Not To Be Trusted With Knives

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Products I Don’t Understand – London Drugs Edition

Yesterday, on my way back from my orthodontist appointment, I stopped at London Drugs to buy a doohickey that allows me to hook up Chloe, my beloved MacBook Pro, to a projector. You know, seeing as I start teaching my course tomorrow and I’ll be needing to hook up Chloe to a projector and all1.  Of course, then I also bought a presentation remote, some chocolate and some batteries – all of which I totally needed. Especially the chocolate.

But more importantly, I took some photos for you!  Because London Drugs is full of teh awesome.  Like this, the awesomely named “Purse Hooker”:

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On the same rack as the Purse Hooker were the “Wear Once Panties”:

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Because nothing says “classy” like panties you throw out after one use. You can even keep them in your Purse Hooker.

Less excitingly named, but equally lame, was the EZ Cracker:

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First, is it really so hard to crack and separate an egg that you need to buy a large and cumbersome device that does this task for you? How often, really, do you need to crack and separate eggs that would make this a worthwhile investment? And finally, is it just me, or does that picture not show a yolk AND egg white falling into that bowl together? How exactly is that *separated*?

Another product that has one very specific, and likely very infrequent, use is this brownie pan:

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Let’s take a closer look at this functionality, shall we?

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Seriously, a pan that you bake your brownies in so that you don’t have to cut them? Have we as a society become so lazy that picking up a knife to make seven slices is too laborious for us?

Next up, is the Diva Cup:

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Now, I don’t have any problem with this product itself – it’s actually a pretty good idea. Instead of filling our landfills full of feminine hygiene products, you can use this reusable cup. Very green. What I find weird about this product, though, is the little flower pin that you can see near the bottom of the package. Let’s flip over the box to see an explanation of what that’s about:

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A Diva lapel pin?? Do they seriously think people are going to wear a pin on their jacket to make sure everyone knows how they collect their menstrual flow? Seriously?2

Also amusing was this bottle of “Diva Wash,” which was on the shelf next to the Diva Cup:

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I can use it to wash my face AND my menstrual cup? Hooray!

And finally, to finish this lovely tour of products and packages of awesome, a product that I actually did buy:

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These batteries can last up to 30% longer in toys? Sweet!

Wait, are they talking about the same kind of toys *I’m* talking about?

  1. last year, I borrowed a doohickey – which I do believe is the correct technical term – but I needed to actually buy one of my own []
  2. For the record, because I know you are all now dying to know how I deal with my menstrual flow and I have no pin on my lapel to give you this information, I can’t use a Diva Cup because it’s incompatible with having an IUD. Or at least so the package tells me. I’m so ungreen! []

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FASD Awareness Day

September 9 is International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness Day. The 9th day of the 9th month was chosen to remind people that they shouldn’t drink for the 9 months of pregnancy. Seeing as my doctoral research was on FASD, it’s an issue that is near and dear to my heart.

A few facts about FASD:

  • FASD represents a range of disabilities (that’s why it’s called a “spectrum” disorder) – from full-brown Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) to differing levels of disabilities in different areas.
  • FASD is caused by drinking alcohol during pregnancy. There is no known safe amount of alcohol to drink during pregnancy, nor is there a “safe” time to drink during pregnancy, which is why it is recommended that pregnant women don’t consume alcohol.
  • FASD is, essentially, brain damage due to alcohol.
  • While there is no cure for FASD, given the right supports, people with FASD can do very well.  Thus, it is very important for those who have it to get a diagnosis of FASD, so the right supports can be provided.
  • FASD is a challenging disorder to diagnose, and a specially trained professional is required to give a diagnosis of FASD.
  • It is estimated that 1% of people in Canada have FASD.

When I was doing my research on FASD, a comment that I often heard from people was, “Why would you study that? Everyone knows that it’s bad to drink while pregnant. Just tell people not to drink.” Unfortunately, not everyone can easily stop drinking. Alcohol is addictive and addiction is a serious disease. Women who are unable to stop drinking need to be supported by their family, friends, and community, so that they and their babies can be as healthy as possible. The Public Health Agency of Canada has some information on where to go for help on their website.

Here’s a video1 describing the TWEAK – a screening tool we use to help identify people who may have a problem with alcohol:

  1. it was made for last year’s FASD Day []