February 15, 2023
Courtesy of Happy’s Inn
We have the best community, Dave and Sarah Steinke gifted us an incredible American Flag for our Wall. How honored we are to have such a beautiful tribute to America.
We display it proudly This American flag was flown over Iraq and Syria 9/11/22
“This flag is a shining beacon of light that represents the American resolve and bears witness to the destruction of the terrorist forces threatening the United States of America and the Free World.”
Thank you Dave and Sarah! We have tears in our eyes and pride in our hearts.
Origins of the
By Karen Morrissette
The Greek poet Sappho was one of the first to document the emotion of love in association with the actual anatomical heart. That was over 2500 years ago, and the connection persisted through Roman and Medieval times to the present day, personified in songs like Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On from the movie Titanic. It’s an understandable relationship, at least in romantic tales where one’s heart beats faster when they first lay eyes on their beloved. Grief can lead to something called Broken Heart Syndrome, in which severe stress can induce symptoms similar to a heart attack. Interestingly, and erroneously, the ancient Romans believed that there was a vein in the fourth finger of the left hand that connected directly to the heart, the vena amoris. This is why couples in the U.S. and many other countries put wedding rings on that finger. The imagine doesn’t really resemble the human heart, but ancient Greeks Galen and Aristotle wrote that the heart had 3 chambers, instead of the 4 we know it to have today. A truly 3 chambered heart might have looked more like the iconic shape to which we have become accustomed.
The oldest surviving design bearing the heart shape is on a coin found in the ancient Roman city of Cyrene in what is now Libya. It was stamped with the shape of the seed pod of a now extinct giant fennel called Silphium. The plant was grown in Northern Africa and commonly used as a contraceptive. Perhaps that association with physical love lead to its use. The first surviving use of the iconic heart in Europe dates from the early fourteenth century. There was an illustration found in a book of love poems, the German Codex Mannesse, and another in a French manuscript for the Romance of Alexander. During the Renaissance, the Sacred Heart of Christ became popular in religious art. As time went by, the heart shape began to turn up not only in written media, but also in jewelry, playing cards, woodworking, engraving, and metal smithing. In the Fishpool Hoard found in England and dating from the fifteenth century, there is an intricate gold brooch in the shape of a heart.
In the late 1970’s, the heart shape found a permanent place in the American psyche as the Big Apple rolled out one of its most famous tourism campaigns – I Love NY with a red heart representing the word love. Young people used to carve their initials in trees connected by a heart icon. Today hearts are found everywhere, and not just for Valentine’s Day. There are reportedly over 30 emoji characters that incorporate a heart shape and the red heart itself remains one of the top ten emojis every year. Despite its rather mysterious origins, the heart shape has established itself as a permanent part of our cultural iconography worldwide.
In The Know: Stroke
By Karen Morrisette
A cerebrovascular accident (CVA), commonly known as a stroke, is a medical emergency. The proper response and treatment can mean the difference between recovery and long-term disability or death. There are two types of stroke – hemorrhagic and ischemia. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when there is sudden bleeding in the brain, usually from a ruptured artery. An ischemic stroke is caused by a blood clot or other blockage in an artery cuts off the blood supply to a part of the brain. Either mechanism can occlude the blood supply to the brain and within minutes, brain cells can be damaged or start to die due to lack of oxygen.
Risk factors for ischemic stroke include narrowing of the arteries, either from buildup of plaque along the inside walls of the vessels, as can happen in individuals with elevated cholesterol or diabetes, or conditions such as high blood pressure that may thicken the walls of vessels over time. A history of blood clots is also associated with increased risk of ischemic stroke. Structural abnormalities within the heart and cardiac rhythm disturbances increase the risk of clot, and therefore stroke as well. Those who have had a heart attack, or myocardial infarction, are also at higher risk of ischemic stroke. Risk factors for hemorrhagic stroke include poorly controlled blood pressure, aneurysms or weakened areas of an artery, and history of recent trauma to the head or neck. Those who take anticoagulant medication, or “blood thinners”, are also more likely to have a hemorrhagic stroke.
Symptoms of a stroke may include sudden numbness or weakness in the face or extremities, particularly on just one side of the body. Sudden onset of severe headache or vision disturbances can also be signs of a stroke, as can unexplained confusion, difficulty walking, or trouble speaking. A common acronym recommends using FAST to recognize signs and symptoms of a stroke.
F – face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A – arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S – speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is speech slurred or sounding strange?
T – time: If you see any of these signs, call 911 immediately.
Calling 911 allows lifesaving treatment to begin sooner. You should not try to drive yourself to the hospital if you think you are having a stroke.
To diagnose a stroke, medical providers usually use a combination of physical exam, blood tests, and imaging of the brain such as a CT (computerized tomography) scan or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). In certain situations, other techniques such as carotid ultrasound, cerebral angiogram (using dye to look at the blood vessels in the brain), or echocardiogram of the heart may also be useful. Once a diagnosis of stroke has been made and the type determined, specific treatment can be started. For an ischemic stroke, this may include either intravenous medication to break up the clot or endovascular procedures to remove the clot or blockage and delivery medication directly to the brain. Angioplasty, inflating a special balloon inside the artery to open the vessel, and stents, hardware that hold a vessel open, are sometimes also used. In the case of a hemorrhagic stroke, medications may be given to counteract the effects of anticoagulant medications. Surgery is often required to stop the bleeding.
After a stroke, many survivors will need rehabilitation. Some may need to be in a special facility for this, while others less affected may be able to do it as an outpatient. Rehabilitation commonly includes physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. A social worker is often involved to help ensure that the stroke survivor has all necessary accommodations they may need when they return home.
There are also transient ischemic attacks (TIA), sometimes known as mini strokes, where an individual may have stroke symptoms that resolve spontaneously within 24 hours. Those who have a TIA are at markedly increased risk for stroke. The TIA can sometimes be a precursor to a full stroke, so medical attention should be sought expediently to avoid a more catastrophic event.
Locals Step Up to Implement Anti-Bullying Practices
By Moira Blazi
There have always been bullies, and there always will be. As adults, we have a mostly unspoken agreement that people should respect one another, whether we actually do or not.
Blatantly rude behavior is universally disapproved of by most of us, there are laws against slander and libel, and assault. Still, the old adage “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is simply not true.
But, in the fertile microcosms of middle and high school, none of these rules apply, in fact, about one out of every 5 students in middle and high school, reports being bullied.
It takes many forms, and, most of this despicable behavior is does not manifest as physical violence, and, is directed against girls. Approximately, 15% of all “bullying “ behavior is spreading untrue rumors, which, as we all know adults also do.
But in middle school, it can be devastating. 14% involves personal insults, and ,about 6% is reported as being excluded from activities.
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