Sunday, January 29, 2006

More on College drinking by Lady Jan

I just want to explain that I was not talking about casual drinking in the earlier post, but the over-indulgent or binge drinking that causes alcohol poisoning and even death.

I like to thank everyone who posted a comment on the This has been going on long enough! post, I'm glad to see everyone's opintion on this important issue.

Here are some sad info, it explain that this is a wide spread issue:

Authorities said 19-year-old Samantha Spady died of alcohol poisoning Sept. 6 after consuming 30 to 40 beers and vodka drinks in 11 hours. Her body was found in a fraternity house at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

Her mother says it's still hard for her to believe this happened to her daughter — an honors student, former homecoming queen and cheerleader.

"That wasn't my daughter," said Patty Spady, of the heavy drinking that went on the night her daughter died.

"Samantha was the girl next door," she said. "She was anybody's friend. This could happen to anybody."

Trying to Prevent Similar Losses

That realization has led the Spadys to create a foundation to try to prevent other parents from suffering similar losses.

The Spadys say the SAM [Student Alcohol Management] Spady Foundation will develop peer-to-peer counseling and other services meant to reduce the risk of alcohol abuse.

Rick and Patty Spady said their daughter was partying with friends after a football game the night she died, but they said they do not yet have all of the information about what happened.

According to authorities, Samantha, a sophomore business major from Beatrice, Neb., had a blood-alcohol level of 0.436 when she died. In Colorado, a person with a blood-alcohol level about 0.08 percent is considered too intoxicated to drive.

Dean Beers, the Larimer County deputy coroner, said a blood-alcohol level of just 0.40 is considered potentially lethal. Beers said the young woman's death was ruled accidental and there was no sign of foul play.

Anatomy of alcohol poisoning is as scary as the effects

By Kathleen Sullivan
For The Collegian
"Just let him sleep it off."

You or someone you know may have spent that dreaded evening helping out a friend who had "a little too much to drink" that night. He had alcohol poisoning-- but the worst part is that after he passed out, there was a chance that he wouldn't wake up.

What is alcohol poisoning? There is no one-word answer. Linda LaSalle, Community Health Educator at University Health Services, defined alcohol poisoning as an overdose of alcohol in the body. "When you have alcohol poisoning, your liver has more alcohol in it than it can process in an efficient amount of time. Your organs that process food and other chemicals cannot handle the amount of toxins present in your body," she said. Alcohol poisoning is also a potentially life threatening condition that most college students ignore.

Someone who has alcohol poisoning usually has the following symptoms:

*Person is passed out/unconscious
*Skin is blue or purplish
*Breathing is reduced to eight or less breaths per minute
*Person is vomiting while awake or sleeping

What most students do not know is that once they have reached the stage where they are passed out, they no longer have control over their basic functions, such as breathing. LaSalle said, "If someone is undergoing these symptoms, a friend should dial 911 immediately and turn the victim on their side so that they do not potentially choke on their own vomit. Blood alcohol content (BAC) actually rises when a person is unconscious so the worst thing a friend could do is let the alcohol poisoned victim 'sleep it off' or pass out."

The buzz on booze

In the past three years, statistics indicate that more and more Penn State students are going to the ER for treatment of alcohol poisoning.

Of these students, the average age was 20 and the average BAC hovered around .22. Sixty-four percent were male and 36 percent were female.

Blood Alcohol Calculator

((Amount of alcohol consumed in ml)* percent by volume * .8 (specific gravity of alcohol) * number of drinks) / ___ kg (mass it is distributed in – body weight converted into kg))/ .5(females) or .6 (males) (water compartment) = BAC (g/l)

Clearance of alcohol is approximately .015% per hour

One shot (29 ml) * 40 percent by volume whisky in 30 minutes *.8 * 5 drinks = 46.4g 46.4g/50 kg (110 lb female)= .928 g/kg dose .928/.5 = 1.86g/l or .186 percent BAC
Clearance = 10 hours

Source: Byron Jones

LaSalle has found that students are hesitant to seek help. "Just from talking informally to students I have found that the majority of students would risk not going to the emergency room to avoid getting into trouble for under aged drinking," she said. "We try to emphasize that it is much more important to save someone's life than getting an underage drinking citation. Students shouldn't have to worry about that. The most important thing is making sure they are safe and okay."

Penn State police also agree that health and safety is most important. After the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration decreased recently from 1.0 to .08, Penn State police recognize students with alcohol poisoning as anyone with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.

According to Penn State police supervisor Bill Moerschbacher a lowered legal BAC limit should increase awareness of alcohol poisoning so that students party smarter.

As of last week, forty-seven students have been sited for public drunkenness this semester. Police define public drunkenness as "a state that puts the person who is drunk in danger to themselves or others."

"We usually find them passed out or extremely disoriented. They don't necessarily go to the hospital but are sick enough that we have to release them to friends that will take care of them for the night," he said.

While it is much easier for police to notice a drunk driver, students with alcohol poisoning who are not driving usually have a significantly higher BAC. "Those with really high BACs are the ones who really can't control themselves and those are the ones we site for public drunkenness. Their BAC level could be as high as the 2.8 to 2.9 area," Moerschbacher said, "but it doesn't have to be that high. Their BAC can be below 2.0, it depends on the size of the person, what they last ate, their experience as a drinker and how fast they drank."

While many students claim that they are educated and know how much they can tolerate drinking in a given night, the number of students who exhibit alcohol poisoning hasn't dropped. "We've seen an increase in the number of DUIs and public drunkenness over the years. The number tends to be higher in the beginning of the year, but we would really like to see people partying smarter," Moerschbacher said.

For those who don't know how to control their consumption of alcohol, LaSalle recommends to stick to one drink per hour. "That is a reasonable amount for your body to process in the given amount of time," she said. The amount of alcohol each body can process however, is dependent on a variety of factors including gender, weight and food intake for that day.

Alcohol is also dangerous because it alters brain chemistry. In large quantities, alcohol poisoning can cause death directly by acting on brain areas that control consciousness, respiration and heart rate.

Initially, once alcohol is in the system it is distributed throughout the body. Once it reaches the brain, alcohol affects several different neurotransmitters. While all parts of the brain are affected by alcohol simultaneously, the cerebral cortex, the most sensitive part of the brain, is affected the most. Biobehavioral Health and Pharmacology professor Byron Jones added, "the primary inhibitory effects of alcohol work through gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA), which is he major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. [Alcohol] also inhibits the actions of glutamate, which is the major excitatory neurotransmitter." The cerebral cortex slows down inhibition because alcohol releases inhibition through GABA and therefore people act more freely and lack more judgment than they normally would.

Both inhibitions take place in the cerebral cortex and affect basic frontal lobe functions such as thinking and judgment. Because these are the most sensitive parts of the brain, signs of alcohol taking effect usually start with changes and exaggerations in behavior.

"Other parts of the brain that lead us into motivational actions and behaviors are less affected by alcohol," Jones said. However, "as concentrations of alcohol increase, other parts of the brain become more affected," he said.

The brain stem, the most insensitive part of the brain and the most crucial system for survival, is the least subject to alcohol poisoning, but the damages that occur once it is affected are the most severe. A sign that the brain stem is affected is passing out.

"As alcohol concentration increases, the brain stem, [which] is responsible for maintaining heart rate, maintaining respiration and digestion, shuts down," Jones said. "And that's what kills people."

The most dangerous stage of alcohol poisoning takes place when the alcohol begins to affect the brain stem activity. "[This happens] because when you go to sleep or pass out your blood alcohol [concentration] rises much above--even four times as much as the legal limit--so you're getting severe depression of the brain stem area involved in respiration," Jones said. "It only takes four times as much alcohol as what initially starts to make you "happy" to start to depress the brain stem," he said.


GRAPHIC: Jeremy Drey/Collegian


Thursday, January 26, 2006

Lady Jan says--this has been going on long enough!

This is the closest University to my home, and I was concerned when I heard about this:

News from the San Joaquin Valley
The Associated Press

(Updated Wednesday, January 25, 2006, 11:20 AM)

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) - A fraternity at California State University, Fresno, was banned from the school for five years following the death of a 19-year-old man at a Phi Gamma Delta party, university officials said.

The ban, effective as of the announcement Tuesday, prevents the fraternity from affiliating with the college, recruiting new members or receiving any school funding.

Phi Gamma Delta, also known as FIJI, was already on suspension for underage drinking violations when Danny Daniels Jr. was found dead Jan. 8 at the fraternity's off-campus house, said Carolyn Coon, executive director of student life.

An autopsy found that Daniels died of alcohol poisoning. No one was charged in his death.

The fraternity plans to appeal the university's ban, said Michael Licari, the group's graduate adviser.

Sadly this is nothing new!
As long as students have gone away to college--students have been getting drunk!
Away from mom and dad, and heady without their parental supervision, young people over indulge.
I'm not excusing this behavior, I'm just explaining.
Here's something interesting;

I found this wood cut in a old book about the Renaissance.

wood cut print
dated 1489
students of Heidelberg College
I think the over indulging student is getting robbed too.
The lament of the parents?
"I sent you to school to get smart! Not to get stupid!"
It's sad that this still happens, and especially when one of these young people dies.
This has been going on long enough! But how do we stop it?

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Lady Jan's House

Lady Jan's house

photo by Janice
I have made a few changes to my blog, a new template and a slightly newer name for the new year. This is a photo of my front door taken last year, notice the porch decking isn't painted yet? It has a new coat now, but last year it had gotten a couple of new boards nailed down on it. It's a very old house close to or over a hundred years old, and yes it is haunted, by a little girl named Jenny.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Lady Jan finds the stink!

I grabbed some clothes out of the closet and took a deep breath and then coughed!

Ew! What was that rank smell?

My first though was 'Oh God something died in here!' Then my second thought was 'Oh no, the sticky traps!'

I looked but the two near the door where empty, but there was one further back but I couldn't get to. My husband hand moved some stuff around so I wasn't sure where the other sticky trap had got shoved to.

So I said "Honey! Can you check all the sticky traps in the closet? I think a mouse has died in here!"

He checked the same ones I check and said "I don't smell anything?"


Okay this is what I don't get about men! They don't smell anything! How can they not smell what I can smell? Is it because women have a superior noses compared to men? Or that going through pregnancy (with my daughter) that now I can smell e-v-e-r-y-t-h-I-n-g?

Or is it that men in general don't smell well, because well. . . .Because men just smell bad. It's sort of a built in shielding device for men. That way if they go fishing, or camping, or out on a job sight where they can't bath regurally, and start stinking real bad--it's okay! Because they can't smell it!

Me-"H-o-n-e-y, why don't you go take a shower?" Him--He sniffs his arm pit, "Oh, it's okay, I don't stink or anything." Me- "Um, yeah, er. . . honey you kinda do. I can smell you from way over here, and I'm in the next room!"

I did finally find the stink!

It was a mouse on a sticky pad! I had to take things out of the closet, but there it was right behind everything right in front of a neatly chewed mouse hole.

And yeah it was bloated and real ripe!

Okay--Say it with me "EW!"

I had to frabreze the closet, and air it out a bit. And two days later my closet still has a stink, one that I seem the only one that can smell. And ironically my clothes don't smell like rotten mousy--it's just the closet.


Sunday, January 15, 2006

Lady Jan the environmentalists!

I'm saying that sarcastically because true environmentalists live off the land and recycle everything, and use very little natural resources. And probably don't bath either.

But I do what I can; I recycle my aluminum cans and plastic, and today I saved the life of a tree! I signed on to SBC's paperless billing.

Also this is something my sister has gotten me into!

But I think it's a wonderful thing too! Especially with the soaring cost of fuel, we need a renewal energy resource that is also easy on the environment. And this is it!

From: "Dan Jacobson, Environment California Legislative Director"
To: Lady Jan
Subject: Environment California : Huge Solar Victory!
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 2006 18:42:03 -0600

Hi Janice,

Hurray! Thursday morning the California Public Utilities Commission
(CPUC) approved the California Solar Initiative by a vote of 3 to 1. The
initiative was based on our Million Solar Roofs bill that failed earlier
this year in the state legislature. This is a truly great and historic
program that will make California a world wide leader in solar power
and break our over dependence on fossil fuels.

Thanks for all of your activism to help make this giant victory happen.
The CPUC received more public comments (50,000!) in support of this
initiative than any other decision they've ever made and noted this
showing of public support was a reason for their bold decision.

Of course, there is still much more work to be done to bring our vision
of a mainstream solar power market to reality so stay tuned!

For more about this solar initiative see the article that ran in
today's San Diego Union Tribune below, or your local paper.

$3 billion approved for solar rebates

Massive program is largest in U.S. history
By Craig D. Rose

STAFF WRITER January 13, 2006

State utility regulators have passed the largest solar initiative in
U.S. history, approving a $3 billion rebate program to subsidize the
installation of 1 million rooftop systems over the next decade.

The effort by the California Public Utilities Commission has the
potential to transform the state from a solar laggard to a leader. Supporters
of the measure promise a burgeoning new manufacturing industry and
cleaner air if California hits its target of enough solar panels to
generate up to 3,000 megawatts of power.

On a sunny day, that would be enough to power nearly 3 million homes,
or the output of six fossil fuel-burning power plants.

Noting that the state has long prided itself on being a leader in
environmental matters, commission President Michael Peevey said the
so-called California Solar Initiative extended that tradition.

"Our plan is to offer a subsidy now to push the deployment of an
important part of our sustainable energy future in the long run," said
Peevey, who noted that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger supported the program as
part of a statewide effort to combat global warming and pollution.

Beyond California, the initiative could single-handedly boost the solar
industry nationally. Where 110 megawatts of solar-power systems were
installed across the nation last year - enough to power about 100,000
homes at peak production - the state plan hopes to prod the installation
of 300 megawatts annually for a decade.

"This is the single most significant initiative that will occur in the
solar field in 2006 globally," said Rhone Resch, president of the
national Solar Energy Industries Association.

He noted that the U.S. solar industry effort has in recent years been
eclipsed by programs in Germany and Japan. In fact, demand in those
countries has created worldwide shortages of solar panels - known
technically as photovoltaic panels because they convert light directly to
electricity - and of silicon, the raw material used to make them.

But Resch said the California program will spur manufacturers to ramp
up production. And he predicted that much of that manufacturing will
take place in California or nearby states because solar panels are too
heavy to ship great distances.

"What we are seeing is regional manufacturing," Resch said.

Environmental groups also applauded the plan.

"Today's vote promises to ultimately eclipse dirty and expensive fossil
fuel with clean and efficient solar power," said Bernadette Del Chiaro
of Environment California, which has long pressed for a solar

Under the program, subsidies would decline each year of the program
based on the assumption that manufacturers will make their equipment more
efficiently and trim costs.

At the start, state subsidies of $2.80 per watt will shave about $8,400
from the cost of a typical 3 kilowatt residential solar system, which
several local installers said would cost about $25,000 without the

Federal tax credits could save an additional $2,000, bringing a
homeowner's net cost down to about $15,000.
Industry advocates say such systems will cut utility bills enough to
allow homeowners to recoup their costs in about a decade. At the same
time, a decade-long program provides stability for the solar equipment
industry, which says it has been hampered by stop-and-start subsidies.

