A medical condition that has received
scant mention in the press is a rare disorder known as congenital adrenal
According to an article in the Los
Angeles Times, "The condition causes an accumulation of male
hormones and can, in females, lead to genitals so masculinized that it
can be difficult at birth to determine the baby’s gender."
As a result the child is born with ambiguous genitalia. The child is usually
given over to the surgeons who decide whether to give the child male or
female genitalia. Sometimes the decision is not made based on whether
the child is male or female genetically, it is made based on what the
surgeons have to work with.
"Congenital adrenal hyperplasia, caused by a defect in an enzyme
called 21-hydroxylase, affects about 1 in 15,000 infants, and almost all
newborns are screened for it. Undetected, the abnormality can make both
male and female infants critically ill within a few weeks of birth because
of an associated salt loss through the urine. The defective enzyme also
causes a deficiency of the hormone cortisol, which can affect heart function,
and an increase in androgens produced by the adrenal glands."
"The excess presence of the male hormone testosterone in the womb
has little effect on a male fetus’ genitalia. Even in females, the anatomical
defect may be mild, involving nothing more obvious than a slightly enlarged
clitoris. However, in severe cases, girls are born with male-like sexual
organs although they usually have ovaries and a uterus."
"A hormonal treatment to prevent ambiguous genitalia can now be offered
to women who may be carrying such infants. It’s not without health risks,
but to its critics those are of small consequence compared with this notable
side effect: The treatment might reduce the likelihood that a female with
the condition will be homosexual. Further, it seems to increase the chances
that she will have what are considered more feminine behavioral traits."
So. Here’s a medical condition that, while rare, is quite dangerous. And
a treatment that, while risky, also helps prevent the child from becoming
homosexual. Fair trade off you say?
Well not everyone see’s it that way.
"That such a treatment would ever be considered, even to prevent
genital abnormalities, has outraged gay and lesbian groups, troubled some
doctors and fueled bioethicists’ debate about the nature of human sexuality."
"’I would never recommend treatment in order to take lesbianism away
if that is someone’s predisposition,’ he (Heino Meyer-Bahlburg, professor
of clinical psychology at Columbia University Medical Center) said. ‘Any
treatment can be misused. That could happen here. But this is not the
focus of the treatment. The focus is to make surgery unnecessary.’"
I think most parents, if asked, would want their children to grow up healthy
and happy first. Then most would say they want them to get married and
have children of their own. That’s not to say that most parents wouldn’t
love their children or accept them if they were gay, it just seems to
me that most parents wouldn’t choose that for their children.
But I’m quite sure that parents don’t want their children to have to undergo
surgery. Especially as infants. So if a mother knows she carries a child
with congenital adrenal hyperplasia and that this hormone treatment exists
would it be right to withhold the treatment because it might make the
child straight instead of gay?
What do you think? Should the treatment be given? Is it silly of gay rights
people to object? Would you want your child treated rather than wait to
see if the condition would result in surgery?
Also, doesn’t this add more evidence to the argument that gays are born
not made? Since this condition is known to be caused by a defect in an
enzyme resulting in exposure to an excess of testosterone before birth,
doesn’t it make sense that similar causes could account for most homosexuality?
On This Article
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“All this worldly wisdom was once the unamiable heresy of some wise
man.” - Henry David Thoreau
“Beauty, whether moral or natural, is felt, more properly than perceived.”
- David Hume
Different For Everyone
One day, while going
to the store, I passed by a nursing home. On the front
lawn were six old ladies lying naked on the grass. I thought
this was a bit unusual, but continued on my way to the store.
On my return trip, I passed the same nursing home with the same six
old ladies lying naked on the lawn. This time my curiosity got
the best of me, so I went inside to talk to the Nursing Home Administrator.
"Do you know there are six ladies lying naked on your Front lawn?"
"Yes," she said. "They’re retired prostitutes and they’re
having a yard sale."
“A king is always a king - and a woman always a woman: his authority
and her sex ever stand between them and rational converse.”
