Nippies On-Line Magazine
Issue #21 - January 1 - January 31, 2005

Welcome to NIPPIES® On-line... since 1999! We take little "nippies" out of every subject.

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January 31, 2005

Cancer Causing Agents
The Department of Health and Human Services released it's latest information on cancer causing agents, and the list is growing. The Eleventh Edition of the Report on Carcinogens, released today (January 31st, 2005), features an added 17 substances to the growing list of cancer-causing agents. There are now a total of 246 on the list.

Much of this is not surprising, because we at NIPPIES have been reading about the these viruses for years, but for the first time ever, viruses are listed in the report: hepatitus B virus, hepatitus C, and some human papillomaviruses that commonly cause STDs (sexuallly transmitted diseases).

Also not surprising? X-rays. Haven't we been hearing about the danger of unnecessary X-rays for years, as well? We would have thought that X-radiation would have been on the list years ago.

Hepatitus B virus, or HBV, and hepatitus C virus (HCV), are listed in the Eleventh Edition as "known human carcinogens. They cause liver cancer.

Human papillomaviruses, or HPVs, are viruses that are sexually transmitted and some of these are listed as "known human carcinogens" because they cause genital warts and or cervical abnormalities, which can later develop into cervical cancer in women. Sometimes there are no symptoms at all.

Scariest of all, but not surprising at all, was the addition of X-rays and gamma-radiation. They are now listed as "known human carcinogens" which studies have shown lead to many types of cancer, including leukemia and cancer of the thyroid, breast and lung. This is so scary because dental X-rays are so commonplace. And anyone of a certain age remembers the X-ray vans that came to town offering free chest X-rays back in the 50s and 60s. There were also X-ray machines in shoe stores, believe it or not, back in the 50s.

Exposure to X-rays and gamma radiation has also been shown to cause cancer of the salivary glands, stomach, colon, bladder, ovaries, central nervous system and skin.

There were several other causes of cancer which have been identified. The full report is available at the NTP website http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov.

Johnny Carson, Brad and Jen, and Jacko's Trial
The National Enquirer ran a major story in their February 7th issue on page 5. The headline?

"CARSON BACK IN HOSPITAL AFTER HIS WIFE WALKS OUT".

Really? We at NIPPIES thought that Johnny Carson died last week. So did Johnny's wife, Alexis Maas Carson.

The story goes on to say that "Alex" was 2100 miles away while in a "posh" apartment in Pittsburgh while Johnny suffered from acute respiratory distress in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. (Alex has a sister in Pittsburgh, according to the story). The whole theme of the article is that Alexis Maas and Johnny Carson have separated. A "family friend" told the Enquirer that Alex Maas and Johnny have an "informal separation" and still makes an "occasional appearance" at their Malibu home.

OK, all this may or may NOT be true. We really don't know. But we do know this: the article, coming out in an issue dated nearly 2 weeks after Johnny's death from the effects of emphysema, really makes the National Enquirer look very foolish- and like a waste of money.

It's no secret that Johnny Carson treasured his privacy. Except for one special occasion, he did not appear on television after his May 1992 public retirement. Many sources state he didn't even invite many friends to his homes in Beverly Hills, Malibu, and in New York City at Trump Towers. He didn't want or need publicity of any kind. He'd done his time, and wanted out of the public eye. And he and Alex were married 17 years. It was a marriage, according to many other sources, which was a very happy one in which both Alex and Johnny Carson gave each other space and privacy.

One of the last photos of Johnny, showing him bloated and barrel-chested from the ravages of emphysema, AND with his hand upturned and extended as if to ask, very politely, that the papparazzi NOT snap his photo, appeared in tabloids a few weeks after his early January trip to the hospital. So it is reasonable to assume that Johnny Carson is up there having a very good laugh at the National Enquirer's very big error at printing a terribly outdated, and perhaps erroneous (about the separation) story.

Rest in peace, Johnny.

PS...the tabloids goofed BIG TIME a few weeks ago in a similar vein when most of these gossip magazines/newspapers chose to run stories shortly after they learned that Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston were on that now very famous last vacation. Stories galore appeared stating that Brad and Jen were happier than ever and spent their vacation reavowing their love and planning for a baby. The issues were on the newsstands even as the official announcement of a formal separation was issued from Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston.

