Monday, November 10

It's Been A While... But THIS IS IMPORTANT!

Hey all!

It's been a while, but in one of the classes I'm taking, we've been working on a semester long research project on a health issue that involves human rights. It might sound a bit boring, but it's not (though it is a bit more of a serious topic for this blog... sorry).

In any case, my friend asked me to post her research here, and I'd appreciate it if you guys take the time to read it! If you have any questions, leave a comment and I'll check back here a bit more often so we can get back to you quickly!

- Rian

On Vaccinations

            The recent Ebola cases in the U.S. has made everyone a little more nervous and conscious of their health and how easy it is to get sick. For being the dominate species on the planet, we’re pretty frail when it comes to communicable diseases. Tiny viruses and bacteria can and do spread like wildfire through a community, putting everyone at deadly risk. But, thanks to science and modern medicine, we know how to treat, contain, and even prevent a lot of these illnesses that used to kill hundreds at a time. The prevention part in particular is amazing—I’m talking specifically about vaccinations. A couple rounds of relatively painless shots and suddenly nearly all the diseases that used to keep parents up at night (whooping cough, measles, mumps, polio, etc.) worrying for their child’s life are barely a concern. Now, this isn’t to say that vaccinations are definite, 100% protection—there have been cases were someone who is vaccinated gets sick with the exact thing they’ve been vaccinated against, but these are really, really rare occurrences and typically much milder than they would be for an unvaccinated person.

Unfortunately, a lot of people have not been getting their children vaccinated out of concern for side-effects. I interviewed a pediatrician about this, and what he said matched the information I’ve found in scientific articles. Namely:
·         No, vaccines cannot cause autism—the “study” that originally posited this idea used fraudulent data, and the doctor that wrote it lost his license to practice medicine as a result. There have since been a ton of other studies looking into this, and not one has found actual evidence of a link. In fact, the rates of vaccinated kids with autism are the exact same as the rates of unvaccinated kids with autism.
·         Thimerosal, a mercury preservative, also worried a lot of parents, but this hasn’t been used in vaccinations since 2001.
·         Yes, the recommended vaccination schedule has been tested over and over again and is safe.
An important thing to remember: most pediatricians have children too (the one I spoke to did), and they understand exactly why these worries come up and know what they are talking about. They wouldn’t be recommending the schedule if they didn’t have proof it was safe in the majority of cases.

However, there are some exceptions. People who are immunocompromised, because of things like HIV/AIDS, cancer treatments, or some genetic conditions, can’t be vaccinated. Luckily, there is something called ‘herd immunity’ that happens when most of a population is vaccinated (and by most I mean in the 96-99% of people range—for measles, anything below 95% puts everyone at risk). Put simply, if an unvaccinated person is surrounded by enough vaccinated people it creates a kind of shield against diseases so the unvaccinated person is a lot less likely to get sick---if no one in the area is sick, there’s no one to spread the disease to the vulnerable. But herd immunity relies on as many people as possible getting vaccinated—so it’s incredibly important to vaccinate yourself and your children! The risk of side effects is so much lower than the risk of staying unvaccinated and contracting these diseases. Most doctors haven’t even seen cases of things like polio before and won’t easily be able to diagnose them.
            All the ‘eradicated’ diseases aren’t actually eradicated, because they are still really common in third world countries. With the amount of travel between countries that goes on now, it’s very likely you will come across more than one person with one of these diseases in your lifetime. To help illustrate the severity of these, below are the symptoms for measles, polio, and pertussis (whooping cough):

  • Fever
  • Dry cough
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Inflamed eyes (conjunctivitis)
  • Tiny white spots with bluish-white centers on a red background found inside the mouth on the inner lining of the cheek — also called Koplik's spots
  • A skin rash made up of large, flat blotches that often flow into one another

The U.S. is currently experiencing the worst outbreak of measles---over 600 cases according the CDC ( –since before it was declared eradicated in the U.S. in 2000.

  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Back pain or stiffness
  • Neck pain or stiffness
  • Pain or stiffness in the arms or legs
  • Muscle weakness or tenderness
  • Meningitis
·  Loss of reflexes
·  Severe muscle aches or weakness
·  Loose and floppy limbs (flaccid paralysis), often worse on one side of the body

Post-polio syndrome
  • Progressive muscle or joint weakness and pain
  • General fatigue and exhaustion after minimal activity
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Breathing or swallowing problems
  • Sleep-related breathing disorders, such as sleep apnea
  • Decreased tolerance of cold temperatures
  • Cognitive problems, such as concentration and memory difficulties
  • Depression or mood swings

  • Runny nose
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Red, watery eyes
  • A mild fever
  • Dry cough
  • Severe and prolonged coughing attacks may:
    • Provoke vomiting
    • Result in a red or blue face
    • Cause extreme fatigue
    • End with a high-pitched "whoop" sound during the next breath of air

For more information:

Friday, June 1

So... There's a possibility that this blog is over.