“Every political good carried to the extreme must be productive of evil.”
“I do not wish women to have power over men; but over themselves.” -
All by English writer Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley born on this day in
Do They Sell, Beans??
Speak right up!
As the song goes, "The weather outside is frightful."
Although the song is a wintertime one and continues to reflect
the cold weather, it applies in this one line to any uncomfortable weather
We are experiencing a very dry and hot summer in my area. It is
stressing all the flora and fauna around here. Without proper
growing conditions, plants are not seeding since they were dying before
they even flowered. Without seeds, the birds, squirrels and other
vegetarians are hard pressed to find ample food. The food chain
is missing a link.
Contrarily, this year has had a noticeable lack of thunderstorms.
They are usually quite regular. On an average year, we can count
on thunderstorms, or at least a summer rain, every 4 days or so.
We are going weeks without rain at this point. It is affecting
everything. The groundwater supply is waning.
As an example, I have an earthcache near my home that is an artesian
well. An earthcache is one of the types of geocaches that is not
focused on a container, and within a log to sign. Instead it is
a geological feature that specific questions must be answered via email.
However, recent visitors to this earthcache have found there was little
to see. There is no flow from the artesian well since the water
table has dropped below the level of the source for the well.
As the water table drops, the surface soils become quite arid.
Without artificial maintenance, plants and animals suffer. One
such sign of arid soil are cracks. Fissures form in the soil as
the moisture disappears. In famous deserts, such as Death Valley
and the Sahara, one can see this effect. In some areas not covered
by shifting sand, one can see a soil base looking more like a series
of chessboards than mineral and organic soil.
Considering spring had been quite wet and had replenished our groundwater
supply, summer was a drastic offset. I hope it isn’t like it had
been several years ago and hurricane remnants combine to deluge the
area with record rainfall. Late summer is prime-time for hurricane
season. As I write this, a chain of pearls is forming in the equatorial
Atlantic. The U.S. Atlantic and Gulf coasts will be preparing
for these unwelcome arrivals. Let’s hope Ohio isn’t graced by
Here’s your quiz:
What is the most severe weather condition you have personally endured?
Have weather patterns common in other areas ever presented themselves
in your area?
Have you been on vacation, or otherwise away from your home and encountered
some new type of weather?
Toll - What You Pay To Take The Ride
Cliff (the High-Tech Redneck who doesn’t rate a fancy ’signature pic’)
on this article
is a mental sport…and we’re all insane!”
~ Unknown ~
This morning I went for an eighteen kilometre training run. I was
a little worried about it, because I recently missed a week of training
due to a cold. And no matter which way you cut it, eighteen kilometres
is a long way to go under your own steam. I went to bed early last
night, just to ensure that lack of sleep would not be a handicap,
and I woke up early enough to have a light breakfast half an hour
before heading out. I did all the right things before the run, and
yet when I took my resting heart rate right before leaving, it was
about fifteen beats per minute higher than usual. That’s how anxious
I was. And this was just a training run. Imagine what I’ll be like
before the race, which is four weeks from today.
However, once I got started, I discovered that I was fine, and I realized
that taking a short break from training is not the end of the world.
I have discovered a number of things that have surprised me to varying
extents in about eighteen months of dedicated running. Here are some
of them, in this week’s Top Ten list.
1. As I just mentioned, taking a short training break does not put
the entire training program in jeopardy. More often than not, illness
is the body’s way of telling us that we are overdoing it and need
to rest. Catching a cold could have ultimately saved me from a more
long-term injury. As it was, I was forced to rest, muscle tissue had
more time than usual to regenerate, and I barely noticed a blip when
I resumed my running.
2. Drinking coffee before a long run is a good thing. Common sense
would tell me that caffeine, being inherently unhealthy, would be
a bad idea. Even more so for runners, who are a bit obsessed with
hydration. Coffee actually causes dehydration. But when consumed about
half an hour before the run along with a good dollop of water, it
actually serves as a useful energy store.
