Recent Articles

The Good Wife Works: On memories and fear of loss

Wilt Chamberlain said it: “Important to you, irrelevant to others.” Experts agree, and advise you to get rid of your junk so as not to burden your family with your stuff. Americans are, after all, five percent of the world’s population consuming 30 percent of its resources, always replacing, upgrading, then throwing away the outmoded. Don’t throw it away, there is no away, reads a New York Times ad. But are we what we hang on to, hold in our hand, and look at in order to reminisce? In his essay Treasure Hunt, Umberto Eco (b. Continue Reading →

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Domestic violence is a public health threat that affects us all

Each year since 1981, October has been the month dedicated to promote awareness and prevention of domestic violence. However, we need to keep our focus on the impact of domestic violence in families. Domestic violence has been defined as a “pattern of coercive and assaultive behaviors that can include physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal abuse, psychological attacks and economic coercion that adults or adolescents use against their intimate partner.”

Domestic violence, a public health issue, cuts across every segment of society and occurs in all age, racial, ethnic, socio-economic, sexual orientation, and religious groups. According to Safe Horizon, a domestic abuse advocacy organization, domestic violence is a social, economic, and health concern that impacts an estimated 35 percent of the world population. As a result, many communities across the country are developing strategies to stop the violence and provide safe solutions for victims. Safe Horizon also presents the following statistics about prevalence and severity of domestic violence:

Statistically, 85-90 percent of victims are women, and over 20 percent of women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience domestic violence. Continue Reading →

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Back by popular demand: Recognizing and treating Molluscum Contagiosum

What is Molluscum Contagiosum? 

Molluscum Contagiosum is a viral infection that produces small, flesh-colored, dome-shaped bumps that can often become irritated or painful. They may appear to have a shiny surface in a small central indentation, or white core. Why should I care about Molluscum Contagiosum? Molluscum Contagiosum is a benign condition that will spread through direct skin contact. This contact can be in the patient’s own skin spreading to other areas, or from direct skin-to-skin contact, especially in children. Molluscum Contagiosum can also be transmitted through swimming pools and shower room floors. Continue Reading →

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A thought caused it all

As I sit here at my desk in Lino Lakes Correctional Facility, I watch the mid-afternoon traffic of Highway 35 pass my window. I’m subdued by the sound of early October rain as it hits my window sill. I can hear the sound of jangling keys as they pass my door, the ever-present presence of the correctional officer. Usually it makes me nervous, but today it does not. Continue Reading →

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Parents: Know warning signs of youth suicide

Charlotte, a 16-year-old, tried to take her own life three times last year. According to her mother, the girl had been bullied at school and was recently diagnosed with depression. “My daughter was sweet, cheerful, friendly, but when she was 12, she changed,” said her mother. Charlotte’s story is not unique among youth. According to 2013 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 15 percent of Hispanic teenage girls have attempted suicide, compared to 10.7 percent of African American teenage girls and 8.5 percent of White teenage girls. Continue Reading →

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How can I avoid getting the flu?

The best way to prevent seasonal flu is by getting a flu vaccination every year. Influenza, commonly called “the flu,” is caused by a group of viruses called influenza viruses. They infect the nose, throat and lungs (respiratory tract). The flu can have life-threatening complications in many people. Every year in the United States it is believed that between five and 20 percent of people get the flu. Every year, over 150,000 people will be hospitalized from the flu, and approximately 5,000 people will die from the flu, although the total can vary from year to year with a recorded low of 3,000 deaths and a record high of 49,000 deaths. Continue Reading →

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Know the difference between devotion and obsession


There’s an old, beautifully written song that soul immortal Jerry Butler made famous, “Never Gonna Give You Up.” The refrain goes, “Never gonna give you up/no matter how you treat me/Never gonna give you up/So, don’t you think of leaving.” Listening to it sung, especially when it’s sung well — the Black Keys recently released a nice cover — it is a heroic sentiment. In practice, it can be dangerous behavior. The expression “I can’t live without you” is supposed to be just that: a romantic figure of speech. News headlines historically tell story after story of sad cases where someone took that idea of never giving up all too literally. You do not want to wind up as one of those stories. Continue Reading →

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Help shape our city

Apply for openings on Mpls Civil Rights Departments’ boards, commissions
Applications are now being accepted for openings on the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights’ boards and commissions, positions that the city council and mayor will appoint this fall. Board and commission members in the City of Minneapolis provide valuable insights, help shape key policy decisions, and provide community-based input into administration of services. The City is seeking applicants with a diversity of backgrounds and experiences to strengthen its work. There are open positions on the following three Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights’ boards and commissions:

The Minneapolis Commission on Civil Rights wis charged with implementing the City’s Civil Rights policies through outreach, education, mediation, conciliation and enforcement, among other things. The Police Conduct Oversight Commission assures that police services are delivered in a lawful and nondiscriminatory manner and provides the public with meaningful participatory oversight of police policy and procedure. Continue Reading →

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049: zero alcohol for nine months’ pregnancy for healthy babies

September is FASD Awareness Month. To mark this occasion, the Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (MOFAS) is leading the way in increasing awareness and educating women on the importance of not drinking alcohol during pregnancy. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) can only be caused by a woman drinking alcohol while pregnant. Despite myths, there is no scientific evidence available that sets a “safe” amount of alcohol that will not affect the developing fetus. The U.S. Surgeon General, the Center for Disease Control, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists all advise pregnant women and women who could become pregnant to abstain completely from alcohol during pregnancy. Continue Reading →

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