The Michael Jackson Trial Feeding Frenzy
They haven't even selected the jury yet, and already people are making money off the Michael Jackson child molestation trial.

National Public Radio reported today that a lawyer across from the courthouse is charging $2000.00 per DAY for photogs to shoot away from his roof. And who can blame him? The newspapers will be making money for great shots of the masked one.

A diner owner near the Michael Jackson courthouse has, reportedly, chosen the higher road. Jocko's will not only NOT be charging a premium during the Michael Jackson jury selection and trial for it's $2.00 hamburgers and hot dogs, but it's owner has resisted the obvious temptation to change the restaurant name from "Jocko's" to, what else, JACKO's!!

January 30, 2005

Botox® for Musicians' Cramps?
This is really interesting. Neurology reports that Botox®, the popular form of botulism which is commonly used by cosmetic and plastic surgeons to reduce frown lines, is being studied as a possible remedy for musicians' cramps.

It is very common for musicians to suffer from muscle spasms, which are called "musicians' cramps". Anyone who plays the guitar is very familiar with this condition.

A study which was published in the journal Neurology indicates that German musicians who suffered from musicians' cramp, or "hand dystonia", may have been helped by injections of Dysport. Dysport is a United Kingdom brand of the botulinum toxin type A, which is known as Botox® in the United States. "Botox is a purified form of the toxin that causes botulism food poisoning.", according to a Reuters Health article."When injected in small doses, botulinum toxin helps relax spastic muscles by preventing nerve cells from releasing a chemical that triggers muscle contractions."

According to the Neurology article, 69 percent of the German musicians injected with Dysport felt they had been helped by the Dysport injections. However, only 36 percent claimed they experienced relief which lasted for an extended period of time.

There are side-effects to the treatment: muscle weakness.

The study was lead by Dr. Stephan Schuele of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.


SOURCE: Neurology, January 25, 2005 and Reuters Health.

January Heat Wave?
After last weeks sub-zero temperatures, people in the Northeast are enjoying an absolute HEAT WAVE! Yes, the temperatures climbed to a comparatively balmy 28 over the week-end, and folks everywhere in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey could be seen washing their cars and driving with the windows down. No kidding.

January 22nd, 2005

It was so cold that...
It's so cold here in the Northeast that even blasting the heat doesn't keep the house toasty warm. I should know. Last night, at about 1:30 a.m., I woke up freezing. The heat was set past 70, but the house felt like an old dirt cellar- cold and drafty.

A quick tour of the house uncovered the source: drafty doors and windows that aren't normally too drafty. The bathroom window was the worst. You could even just feel that frigid air blowing in.

While I thought about a remedy, I put on The Weather Channel. It was 7 BELOW ZERO in my neck of the woods. Dear God. The poor outdoor cats, I thought. The poor homeless. I thought of an elderly lady- homeless by choice - that I often talk to, give rides to, and whose company I really do enjoy. (She has a natural remedy for everything and knows everything that goes on in our corrupt little town). It was her birthday yesterday, and I wondered if she was allowed into the basement of the church where she usually spends the nights. I sure hoped so. At any rate, it wasn't going to be much of a birthday for her.

Finally, I dug out every K-Mart bag I could find. Every plastic ("paper or plastic") bag I could find. And a thin little butter knife. I stuffed the sides and bottoms and tops of the doors with the plastic- and I stuffed the gap tight. Draft gone.

Then it was time to tackle the bathroom window. The plastic bags did NOT work. And this window was definitely the main reason that the house was feeling so frigid.

Duct tape!! Everyone has a roll of that, don't they? (Remember the biochemical scare of 2001-2002 when duct tape flew off the shelves? One night, while I slept, my teenage son decided to surprise me by duct taping every window. But first he called my sister to ask her how to do it. Thank God she talked him out of it. It would have been bye-bye shiny varnish finish on those windows.)

I grabbed a roll of duct tape. Dug out an old summer plastic tablecloth that had flannel backing. And taped that window tight, then taped the tablecloth over it. Draft gone.

