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What?s Lurking in Your Countertop?

SHORTLY before Lynn Sugarman of Teaneck, N.J., bought her summer home in Lake George, N.Y., two years ago, a routine inspection revealed it had elevated levels of radon, a radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer. So she called a radon measurement and mitigation technician to find the source.

“He went from room to room,” said Dr. Sugarman, a pediatrician. But he stopped in his tracks in the kitchen, which had richly grained cream, brown and burgundy granite countertops. His Geiger counter indicated that the granite was emitting radiation at levels 10 times higher than those he had measured elsewhere in the house.

“My first thought was, my pregnant daughter was coming for the weekend,” Dr. Sugarman said. When the technician told her to keep her daughter several feet from the countertops just to be safe, she said, “I had them ripped out that very day,” and sent to the state Department of Health for analysis. The granite, it turned out, contained high levels of uranium, which is not only radioactive but releases radon gas as it decays. “The health risk to me and my family was probably small,” Dr. Sugarman said, “but I felt it was an unnecessary risk.”

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  1. Golden Grahams and Honey Bunches of Oats (only original or almonds)
  2. Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup and McDonalds Sausage Egg McMuffin

The second installment of Christopher Nolan’s vision of Batman also brings us Nolan’s vision of the Joker: a frightening “terrorist” with no political agenda other than to create chaos for his own amusement. Batman is certainly in this film, but it’s the Joker who is really its center, its star. He laughs at his own actions, but in this film those actions are more terrifying than they’ve ever been. There’s definitely something wrong with him, but what is that something?

The Joker’s most likely diagnosis is antisocial personal disorder. To be diagnosed with that disorder, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (the diagnostic rulebook of mental health clinicians), an individual’s behavior must meet at least three of seven criteria. The criteria most relevant to the Joker involve his repeatedly: 1. violating social norms of lawful behavior; 2. having no remorse for his misbehavior; 3. lying for personal pleasure or profit.

Nolan’s incarnation of the Joker gets his kicks from wreaking havoc, and he’s clever enough that there’s plenty of havoc to go around; he knows what he can do and he’s ambitious. He is grandiose, but does he have a second disorder — is he a narcissist? The diagnosis for narcissistic personality disorder rests on the notion that such people’s beliefs about themselves are greater than are warranted by reality; they have an over-inflated sense of their own abilities. Unfortunately, Joker’s beliefs in his talents are well-founded.

The Joker is frequently portrayed as the inversion of Batman: humorous, irrational, and spontaneous whereas Batman is humorless, logical and methodical. But what makes Nolan’s Joker particularly interesting is his similarity to Batman: They’re both smart, driven, methodical loners who are good judges of human nature. Unfortunately, the Joker, like some serial killers, uses his talents and abilities for his own sick amusement rather than for the common good, as does Batman. Thank goodness for Batman.

See Dr. Robin Rosenberg on the recent History Channel program Batman Unmasked: The Psychology of the Dark Knight. The first part of the show is on her blog; you can also watch the program on YouTube.

I’ve always been wary of using DEET, but what are the alternatives besides rubbing a citronella candle all over you?

Escents Aromatherapy Bug Off Mist

Product benefits: Keep bugs away naturally with lemongrass and lavender. Fresh and clean smelling, may also be used to scent and deodorize any space.

Directions: Apply to affected area as needed.

Product Code | 354-202
Top Notes | Lavender, Lemongrass
Size | 125 ml / 4 fl oz
$12.95

http://www.escentsaromatherapy.com/browse.php?primary=2&secondary=6&product=150

…if I were better at math: A forensic accountant.

Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth.

The book shows “how transcending our ego-based state of consciousness is not only essential to personal happiness, but also the key to ending conflict and suffering throughout the world. Tolle describes how our attachment to the ego creates the dysfunction that leads to anger, jealousy, and unhappiness, and shows readers how to awaken to a new state of consciousness and follow the path to a truly fulfilling existence.”

I bought this Velvet by Graham and Spencer dress in a baltic blue from ebay and it arrived 3 days ago. Guess who wore the same thing recently?

Horoscope:

The stars will favor all your endeavors: don’t have doubts about your capacities; you have every chance to succeed in whatever you undertake. You may be admitted into a very closed circle, and you’ll have a great feeling of pride and security. In your work, this will be the ideal time to achieve the project dearest to your heart and to promote your personal initiatives. Don’t ever allow the past to haunt you, otherwise you’ll create many worries for yourself. Good health conditions.

Yes, the techie granted me a Blackberry Curve (that I don’t really need because my old one worked but it was unattractive) today! After too much stalking, bothering, whining….

Changed from Rogers to Bell, and the csa gave me the $150 device for only $50!

Now it’s time to bling it:

If I have twin girls I’ll name them Tinsley and Dabney. How fabulous, eh?

On how she’d describe herself: “I’m incredibly ordinary, a normal-looking girl, and I just make the best of what I have.”

I say: “EXACTLY! Finally someone who understands!”