3. Complicated running routes are my friend. Yesterday I spent about
half an hour mapping out a route with as many twists and turns as
I could. OK, it gives me more to remember, but that’s what the notepad
feature on my BlackBerry is for. It just makes the run easier from
a psychological point of view. Each stretch of the run lasts for a
kilometre or less, and your mind is so focused on staying on-course
that the distance seems to go by a lot more quickly.
4. Some of the best music to run to is classical music. You’d think
this wouldn’t be the case, what with the placid, soothing nature of
a lot of classical music, but as it turns out, the cadence of the
music is just right. This morning’s tunes of choice: Strauss waltzes.
They have a perfect beat for running to.
5. It really is possible to “run through the pain”. There was a time
when I thought this was just a stupid expression runner used to show
off. But it really can happen. In the average long run, I experience
any number of twinges and discomforts. I mean, of course I do. You
cannot run eighteen kilometres without feeling something. And if I
run for long enough, I simply stop feeling it. If I continue to feel
it after three kilometres or so, I take notice, because that’s an
indication that I am heading for a real injury.
6. Walking breaks make me go faster. This seems like a paradox. How
can slowing down speed me up? I used to laugh at this theory, and
would gamely attempt to complete a long run without stopping. I now
do 10:1 splits. This means that for every ten minutes of running,
I take a one-minute walking break. This significantly slows down the
build-up of lactic acid in the muscles, so I can avoid that horrible
muscle burn feeling that is sometimes associated with rigorous exercise.
It also means that I run faster during each ten-minute split, and
I end up with faster times than I do without the walking breaks.
7. When I cannot run I turn into the world’s biggest cranky-arse.
It’s kind of weird. When I’m running, I’m pushing myself hard, in
terms of either effort or distance. It is hard on my body - as I sit
here, I am feeling the customary post-run stiffness settling in my
legs. I know that tomorrow I will be walking with odd robotic movements.
And yet I seek this out, and not just for the sake of the end goal
of the race. There’s something about running that actually benefits
my mind in a way that other forms of exercise do not.
8. Hill training is essential to a good race, even if there are no
hills on the course. Last year I did not bother with hill training.
It just didn’t seem necessary: the half-marathon route had only two
hills, and not very big ones. But this year I have discovered that
hill training develops the core muscles and builds strength. It will
lead to a faster time even on a relatively flat course. And much to
my husband’s delight, hill training is a good way to sculpt the ass
and trim the thighs.
9. Stretching after a run is really, really important. Before a run,
not so much, and that can actually lead to injury. But stretching
after a run can save all kinds of grief and pain. When I start a run
with tight muscles, it’s usually because I didn’t stretch enough after
the previous run. This is a problem I often have, because for some
reason I am kind of lazy about my stretching, and while I never bypass
it altogether, it does tend to be kind of rudimentary.
10. I am surprisingly focused when I run. It’s not just a case of
mindlessly putting one foot in front of the other. I’m thinking of
tactics, pacing, when to hydrate and to what extent, whether to take
an energy gel now or later. I was amazed the first time I saw an official
race photo of myself. There is a look of pure concentration on my
face that I don’t even know if I have when I’m deliberately concentrating
Time for a soak in the tub with a glass of wine. Either the soak or
the wine will take an edge off the ache.
On This Article
I used to know what it meant to "download" something. In fact,
I had a pretty good grasp on "upload", too. After a frustrating
day on the computer, I’ve decided I need educated.
My problem started first thing this morning. I had my coffee made, my
teeth brushed and my computer turned on. I read my email, made a few
profound tweets, and prepared to submit one of my brilliant articles
to various directories. About the second time I tried, my computer,
aged 1 1/2 months, crashed.
I said some words that probably made the minister at the church 5 blocks
away blush. I said them loud enough, so I’m sure he heard. In fact,
he probably called the police to report a minor earth quake. If I knew
his phone number, perhaps I would confess that his problem wasn’t with
the almighty, but only with a frustrated computer user. He’d understand
if he had Windows 7.