The last step was to drag the oil plug-in radiator downstairs. We only use that radiator when it's really, really cold because it runs the electric bill waaay up. But it works. And it's running even as I type.

It's still not toasty in here. But it's comfortable. And that'll do.

Before I went to sleep last night, I added a small addendum to my normal prayers. "Dear God, don't let the furnace break or the pipes freeze. Amen."


January 17th, 2005

Natural Cures - Judge for Yourself
The following information is NOT medical advice, and should not be taken as such. It is just the sharing of general information. Please consult with YOUR doctor regarding any remedies, natural or FDA approved. Thank you!
Kevin Trudeau, the author of "Natural Cures They Don't Want You To Know About", states that "nothing can cure, prevent or diagnose a disease unless it's deemed a drug", by FDA standards.

What does this mean? It means that unless the FDA has deemed a remedy of any sort a "drug", then it cannot make claims that it cures a disease. And, according to natural remedy author Trudeau, the FDA has named nearly every disorder and condition, including obesity, a "disease". Kevin Trudeau claims that there are many natural remedies which are not approved by the FDA but which are effective against disorders, but that claims cannot be made because they haven't gotten "approval", which costs nearly a billion dollars, from the FDA.

True or not? We cannot say. But what he is saying on his informercial is very interesting. Mr. Trudeau is not a fan of the FDA. He believes the FDA is too closely aligned with the drug industry.

Here are some statements made by Kevin Trudeau:

  • It now costs an average of $840,000,000.00 for a drug to gain approval by the FDA
  • A body which has a PH which is alkaline cannot be prone to disease. That cancer victims have a body which is highly acidic. (He wasn't clear about whether the body became acidic after it became ill or not).
  • That the pharmaceutical industry, through it's glut of advertisements, is encouraging too many people to go to their doctors and ask for drugs they don't need. (This is unequivocally true.) Kevin Trudeau claims that people are being "programmed" to "buy drugs". True, true, true.
  • About depression: St. John's wort, claimed in media stories to be ineffective, is not the ONLY remedy in the study which was ineffective. Two prescription medications were in the study, and were ineffective. This fact was played down.
  • The pharmaceutical industry is the most profitable industry in the United States.
  • The Federal Government is forbidding Kevin Trudeau from sharing stories of cures from natural remedies. He claims that natural remedies have "cured" cancer, diabetes, and arthritis. But he cannot share this stories.
  • Acid Reflux: Mr. Trudeau does not consider ARD a disease, but rather a disorder. He claims that an anacid eliminates too much acid, and your stomach overcompensates and produces too much acid. He states that digestive enzymes will help to get rid of acid reflux. Kevin Trudeau claims that a small spoonful of vinegar, taken when you have acid, will indicate if you have too much acid in your stomach OR if you are not producing enough. If you take a spoonful of vinegar and the acid gets worse- you have too much acid. If the acid lessens, you do not. (This is NOT medical advice! We do NOT suggest you take vinegar if you have acid reflux disease.)
  • Herpes: Kevin Trudeau claims there is a cure, but didn't elaborate.
  • The FDA and the Federal government do NOT want people to get well and not need prescription medications because then there would be far less profits for the publicly traded drug companies.
  • Many "diseases", according to Kevin Trudeau, are caused by the multitude of food additives that are, and have been, in our food for the past several decades. Some of these additives, he believes, are responsible for many conditions- including the early onset of puberty in children.
  • Natural remedies, according to Kevin Trudeau, have been around forever, but the drug industry is only about 75 years old.
  • If you want to know more about Kevin Trudeau's book, "What They Don't Want You To Know About Natural Remedies", call 1-800-506-5292. We are not RECOMMENDING you call, and this is NOT a paid advertisement. But the man is fascinating, and if you think so too, and want to purchase his book for your general knowledge, we are supplying the phone number.
Judge for yourself!


January 13th, 2005

Happy Birthday, Mom
Your favorite color was always purple, 'cause Dad liked the way you looked in purple. You were always pleasing others, worrying about others, and doing things to help others- and not just your own family. You even were generous with strangers. You were the kindest, most sincere person we've ever known.