Yeah. Quite unfortunate... I'm really sorry. But Kris & I just graduated from high school yesterday (finally) and we'll both be going off to college next year. Also quite unfortunate, Kris and I are splitting ways... We'll be attending different universities in the fall. While we may post here every once in a while, I can't leave you all with hope that we'll be starting up the posts again any time soon. I'm really sorry. This blog has been a major part of my life, at least, and therefore I (and hopefully Kris) could not bring myself to delete this blog. Knowing that we've made a difference in other people's lives also keeps me from wanting to totally eliminate this. I think that it will be a lovely thing to look back upon in the future... So if you have this bookmarked or even, dare I say it, someone's homepage *dramatic gasp*, don't immediately scrap this. Like I said, it is very possible that there will be very infrequent posts in the future. :) Thank you, readers, so much for all of your support. While the Facebook page is updated even less than the actual blog, I encourage you to like us there if you want to attempt to get in contact with us. If there is something that would just make your day to see post, let us know! I'll try to make sure that it will happen, just for you. Note that if what you say is deemed inappropriate by either me or Kris, your post on Facebook will probably be removed and we will not post that. Just a heads up... But yeah. Thanks so much for everything. It's been great. So until later, I hope you have a wonderful life! Rian

Thursday, March 8


I totally made some. You should be jealous.
Here's the cake batter:

Here's the baked cupcakes:

and here's where I partook in this delicious dessert so we could get a look at the inside:

Yeah. Super awesome, and super easy.
Just make some vanilla cake batter, split it up according to the number of colors you want to make, and then use food coloring. I hear that gel food coloring makes it more vibrant, but I didn't have any of that, so I just kept adding normal food coloring until I got the colors you see above :)
Just wanted to share, since we probably haven't posted since January haha


Friday, January 20


Yeah. Sorry. This school year is super busy, and I'm sorry we're losers.

Feel free to call us that as much as you like.
Anyway... In spite of the long long long... Very long breaks from the blog we've been taking recently, I wanted to give you all some hope.

yeah. it may seem gruesome now... but once you get past the fact that yes, people apparently are selling chunks of ground meat with sprinkles in it, you realize:
How cool is that?!
So now, we can all search "Radiant Farms" on Google, get directions to this place from your house, and viola! You can be the one(s) to free the unicorns and allow them to breed in the wild, thus (hopefully) allowing their population to increase and then maybe someday there will be enough so that everyone can see a wild unicorn with their own eyes!
You could totally see real live unicorns, and not just ground meat that has sprinkles on it and claims to contain "Magic in every bite!" (it's probably the sprinkles you're tasting).

But yeah... that's some sketchy meat.
Honestly, at first glance, I didn't even know what that was... I thought it was like, a gross, melty looking cake.
If someone offers you unicorn meat... I'd pass.
Unless, of course, you were cruel enough to go to Radiant Farms just to slay a few for yourself... jerk xD We wanna see unicorns, too!

Anyway, yes. Hopefully the fact that unicorns exist was enough to make you consider forgiving us for being losers.


Sunday, January 8

I really should be working on my history homework...

Link to #1:
Link to #2:

Read before you click the links... I have issues with technology.

... But it's due on Friday and I have about 1/3 of it done already.
I'm such a horrible procrastinator.
Anyway, I've been watching videos off the daily what (a tumblr/cheezburger site) and I've seen two hilarious videos so far. And since this machine is kind of lame and doesn't know how to give me embed codes (it's me being technologically challenged, I'm sure), you have to click some links.
First! This little girl and her dad are so hilarious... It's so lolzy.
Second! This is one of the best Doritos ads I've ever seen. Too bad it's not an actual commercial... Also, the list of ingredients is in the description, so you don't have to be a "doof" (as one of my friends would say) and keep pausing the video in order to see all of them. Smh.
Yeah. Hope you've been having a better 2012 than I've been having!
Your favorite technologically challenged blogger (hopefully),

Thursday, December 29

Plants vs. zombies

Let me just start out by saying: I hate that game.

Let me continue by saying: I'm pretty sure I'm addicted to that game.
It's basically a win-lose (or just a lose-lose, I can see it both ways) situation.
So, I got an iPad for Christmas, which is awesome, so I downloaded PvZ because I really enjoyed playing that game on the iPads at various Apple stores I've gone to, and I downloaded the trial versions for the Xbox and my computer. And I beat the game on my iPad today, with a total of three deaths. I felt pretty accomplished! And then I get to the mini games and things like this started happening:

So in this game, you had to plant starfruit in the spaces with starfruit in them, and you could plant nothing else in those spaces. Then waves of zombies like this came.

This happened about a minute after the previous picture was taken. By this point, I had given up.

Um, okay, never mind then. Apparently this machine won't let me upload pictures to the site. I'll get on my piece-of-junk laptop & upload them in a minute :)
It was pretty ridiculous... The sunflowers suddenly became very stingy with their suns and I'd have to wait for the sky to give me like, three before I could even get one from one sunflower out of five. And then conveyor belts would stop giving me plants and then huge waves like the ones I have pictures of would show up... I probably died like, seventeen times in the mini games alone. It's kind of sad. But it's probably just the way the game's supposed to be, so it's whatever.

I still hate the game, though.

Yours in kicking zombie butt,

Tuesday, December 27

I hope that everyone had a very merry Christmas, or if you don't celebrate Christmas, a very merry Hanukkah/day before Kwanzaa/Sunday. :)

That's all.


I hope that everyone had a very merry Christmas, or if you don't celebrate Christmas, a very merry Hanukkah/day before Kwanza/Sunday. :)

That's all.


Friday, December 23

Zombie Christmas (bigger picture)

Thursday, December 22


A festive comic: