Friday, June 29, 2012

Burning Bushes ...

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Burning Trees. Burning Homes. This is what the State of Colorado is experiencing right now. Vast expanses of forests are burning and within those forests are homes (or used to be) of thousands of people.

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Please say a prayer to the Rain Gods for us. May they grace us with vast amounts of moisture to extinguish the fires and quench the thirst which the land is now experiencing.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Weird Wednesday ~ Pixie Dust Aids Injured Soldiers

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A powder nick-named "Pixie Dust" is being used to save the limbs of war heroes who have been wounded in Afghanistan. Surgeons have already used the dust to save several soldiers so badly mutilated that they were at risk of amputation. Made from pig bladders it has the ability to help the human body grow new tissue to replace large areas of a leg or arm destroyed by blast damage. Now there is hope that limbs that would have been previously amputated can be saved. Pig bladders contain a substance called extra cellular matrix, which is made up largely of collagen. Scientists have already used powdered pig bladders to help grow replacement human bladders. But researchers working for the American military realized the substance might also help hundreds of wounded soldiers.

Professor Steve Wolf has already treated several young soldiers whose limbs were so badly damaged, they were unable to walk and faced amputation. He said: 'The word has got around about how this substance from pig bladders has got this magic ability to grow new tissue. Then one day one of the patients used the phrase 'pixie dust' to describe it and the name stuck  'We don't quite know how it works which adds to its magical qualities. We think that it attracts cells in the body that have the ability to multiply and gives them a chemical signal to make new tissue.

Professor Wolf - chief of clinical trials at the American Army's Institute for Surgical Research is just about to start a formal trial using 'pixie dust' on bomb victims after the successful treatment of a handful of blast victims last year. One of the first soldiers to receive the treatment was Corporal Isais Hernandez. He was so severely wounded by a mortar round that amputation of his leg seemed likely. 
Hernandez said: 'The surgery that Dr Wolf performed has been fantastic. Within a few weeks  of the operation last year I was doing things with the leg I hadn't done for months. 'It was so quick that you could almost see it growing and filling the hole where I was blasted. I could feel my limb tingling as the new tissues grew.'

'The Extra Cellular membrane had not only made muscle but also built nerves. Hernandez had a gaping, crater-like wound, in his thigh right down to the bone and doctors had no way of replacing the muscle and other tissue that had been blown away. Professor Wolf operated and instead of using powered bladder he used it in sheet form putting layers of it into the large wound in Corporal Hernandez's leg. Magically over a period of several weeks new tissue and muscle grew until the wound was filled.

Professor Wolf said: 'This was an amazing result. It was quite a sight to see the body regenerate in this way because in the past we have not been able to replace muscle and tissue once it has been lost.' The Extra Cellular Matrix grew nerves, ordinary tissue and muscle where there had been none. Corporal Hernandez is now able to walk on the limb - which he couldn't do before surgery -and is undergoing physiotherapy to restore as much strength as possible to his limb. A large scar covers the area where the sheets of pig bladder worked their magic.

Pixie dust was developed by scientists at the Centre of Regenerative Medicine in Pittsburgh and one of their successes was to grow a completely new finger tip including blood vessels tissue, skin and finger nail for a man who severed it with the propeller of a model airplane.

Complete article here!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Cat Tales ~ Places, pt.2

More of Mommy's Photos

Children's Book Section, Anythink Library, Thornton, Colorado

Vail Pass  June 2012
Denver Zoo  May 2012
Lake Dillon  May 2012
Purz and Catnip Dreams ....... Gomez

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Friday, June 22, 2012

Up a Cherry Tree

There is a wonderful Cherry Tree in our front yard. It's not an especially old tree, but it has a beautiful shape and the Tree provides so much to so many. Children climb to their castles in the sky through the Tree's Branches. Birds find shelter amongst the Leaves. Hubby & I enjoy the shade on warm summer afternoons. And we all enjoy the cherries the Tree provides. 

The Tree is happy with our (not) so little family living in its house. (The previous owner had threatened to cut it down to park his camper in the spot the Tree occupies.) It presented us with a beautiful display of blossoms this past Spring. And those blossoms rapidly became an abundance of cherries. 

The Children enjoyed picking the tart but delectable red gems from the lower branches - proudly declaring they were the 'sweetest treats' in the world. The local Robin family raised their young on the fruit found in the upper branches. And as for the cherries in between? Well, they were picked and frozen for future pies and turnovers. Over 15 gallons in all. The Cherry Tree was most generous.