Well, Mom. It's your birthday once again. In Heaven. You are very much missed, very much loved- but you surely know that. There really don't make them like you anymore.

We love you, and miss you always. Happy Birthday.

Has the Video Professor Had Work Done?
Everyone everywhere who watches television has seen John W. Scherer's face on the Video Professor commercials. You know...
"Hi. I'm John W. Scherer, CEO and founder of "Video Professor"...I'm so sure you like our product, that I'm willing to send it to you free...", etc.

Well, we were watching television last night, doing the flipping of the stations and going from one infomercial and commericial to another (for this we pay $50.00 monthly??) when, lo and behold, there was a younger, tighter-faced John W. Scherer. Definitely this man, whose face we know better than some of our own relatives, has a changed face.

Now, we don't want to say John W. Scherer has had plastic surgery. We don't know the man and don't know if he has had anything done. But it sure looked that way. His face is almost lineless. The pouches under his eyes are vamoosed. The lines are nearly gone. What is the Video Professor's secret, if it isn't cosmetic surgery?

If he hasn't had plastic surgery, perhaps he should start telling- er, selling- his cosmetic secrets. So, what is it, Video Professor? Have you or haven't you??

Michael Moore's Next Target:
The DRUG Companies

Michael Moore has decided on his next project. He is going after the pharmaceutical industry. Alleluia.

We at NIPPIES have been writing about the nefarious practices of the large drug manufacturers for several years now: their attempts to keep prices high in every way they can; over promotion resulting in over-priced products; not enough research and development for drugs that aren't highly profitable; etc.

So, when filmmaker Michael Moore, the maker of Farenheit 911 and other gutsy films, decided to go after the legal drug industry, we couldn't have been happier. But Moore's announcement made executives of the major pharmaceutical houses sick with anxiety. Internal memos were immediately issued warning employees about speaking with Moore.

Isn't this something now? We can just picture it: photos of Michael Moore flooding the office billboards and computer screens with the warning: DO NOT TALK TO THIS MAN!! Mayby that is why Michael Moore has cleaned up his look. He is now sporting nicer clothes and a neatly trimmed beard. Different glasses, too, we think.

We at NIPPIES are so happy that, finally, one of the most profitable, and greedy, industries are going to have the spotlight aimed at them. God only knows what Michael Moore will uncover. And we at NIPPIES will be right there, cheering him on. Because something has to be done. And quickly.


January 1, 2005

Sci-Fi's Twilight Zone Episodes Marathon
It was going to be an ordinary New Year's Eve. Nothing special was planned aside from pulling out the old party-hats and noise-makers which we keep stored in the huge closet upstairs. At midnight, it is our custom to don the hats, grab the old noisemakers, along with some pots, their lids and wooden spoons, and hurry to the front porch shortly after the stroke of midnight. It is the only night of the year where we feel free to make as much noise as possible without fear of repercussions from our early-to-bed neighbors.

About mid-afternoon on Friday, our little one began flipping the channels and stumbled across Sci-Fi Channel's Twilight Zone Marathon. Knowing her parents like she does, she alerted us to the event, and from that moment on, the whole family was glued to Channel 50 at every opportunity.

The Twilight Zone Marathon just ended at 6:00 AM Eastern Standard Time. Of course, we missed many of the episodes thoughout the two day event. Still, we saw plenty of them- many for the first time since their original broadcast throughout the 1960s, when we were very, very young. And many more for the first time- ever.

It would be extremely difficult for us to name a favorite Twilight Zone episode. No doubt it would be difficult for most of us to name a favorite: there are so many which went on to become classics. But the 1960 Christmas episode featuring Art Carney as an alcoholic, but tender-hearted, department store Santa Claus is definitely in the running.

This particular episode, broadcast during the second season of The Twilight Zone, is entitled Night of the Meek. It is also one of a handful we at NIPPIES magazine clearly remember watching when it was a first-run but never having seen again until this week. At the time we first saw the episode, we were far to young to understand what Rod Serling had in mind when he aired this show: we were still in feet pajamas and still waited for the arrival of Santa Claus between Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. Watching the episode again for the first time in 44 years clears up the mystery about why we felt so sad and confused while viewing this particular episode.