It came to me that my problem might be spyware. That, for others who
are prone to find things out the hard way, but haven’t yet, is when
you visit a web site, and it installs a little bit of nasty code on
your hard drive so the web master can figure out what you’re doing.
If enough of them do it, it can make your machine choke. That is what
mine did, and what led to my burning of the reverend’s ears, as well
as make a few observations that probably assured me a very warm home
in the afterlife.
Next, I went to find a program to correct my little problem. One bit
of software that had been recommended to me, and that I had used with
some success after the last crash came right up in Google. I scurried
in and found a link that said, of all things, "download".
When I was a child, and the last dinosaur had departed, and all of our
fondest dreams ended with .com, I was taught that "download"
meant that electronic information (and sometimes viruses) could be transferred
between computers with the press of a button. That button was labeled
with the useful word "download".
This morning, , "download" led me to another page full of
useless links. I read through them, which is a real undertaking with
a screen reader, and found another link marked "download".
Okay, I’ll bite.
Another link farm, a few more naughty words, and an embarrassed golden
retriever later, I finally found a link that said "download here!"
I did, I got my software, my computer locked up again, and I’m going
to bed. Geeeese! I give up!
On This Article
[Thanks Bob of the North]
If you like Alkaline batteries for the long shelf life and high reserve
power, you can use around 10% of the power and recharge them that
much a few times. Give your emergency flashlight a boost every year
if it wasn’t much needed.
That one was a flop. Thank’s for trying anyway.
This line has lots of rhymes.
Give it a try.
Next opening line…
There was a young man of high station…
Here’s a great new rhyming/composition tool. http://www.writerhymes.com/
There’s also a great rhyming dictionary at http://www.rhymezone.com/
Limerick rules. http://freespace.virgin.net/merrick.sheldon/limerickrules.htm
now looking forward to fall—
so much to do, we’ll have a ball—
like going to orchards
and enjoying Halloween
I hope we can fit it all! - Cassandra in New York
now looking forward to fall
October is going to be a ball
Then we have Halloween
my costume will be green
i’m going as a tree
unusual don’t you agree
or better yet i’ll be Lucille
and get my clients set free - dEE
looking forward to fall
It’s won’t be very long at all
Will we grow so bold
As to complain of the cold
Can’t wait to get the coats from the hall. - Bonnie
The way I see it, planting
a GPS is no different than having 2 cops follow you around 24/7 which
is legal. Except Joe taxpayer isn’t having to pay two cops salaries
to sit in a car eating doughnuts on stakeout. Even if they tagged
every car in the country I wouldn’t have a problem with it. What do
I care that Big Brother knows that I went to Walmart at 2am? But knowing
that an accused pedophile has been driving from middle school to middle
school? Yeah, I WANT them to know that! Its been said the greatest
safety device a car can have is a cop in the rear view mirror, the
same logic applies here. Maybe if people are so paranoid that someone
somewhere is going to know where they go, they shouldn’t be going
there. - Tony
If there is going
to be any electronic surveillance, let’s start by eliminating privacy
for the rich and/or powerful. Corporate board members, politicians,
"security" agencies, media owners and miscellaneous rich
people enjoy the public trust, but, being human, need help to resist
corruption. - Bob of the North
An over-looked bit about
driveways might be using a Private Property sign posted on both sides
of where it enters off the public road. I know the driveway is considered
part of one’s private property by garbage trucks, UPS, FedX and the
Post Office around here. They NEVER pull in, they walk parcels to
the door while parked at the end of the drive. Actually, utility companies
have more "right" to invade your property since they have
an Easement to run electric, phone and cable wires and poles across
it and pipes under it for water and sewer. But you still pay taxes
on all of what you own. The fire plug in our yard sits 16 feet from
the edge of the road and has to be mowed around by us. Of course,
anyone can walk up the driveway to your door, and they do, whehter
you want the visitation or not. (We get a couple of religious folks
now and then urging their brand of it on us, and it’s close to the
time when the schools send kids to the door with boxes of candy and
subscriptions to magazines so they can make dabs of cash for extra-curricular
But attaching anything to somebody else’s personal property for any
reason makes me shudder! First GPS, next a bomb? If you’re writing
that book, consider whether your Good Guys should be allowed to follow
a guy by GPS, arrest him, and he gets off on some technicality, so
they sneak in and attach a bomb to his car to get rid of him.