"I could never sign a five-year lease," said Barry Cinnamon, president
of Akeena Solar in Los Gatos and head of a statewide industry trade

"It's not the sudden big pot of money that is important. The goal is to
have a reasonable amount of money spread over a 10-year period so the
industry can invest."

If the program reaches its objective of 3,000 megawatts, however, the
systems themselves will likely satisfy only a small fraction of
statewide demand. Typical winter-day peak electricity demand is now about
32,000 megawatts, with summer-day peaks often reaching 45,000 megawatts.

But experts note that solar-power systems provide their maximum output
on hot sunny days when statewide demand is highest.

While the solar initiative was widely hailed, it was passed by a
divided 3-1 vote. Peevey was joined by commissioners Dian Grueneich and
Rachelle Chong in supporting the measure.
Commission John Bohn recused himself because of past investments in the

Geoffrey Brown voted against the measure because of his concern that
the commission was encroaching into areas best left to the state
Legislature, which failed to pass a similar solar initiative in each of the
last two years.

Those efforts foundered over the issue of whether there would be a
requirement to pay union wages to system installers, a question left
unaddressed by the initiative.
Brown said it was impossible to defend the subsidy program as cost
effective and added that it was a leap of faith to assume it would lead to
lower-cost solar-power systems in the future.

Emphasizing that California utility rates are already among the
nation's highest, he asked, "At what point are our rates too high to add a
multi-billion subsidy program?"

He also said his "no" vote was motivated by a lack of details and
safeguards, many of which have been left to be worked over the next year,
and by the exclusion of payments to the program by customers of municipal
utilities, over which the Public Utilities Commission lacks

As currently structured, the program will be financed by surcharges on
utility bills from investor-owned utilities like San Diego Gas &
Electric that are expected to cost customers about $13 per year. The
commission says the increase won't change bills dramatically because it will be
offset by the planned elimination of surcharges for California's last
great power initiative, electric deregulation.


Dan Jacobson
Environment California Legislative Director

If you'd like to help please e-mail at the above link!

Your Lady Jan, thanks you!

P.S. Thanks again for your support. Please feel free to share this
e-mail with your family and friends.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Lady Jan is sick again!

I was sick with some sort of virus for Christmas, then just for New Years I caught a cold! I've got Puffs everywhere! By my bed, by the couch were I recline like a lady and blow my bright red nose, and also by my computer so when I'm blogging like right now I can hopefully catch any sneeze and not spray my computer with snott!

Dang it! I hate being sick!

I'm not so worried about myself, I just don't like being contagious and I don't want to make my daughter or my husband sick.

My daughter goes back to school on the ninth, and she doesn't need to be sick next week. My husband used all his sick days to stay home for the holidays, so with no more sick days left and he's the only bread winner in the family we can't afford for him to be sick.

So hey! Vitamins for everybody!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Happy New Year from Lady Jan

Yahoo! Avatars

Last night my husband pooped out on us and went to bed really early. Which left my daughter and I to ring in the New Year.

So Sarah and I watch the count down for New Years, and went outside with our poppers that we had bought, and popped them. And we scared three cats, which is funny since we only have two.

One of the farms out further than we are, shot off some bottled rockets so we watched that for a while then went to bed.

I pounced on my sleeping husband and shook him awake just to get my New Years kiss, but he didn't mind.


What's your New Years resolution?

Did you know that the all time number one resolution is to loose weight?

If that is yours too, please keep to a reasonable goal. If you set your goal too high--it's just too easy to quit.

But what's nice is that the stores and gyms know all about resolutions and mark down exercise equipment and gym membership to take advantage of that fact. But you can take advantage of the good sales too, so shop around!

My resolution is to get healthier; eat healthier, and get a little more exercise. So I'm practicing what I preach and I am trying to keep to a reasonable goal.