law, the Law of Inertia, states that objects in motion travel in a straight line at a constant velocity unless they are acted upon by a net force. According to this law, the planets in space should travel in straight lines. However, as early as the time of Aristotle, the planets were known to travel on curved paths. Newton reasoned that the circular motions of the planets are the result of a net force acting upon each of them. That force, he concluded, is the same force that causes an apple to fall to the ground--gravity. Newton's experimental research into the force of gravity resulted in his elegant mathematical statement that is known today as the Law of Universal Gravitation. According to Newton, every mass in the universe attracts every other mass. The attractive force between any two objects is directly proportional to the product of the two masses being measured and inversely proportional to the square of the distance separating them. If we let F represent this force, r the distance between the centers of the masses, and m1 and m2 the magnitude of the two masses, the relationship stated can be written symbolically as: is defined mathematically to mean is proportional to.) From this relationship, we can see that the greater the masses of the attracting objects, the greater the force of attraction between them. We can also see that the farther apart the objects are from each other, the less the attraction. It is important to note the inverse square relationship with respect to distance. In other words, if the distance between the objects is doubled, the attraction between them is diminished by a factor of four, and if the distance is tripled, the attraction is only one-ninth as much. Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation was later quantified by eighteenth-century English physicist Henry Cavendish who actually measured the gravitational force between two one-kilogram masses separated by a distance of one meter. This attraction was an extremely weak force, but its determination permitted the proportional relationship of Newton's law to be converted into an equation. This measurement yielded the universal gravitational constant or G.

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