If they win this case, it makes one more thing we all need to do before
driving - check the underside of the vehicle to see what’’s new under
there. Maybe someone will invent a periscope on wheels for little
old ladies to check their car before going to the grocery store. After
all, those Gov’t folks might not always get the right address when
they sneak in at night. - Nancy L in Ohio
Phooey. This seems
more to be about surveillance of folks who do not have a newer vehicle
or a cell phone, both of which have GPS devices in them already. And
lets not forget to mention having an enclosed garage which would further
complicate the matter. Lucille? Do you have any comments on this,
even though outside the scope of your practice? Carol T
It is wrong. I wonder then
if we invest in devices that find these illegal devices and remove
them, or destroy them, would we be at risk for destroying government
property even though we would not know it was government property?
- BJ in Oz
My friend and I
have been lamenting the loss of personal liberty in this country,
especially since 9/11/2001. The more we let it happen, the worse it’s
going to get. Someone, sometime, will have to take a stand and stop
this progression or we will be living in a police state before very
long. Fortunately, I am old enough that I won’t live to see it.
The less tools the police
have to harrass people, the safer we all are. Legalize drugs, tax
the hell out of them, and keep our cops busy investigating things
like murder, robbery, battery and the like. - Lucille
I have to write
reports all the time for work. I have to write out case forms for
each call I take during a phone shift. When I first began this, the
person training me told me that if I ever found that I had forgotten
to put down all the cases, and that if the case numbers did not match,
just to make one up so the log would be correct at the end of the
month. I don’t hardly ever have to do this, but when I do I always
make up a report about one of our frequent callers, so that the case
will not find its way on to a spread sheet reserved for follow up
calls. I mean, I can’t exactly make up a call that could never have
happened, cause we always call our callers that give us names and
phone numbers back to see that they got the help they needed, and
if they did not we have to be able to find out why. Kind of a quality
control thing. Well, that’s my story. Not as exciting as yours, but
well, if you could read some of my case reports, you just might change
your mind about that. We get some really weird calls. I would love
to be able to write of them here, but well, there’s that stupid confidential
thing, and it would be just my luck that if I did write such a story
the very person I chose to write about would end up being a RGQ reader.
LOL! - Tazz
Re: George’s Pineapple
He is so cute seem i can
put a face on your column now. - dEE
Oh! That’s one
of the best stories yet! I just love your stories of your family.
However that one takes the cake. The Pine apple upside down cake!
- Love Tazz!
He’s absolutely gorgeous
- and I love Mr. Pineapple Head! What a wonderful thing for all of
What a GREAT Mr.
Pineapple Head ! Also , a very smart and handsome George. Thank you
for sharing this wonderful child with us. Pat
Re: Lucille’s Judgipoo
Hi Lucille, I have been
reading your "column" for quite a while and have not until
now taken the opportunity to comment. Or, actually now to ask a question.
What is the deal with judges? Are they some sort of potentate? Can
they be complained about effectively? Impeaqched, or whatever? Is
there a process in place for any of this?
thrive on CO2. Plenty of that in that courtroom it seems. Carol T
Disclaimer- All quotes printed in this publication are believed to be
accurately attributed, but no guarantees are made that some incorrectly
attributed, or even outright false quotes won’t get in here from time
to time. I assure readers that I will do my best to weed out incorrect
quotes, and will print a retraction as soon as I become aware of any errors.
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