Rod Serling nearly always had a moral to the stories he chose. He appeared to be a man who was deeply unhappy with the darker side of human nature. Were The Twilight Zone episodes meant to serve as a spiritual mirror which we were supposed to gaze into each week while we thought we were merely being entertained? We at NIPPIES think so. Yes, we were entertained by the storylines. But who among us didn't feel a flicker of guilt as we watched the main characters exhibit their greed, deviousness and lack of compassion for the misfortune and suffering of our fellow human beings? The Night of the Meek episode is no exception: the commercialization of Christmas in America, which was dealt with so beautifully in Miracle on 34th Street in 1946, had not abated. By the Christmas of 1960, when Night of the Meek first aired, commercialism had completed had a choke-hold on the spirit of Christmas and had overshadowed Christmas's true intent: a holiday to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the Savior of the world.

Art Carney's character is the alcoholic department store Santa Claus, and he doesn't need to be taught what the spirit of Christmas is all about- he possesses that knowledge, and has the real spirit of Christmas somewhere beneath his alcoholic's hazy perception of the world. He drinks to mask the pain of watching others who don't possess it. Surprisingly, Night of the Meek has a happy ending. If there are any other Twilight Zone episodes which do, we can't remember having seen them. We think this particular episode was Rod Serling's Christmas present to the world in 1960, and it was a good one.

If Rod Serling was alive today, what would he think of what has happened to Christmas? No doubt he'd be deeply upset. Not only has commercialism completely overshadowed the true meaning of Christmas, but political correctness is in the process of snuffing it out for future generations. And you don't need us to tell you what we mean by that.

Night of the Meek also featured, in addition to the wonderful Art Carney, many other familiar faces: Burt Mustin (the very old character actor of the 60's and 70s who resembled a cute turtle), John Fiedler (the voice of Winnie the Pooh), Val Avery and others. The episode was written by Rod Serling, and directed by Jack Smight, according to the information we found at www.TVTOME.com. It was first broadcast on December 23, 1960, and in a special note, TVTOME.com states that the episode "is one of six episodes originally shot on videotape, then transferred to sixteen-millimeter film for broadcast. This was done as a cost-cutting measure". That would explain, perhaps, why the visual quality of the episode is very poor. We hope they can remedy that for the next Twilight Zone Marathon on Sci-Fi, or elsewhere.



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Read articles from past Nippies issues!

NIPPIES - August 22, 2002 - September 5, 2002: NIPPIES - Issue #1
NIPPIES - October 1, 2002 to September 6th, 2002: NIPPIES - Issue #2
NIPPIES - November 1 to October 3rd, 2002: NIPPIES - Issue #3
NIPPIES - December 11 to October 31st, 2002: NIPPIES - Issue #4
NIPPIES - January 2, 2003 to Dec. 12, 2002 : NIPPIES - Issue #5
NIPPIES - January 25th to January 3rd, 2003: NIPPIES - Issue #6
NIPPIES - February 2nd to January 23rd, 2003: MIPPIES - Issue #7
NIPPIES - March 10th to February 3rd, 2003: NIPPIES - Issue #8
NIPPIES - June 7th to March 11th, 2003: NIPPIES - Issue #9
NIPPIES - June 16th - July 15th, 2003: NIPPIES - Issue #10
NIPPIES - October 16th - August 13th, 2003: NIPPIES - Issue #11
NIPPIES - November 15th - October 18th, 2003: NIPPIES - Issue #12
NIPPIES - December 31st - November 21st, 2003: NIPPIES - Issue #13
NIPPIES - February 6th, - January 1st, 2004: NIPPIES - Issue #14
NIPPIES - March 3rd, - February 9th, 2004: NIPPIES - Issue #15
NIPPIES - May 13th, - March 5th, 2004: NIPPIES - Issue #16
NIPPIES - August 31st - May 13, 2004: NIPPIES - Issue #17
NIPPIES - October 29th - September 8th, 2004: NIPPIES - Issue #18
NIPPIES - November 24 - October 31, 2004: NIPPIES - Issue #19
NIPPIES - December 30 - November 26, 2004: NIPPIES - Issue #20



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