But cherries weren't the only gift from the Tree. A chance to meet a slice of Humanity was given. I spent quite a bit of time up on a ladder or in the branches of the Cherry Tree and this sight proved to be either a source of conversation or something to be avoided by the people who happened to be passing by. 
There was the young man who hurried down the street deep in thought. He was oblivious to my presence. I dared not speak for fear of startling him. Do I walk like that? Oblivious to Life's little pleasures? 

The nice older couple from three doors down who always went to lunch at the same time every day and who always smiled and waved as they drove by; the mailman who always smiled and had a friendly word; and the fellow remodeling the house across the street all brought a sense of small town America to this section of the Big City.  And we would all talk of the weather, the neighborood and other various goings-ons but the conversation would always turn to the Tree and its generosity. 
But the most memorable person to stop and admire the Tree was a Vet who spent the good part of a morning helping harvest fruit and telling his story. He was a reminder that we all have a story to tell if only we have someone to listen. 
And I want to Thank You for listening to this little bit of my story.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Weird Wednesday ~ Heliotropism

*** This post is in answer to a question ask by a faithful reader. ***

"Heliotropism is the diurnal motion of plant parts (flowers or leaves) in response to the direction of the sun. It is found in some members of family Malvacea e.g. Malva or Lavetara. Heliotropism was first described by Leonardo da Vinci (along with gravitropism) in his botanical studies. The term heliotropism is for movement, not growth.
Heliotropic flowers track the sun's motion across the sky from east to west. During the night, the flowers may assume a random orientation, while at dawn they turn again toward the east where the sun rises. The motion is performed by motor cells in a flexible segment just below the flower, called a pulvinus. The motor cells are specialized in pumping potassium ions into nearby tissues, changing their turgor pressure. The segment flexes because the motor cells at the shadow side elongate due to a turgor rise. Heliotropism is a response to blue light.
Leaf heliotropism is the solar tracking behavior of plant leaves. Some plant species have leaves that orient themselves perpendicularly to the sun's rays in the morning (diaheliotropism), and others have those that orient themselves parallel to these rays at midday (paraheliotropism). Floral heliotropism is not necessarily exhibited by the same plants that exhibit leaf heliotropism."

West Facing Sunflowers
Many people believe that the flower heads of many plants track the sun. This is a misconception. Immature flower buds of the sunflower will track the sun across the sky from east to west and by dawn the buds will have returned to face east. But once the flower bud matures and blossoms, the stem stiffens and the flower becomes fixed facing East.
Snow Buttercup
But there are some plant species which truly are solar trackers - the Snow Buttercup (Ranunculus adoneus). By facing the sun throughout the day, the flowers of the Snow Buttercup are able to collect heat. This heat is thought to help pollination - insects which fly into the Buttercup will become warm and thus fly better to deliver pollen to other flowers.
Some plant species orient their leaves perpendicular to the sun's rays in the mornings and evenings to maximize photosynthesis. These plants have higher photosynthetic rates throughout the day. Leaves parallel to the sun's rays have reduced leaf temperatures and transpirational water losses. No doubt a mechanism to survive in hot, dry areas.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Cat Tales ~ People pt.1

Here's some photos Mommy has taken over the last few weeks.

Purz and Catnip Dreams ....... Gomez

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Friday, June 15, 2012

Come Visit Me.....

At the Festival of Faerie tomorrow in Lafayette, CO.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Cat Tales ~ BRB

Me will Be Right Back! Mommy has been super, uber busy creating items for a show she is doing this coming weekend and she hasn't let Me use the computer very much. But Me will be back next week with lots of stories to tell - including the Yard Makeover! 
So see you next Monday!

Purz and Catnip Dreams ....... Gomez

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Weird Wednesday ~ Weird Laws

*** Special Note ***  I found a double handful of web pages with weird or dumb laws. It was extremely hard not to write post after post about some of the weird and/or dumb laws still on the books across the U.S. So I chose to share some of the weird laws for my home state of Colorado. I cannot attest to how factual this info is! 

  • In Pueblo it is illegal to let a dandelion to grow within the city limits.
  • In Sterling it is illegal for Cats to run loose without having been fitted with a taillight.
  • Throwing missiles at cars is illegal in Alamosa.
  • It is unlawful in Denver to loan your vacuum cleaner to your next-door neighbor.
  • Boulders may not be rolled on city property in Boulder.
  • In Denver, the dog catcher must notify dogs of impounding by posting, for three consecutive days, a notice on a tree in the city park and along a public road running through said park.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Cat Tales ~ Everyone needs a Sidekick

Mommy found this ad on the web and said that the Kitty looks like Me! 

Me thinks so too!

Remember, if you're in need of a Sidekick, be sure to check out your local Shelter. 

Purz and Catnip Dreams ....... Gomez

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Skull Illusions

**Special Instructions** First view the images on this blog page - then click on image to enlarge and see the details