Let's try this again!
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Microwave Kills Germs in Sponges
Updated 1/24/2007 10:36:40 PM
By Jennifer Warner
Jan. 24, 2007 -- Your microwave may be a powerful weapon in protecting your family against disease-causing germs.
A new study shows zapping sponges and plastic scrubbing pads in the microwave can kill bacteria, such as E. coli, that can cause illness.
"Basically, what we find is that we could knock out most bacteria in two minutes," says researcher Gabriel Bitton, professor of environmental engineering at the University of Florida, in a news release. "People often put their sponges and scrubbers in the dishwasher, but if they really want to decontaminate them and not just clean them, they should use the microwave."
Researchers say disease-causing bacteria and germs from uncooked eggs, meat, and vegetables often work their way onto countertops and cleaning tools, and the dampness of sponges, dish cloths, and scrubbers provide an ideal breeding ground for the bugs.
Microwave Sterilizes Sponges
In the study, published in the Journal of Environmental Health, researchers evaluated the effects of zapping sponges and plastic scrubbing pads in the microwave on bacteria and viruses.
The sponges and scrubbing pads were soaked in wastewater containing a dangerous mix of fecal bacteria, E. coli, and bacterial spores. Bacterial spores are more difficult to kill.
The results showed that two minutes in the microwave at full power killed or inactivated more than 99% of all the living germs and the bacterial spores in the sponges and pads, including E. coli.
After an additional two minutes -- a total of four -- none of the bacterial spores survived.
Before you zap your sponges in the microwave, researchers offer the following advice:
- Microwave only sponges or plastic scrubbers that do not contain steel or other metals.
- Make sure the sponge or scrubber is wet, not dry.
- Two minutes should be enough to kill most disease-causing germs.
- Be careful in removing the sponge from the microwave because it will be hot and should not be handled immediately after zapping.
Bitton recommends that people microwave their sponges according to how often they cook, with every other day being a good rule of thumb.
SOURCES: Park, D. Journal of Environmental Health, December 2006; vol 65: pp 17-15. News release, University of Florida.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Monday, January 22, 2007
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Friday, January 19, 2007
Nope didn't work. Phooey, it was really cute, too. If anyone knows how I might be able to upload a short Powerpoint preasentation, please either e-mail me or leave a comment on the comment page of this entry. I'm not very web savvy, as far as HTML goes and all. Thanks!
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Currently there are 6 families in Vietnamadopting their children. 1 family is adopting from Vinh Long province and 5 others are adopting from orphanages in Ho Chi Minh city. 3 more families are leaving next week for Vietnam and they are all adopting from Kien Giang province. This will be the last group of families that will travel before the Tet holiday. After next week we do not feel there will be enough time for families in country to complete their adoptions before offices start closing for Tet. We did not receive any new referrals this week - but hope to have more in the upcoming weeks. Currently there are 39 families that are matched with children waiting to travel, 127 families with current CIS approval waiting to receive their referral and 164 application families in the home study process.
Tet for those of you who do not know, ( I never heard of it until recently). Tet is the Vietnamese equivalent to Chinese New Year. It is a big celebration and businesses are closed for at least a week. Tet, I believe this year is February 17th. I'll provide some more information at a later time.
Monday, January 15, 2007
Tuesday, January 9, 2007
Saturday, January 6, 2007
Saturday was quite a full day. After making sure, we had all the necessary paper work and filled out & printed an online application for each of us. We headed to Walgreen's for our passport photos to be taken. The ease of the digital camera made that an easy and relatively quick process. We then headed to the post office a couple towns away to file an application for passports. It was the first time, either of us had to get a passport. We had to wait for quite sometime, probably close to an hour. They were really busy and there was only one clerk doing passports and quite a line, since one, it was Saturday and two, they are starting to require passports to travel to Canada or Mexico, which was never required before. Thank goodness, we had all the required paperwork and everything went smoothly. Now in about 6-8 weeks, we should be getting our passports sent to us. I forget how long they are good for, 5-10 years I think; hopefully closer to the latter, since all the costs associated with them aren't cheap, but in the long run with the cost of adoption, it will be a spit in the bucket, so to speak.
We then headed to our town's police department, so we could get our ink fingerprints taken. We need to send them to the FBI for one of several background criminal checks. Lots of repetitive actions required. We'll end up having at least 3 different sets of fingerprints taken and have a physical and a couple different medical letters written that we are medically fit to parent both physically and mentally at several steps of this long process, but one that will be totally worth it in the end.
Well if that wasn't enough running around for the day, we decided to run to one of the local malls to pick up Kevin some new shirts and look around for some other shirts. We found some good deals, which is always nice. We ended up getting him a University of Michigan t-shirt, a DePaul t-shirt, a John Deere t-shirt (for that country boy in him) a long -sleeve University of Illinois t-shirt, and a UCLA sweatshirt. Also, I picked up some sheer yellow curtains for the French doors in our kitchen. It will be nice to finally have curtains on those windows.
Well, I think, I'll watch an episode of ER that I got from Netflix. I never saw the show before, so I'm looking forward to it, since I heard so many good things. Then, I'll just hit the sack; I'm sure I'll have no problem sleeping, after our busy day on-the-run.
Tuesday, January 2, 2007
Monday, January 1, 2007
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
Actually, our new year's celebration was nice and low key. We just spent some time with close friends with lots of soda, snacks, and just a champagne or sparkling grape juice toast at midnight. Nothing wild and crazy; we'll leave that to the younger generation and as a memory of our past inhibitions during our younger days!
Since it's the new year, a few resolutions I guess are in order:
- The usual lose weight should be included although maybe only 10 lbs. or so;
- Fewer visits to Starbucks is a must, but is difficult when every block or two has one;
- Maybe eating out less (But we have improved a lot in that area);
- Keep in touch with friends better.
Well, I don't want to go overboard, so I'll stop there. What is it they say, 95% of New Year resolutions are broken during the first 10 days or so?