Friday, May 1, 2009

Paris Hilton don't eat that.....

The only thing San Francisco about this post is that it comes from and comes from an AP medical writer, but it definitely had to be shared:

Paris Hilton not only one confused about swine flu
By LINDSEY TANNER, AP Medical Writer

Friday, May 1, 2009

(05-01) 01:06 PDT CHICAGO, (AP) --

Paris Hilton says "I don't eat that" when asked about swine flu in an online video. She's not the only one confused about the outbreak.

Others have vowed to stop eating pork. Some, worried about germs spreading in confined spaces, won't fly — anywhere. Or they think petting zoos and farm visits are off limits.

Like the swine flu itself, misinformation is spreading like a virus across the Internet, around the watercooler and across the backyard fence. Here are some facts to dispel myths about swine flu.

Q: Should I avoid pork?

A: There's no evidence that swine flu spreads through pork. While it's important to cook it properly to protect against other germs, experts say even handling raw pork poses no realistic risk of swine flu.

Q: What about airplanes — aren't airline cabins breeding grounds for germs?

A: Vice President Joe Biden suggested he believes that when he said Thursday he has advised his family not to fly. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises against going to Mexico, the country hardest hit by swine flu. And public health officials say people with flu symptoms should avoid public transportation. But they aren't telling healthy people to avoid all air travel, and Obama administration representatives later said Biden had misspoken.

Most modern airliners have air filtering systems that are as efficient at weeding out germs as those used in hospital isolation units. While there have been occasional infectious disease outbreaks associated with airplane travel, they're not common, and generally only people within a few rows of the sick individual have gotten sick.

"We shouldn't go overboard" on limiting air travel, said Dr. Mark Dworkin, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Illinois at Chicago. But he said it's a good idea to check the CDC's Web site before making travel plans because the agency's advisories may change as the outbreak develops.

Q: My child's preschool class is planning a visit to a petting zoo — with piglets. Should we skip it?

A: Dr. Kenneth Alexander, the University of Chicago's pediatric infectious disease chief, says there's no danger in touching pigs, although a sneezing, sick-looking animal should be avoided. Adults also should be vigilant about making sure kids keep their hands away from their faces after contact with farm animals and they should always wash their hands thoroughly afterward.

Q: My child is healthy and there are no reports of flu at her school, but I'd feel more comfortable keeping her home for a while.

A: Right now, public health authorities say there's no reason to restrict healthy children if there's no flu at school. That could change if the outbreak turns into a global pandemic.

Q: If this outbreak is declared a real worldwide pandemic, tens of millions will get sick and die, just like in the 1918 Spanish flu — right?

A: Public health officials say there are a lot of reasons why that's unlikely, at least in the United States. Unlike that crisis, we now have flu-fighting medicines and antibiotics for secondary infections such as pneumonia, which killed many people during the 1918 outbreak.

Because it appears to be a novel flu strain, everyone exposed to the virus is at risk of getting sick. Authorities are trying to determine how aggressive the new flu is, but even if it turns out to be a particularly dangerous strain, the United States and other developed countries have a strong surveillance network and comprehensive public health measures that didn't exist in 1918, Dworkin noted.

If the new flu turns out to be similar to regular seasonal flu, as some authorities predict, Dworkin said it might double the number of illnesses and deaths seen in an average flu season. In the United States, that would mean about 70,000 deaths and more than 400,000 hospitalizations.

In developing nations, without strong public health networks, the situation could be more dire.

"It could do much more harm than we would see in a country like ours," Dworkin said.

More free stuff...

One of my loyal blog followers, Celestine S of San Bruno, has been nice enough to give me a few additions to the list:

More free things in San Francisco:

Asian Art Museum is free the first Sunday of every month.

SF Zoo is free first Wednesday of every month.

Free swing dance lessons every Sunday at the bandshell in Golden Gate Park.

If there is one thing to be said for those of us who grew up in SF, especially those of us with families of our own, we sure learn to be frugal. Thanks!!!

Free in San Francisco

As usual, while doing some research for a proposed blog topic, I end up coming across something completely unrelated that compels me to post about that instead!

Living in the city is expensive, to say the least. I am surprised Gavin Newsom hasn't proposed a "taking up space" fee for full-time residents. Worry not, for there are many things in San Francisco that are ABSOLUTELY FREE!

Thanks to a fabulous blog called "Free in SF" and a little Googling, I was able to put together a pretty good list of things to do without going broke.

Botanical Gardens (Strybing Arboretum)

Escape to a unique urban oasis of extraordinary beauty. Enjoy the San Francisco Botanical Garden's world of gardens, excellent horticulture library, bookstore, and education programs. The San Francisco Botanical Garden is open daily, 365 days a year and is free to the public. Weekdays: 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. Weekends & Holidays: 10 am to 5 pm. FREE GUIDED WALKS are given daily at 1:30 pm.

First Tuesdays

Downtown: Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Museum of Craft and Folk Art, and Cartoon Art Museum (pay what you wish).

Golden Gate Park: de Young Museum and the Conservatory of Flowers

Outer Richmond district: Legion of Honor

Third Wednesdays (Academy of Sciences)

The Academy of Sciences is free on the third Wednesday of every month, which this month will be on May 20. Check out the new living roof!!!

Fun facts: The new building cost $500 million dollars. The roof contains 1.7 million native plants. Sixty-eight percent of the building’s insulation is from recycled blue jeans. The Philippine Coral Reef tank holds 212,000 gallons of water. Inside the rain forest exhibit, it’s 82-85 degrees Fahrenheit, and the humidity is at least 75%. The blue-whale skeleton hanging from the ceiling is 87 feet long.
Open 9:30 am - 5:00 pm in Golden Gate Park @ 9th Avenue (near bandshell)

And of course, the scenery is ALWAYS free!! Now get out there and enjoy the City!

Do you have a suggestion for this list?? Email me at

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Colma: The Musical!

***After a brief hiatus at Atlantic Beach with John, I am back, albeit sunburned, and ready to dive back into our beloved City blog!!****

Yes, you read that right - there is actually a musical based on the little city of Colma, California. For those of you that don't know, Colma is a small town that rests just south of San Francisco, right after Daly City (where I grew up!). As a kid, I recall the strange bumper stickers around town that read, "It's great to be ALIVE in Colma!"

What's the joke, you ask? Well, it is fairly common knowledge that the only burial places in the city proper are the S.F. Columbarium and San Francisco National Cemetery in Golden Gate Park, neither one providing space for public burial. Just about anyone who passes away in San Francisco is buried at one of the many cemeteries in Colma, making the deceased to living ratio approximately 1500:1.

This fact has always intrigued me, so I set out to do a little Colma research, only to find the very first entry on the Google search results to be....Colma: The Musical! Am I the only one that feels a sudden urgent need to see this film???

I never thought this sleepy "dead" town would ever become the theme for a film that, in 2006, was awarded the Special Jury Prize at the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, among various others.

I definitely will be looking for this in my Netflix queue with a review sure to follow.

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