By David S. Greene
August 19, 2010
A clue is emerging that could suggest a way to combat osteoarthritis in people: better nutrition in childhood (and even in the womb) could leave you less susceptible to arthritis as you age. Â The source of this link: research on moose populations on an island in Lake Superior. No kidding. The New York Times has the story:
The arthritic Bullwinkles got that way because of poor nutrition early in life, an extraordinary 50-year research project has discovered. That could mean, scientists say, that some peopleâ€™s arthritis can be linked in part to nutritional deficits, in the womb and possibly throughout childhood.
The moose conclusion bolsters a small but growing body of research connecting early development to chronic conditions like osteoarthritis, which currently affects 27 million Americans, up from 21 million in 1990.
For the moosely population (back off…if the New York Times can use the word, so can I), arthritis leads to less agility and the danger of being attacked by wolves. Be thankful that the consequences for you, as uncomfortable as they may be, aren’t that dire.
Distracted driving means more than your phone: As states pass laws banning texting while driving, other distractions still pose hazards to drivers. One that you can do something about is highlighted in USA Today:
Nearly 60% of dog owners have driven while distracted by their pets as passengers, according to a new survey by auto club AAA. Only 17% â€” about one in six â€” ever use animal restraints, which can prevent pets from being a distraction and protect them and other occupants in a crash, the survey finds.
In crashes, unrestrained dogs pose an unintended threat to the driver and other passengers, says Jennifer Huebner-Davidson, manager of traffic safety programs at AAA.
She says an unrestrained 10-pound dog in a crash at 50 mph will exert 500 pounds of force on whatever it strikes; an 80-pound dog in a crash at just 30 mph will exert about 2,400 pounds, she says. Unrestrained dogs also can prove distracting by climbing onto the driver’s lap, interfering with the ability to steer or crawling onto the foot pedals.
Advice you should consider:
- Dogs should be in the back seat, not the front. DEFINITELY not on the driver’s lap.
- Think of dogs like small children, and restrain them with harnesses or secured crates.
Haiti update: The recovery from January’s earthquake that devastated Haiti remains slow and difficult. CNN reports the situation for animals is no better than it is for the surviving citizens, and in many ways worse. Even previous to the earthquake, there wasn’t any such thing as an organization devoted to animal welfare. Â Today, though, the Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti (ARCH) is doing what it can.
Dog park controversy in SoCal: In the 1960’s, city officials in Ventura, Calif. decided to remove grave markers from a cemetery and convert the land to a park for public use. It’s been known since as Memorial Park. The dead (including a soldier who was awarded the Medal of Honor from his bravery in the 1860’s Indian Wars) were not disinterred –Â the markers were simply removed. Over the course of the last 40-plus years, the park has also become a popular dog park. That has created controversy, as this quote from the Ventura County Star shows:
“Talk to any veteran, he will tell you it is a terrible thing. It’s disrespectful,” said retired Marine Sgt. Craig “Gunny” Donor, who served two tours in Vietnam and is bent on getting the soldier’s remains moved.
Pvt. James Sumner, who was awarded the nation’s highest military honor for gallant actions after a band of Apache Indians kidnapped a settler’s child, died in 1912 and he was buried in what was then St. Mary’s Cemetery.
A decision on how to handle Memorial Park won’t be decided for at least another month, when the city’s Recreation Commission will take up the issue again. (Tip of the cap to our friend Maria Goodavage at Dogster)
Cowabunga! An hour away from Ventura, the first water park for dogs has opened in Los Angeles. Yep, water park for dogs. It’s actually part of the Paradise Ranch Pet Resort in La Tuna Canyon. The Los Angeles Times, always quick to point out a celebrity link to a story, any story, obliges:
Some famous celebrities, including Nicole Richie, Rihanna, and Shaquille O’Neal, have already checked their pooches into the pet paradise.
Shaq (new nickname: The Big Shamrock) just recently signed to play for the Boston Celtics, so I hope we’ll be getting our own doggie water park real soon now. Cami and Harry love to go swimming. Gimme a call, Shaq. We’ll do lunch.
Your Draw the Dog link for today: I love these guys. Color me easily amused, but watching the cartoon draw itself never ceases to fascinate me. This week’s cartoon is lots of fun to watch.
Speaking of easily amused: I cannot explain why I love this cartoon, I just do. It’s from a quirky little website called Brainless Tales. The site updates each day, and like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.
I always like to hear from readers, especially if you have tips, and links for interesting stories.Â Give me a shout in the comments, or better yet,Â send me an e-mail.
Photo credits: Bullwinkle, dvdtalk.com. Ignoring cat, brainlesstales.com.