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Kids, Eat Fruits & Vegetables & Lead and Be Active

In a big "whoops" moment for the state of California, they are now recalling 300,000 lunchboxes they gave out free to kids with the intention of promoting healthy eating habits. The problem? The lunchboxes were made in China so guess what they contain.

Oh, you're so smart.

The highest lead levels were found in the bag's decorative logo, a shining yellow sun and brightly colored fruits and vegetables along with the www.ca5aday.com Web address.

Horton said the tests showed lead levels "significantly above" 600 parts per million, the legal limit. One box tested at 1,700 parts per million, according to the Department of Public Health.

However, it's not just China who's big on the lead products. Although we technically banned lead paint in the US years ago, it seems to me we've been pretty lax about making sure manufacturers outside of the country meet that standard with the products we purchase from them.

"A lot of materials contain lead; we just don't know how [much], so even though we pass all the tests, we give the suggestion to put a warning label in there," Chen said. "My customers say, 'No, we don't really need it.' "
Every year, toys and other children's products are recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission because lead is discovered in the products' paint.

Seems to me that instead of waiting for the children to get exposed to the lead paint and then issuing a recall, the Department of Public Health should be taking a much more pro-active role in preventing children coming in contact with it at all. Instead of praising them as an NRDC spokesperson has, i would criticize their lax behaviour to a problem that clearly has been continuing for years.

By the by, any of you with the lunchtotes might want to consider getting something else to carry your lunch.

Soft, cooler-type lunchboxes have been a target of environmental and health activists for years because some manufacturers have used lead during production to stabilize the boxes' vinyl lining.

The Center for Environmental Health in Oakland said the problem had lessened since it sued lunchbox manufacturers in 2005, alleging that they violated California's Proposition 65, which in 1986 began requiring warning labels on all products known to cause cancer, birth defects or reproductive harm.

By min | September 21, 2007, 8:44 AM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (2)| Link

Filthy Hands

Americans' hands are getting dirtier, U.S. researchers said on Monday.

They said 77 percent of more than 6,000 men and women washed their hands in public restrooms -- a 6 percent decline compared with a similar study in 2005.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, handwashing in the single-most important prevention step for reducing disease transmission.

In a telephone survey, 92 percent of adults said they wash their hands in public conveniences, according to the study done by the American Society for Microbiology and The Soap and Detergent Association.

But the study, which also conducted research at public restrooms, showed people's actions were not always matching their claims.

Men were the biggest offenders, with just 66 percent of men seen washing their hands in public bathrooms, compared with 88 percent of the women, according to study presented at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy meeting in Chicago.


That's just gross. Wash your hands, people. Don't forget to get under the nails and in between each finger, too. Public restrooms...*shudder*

By min | September 18, 2007, 1:03 PM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (4)| Link

Animatronic Elvis

This is creepy.

This Elvis can look you square in the eye, tilt his head and croon "Love Me Tender" through the speakers in his shoulders.

This is WowWee's second robotic bust, the descendant of a chimp released last year. Both were created by George York, an inventor who used forensic reconstruction techniques and guidance from Graceland to conjure up Elvis in his prime. Beneath the rubbery skin are nine motors for head movements and facial gestures, including four levers dedicated to the upper lip for that signature sneer. A microphone-shaped remote lets you adjust volume, choose tunes or toggle between modes like talking and singing.

Alive Elvis, which will initially be available at Sharper Image stores and at Graceland for about $300, includes one plug-in cartridge with eight songs and 37 phrases voiced by an Elvis impersonator. There are three audio jacks, either for playing music through the speakers, or to patch in a microphone just in case you want to sing along and work on your own sneer.

By min | September 17, 2007, 12:37 PM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (0)| Link


...moose is on the carousel.

By min | September 12, 2007, 2:35 PM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (2)| Link

Funny buggers

Everybody loves funny translations.

When former Australian PM Bob Hawke once spoke in Japan, interpreters apparently translated "I am not here to play funny buggers" as "I am not here to play laughing homosexuals".

And when Australian Labor Party leader Kevin Rudd worked as a diplomat in China earlier in his career, he is said to have translated his ambassador's speech on the close relationship between Australia and China as: "Australia and China are enjoying simultaneous orgasms in their relationship."

Mr Woolcott recalled witnessing one memorable translation when a former foreign minister of the Philippines told a long joke at a banquet in Seoul, South Korea.

"The Korean interpreter was lost, but did not show it. He uttered a few sentences and the audience laughed and applauded," Mr Woolcott wrote in his book.

After the minister complimented the interpreter on his translating skills, the interpreter confessed what he had really said.

"Frankly, minister, I did not understand your joke so I said in Korean that the minister has told his obligatory joke, would you all please laugh heartily and applaud," he admitted.

By fnord12 | September 6, 2007, 4:49 PM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (0)| Link

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