Archive for the 'Newsy Guts' Category

Unforgettable Transplant

May 21, 2009

Picture 10Natalie Cole got a new kidney in a successful kidney transplant last Tuesday, Reuters has reported. Cole had been undergoing dialysis three times a day to treat Hepatitis C, even as she toured to promote her new album, “Still Unforgettable.” The nine-time Grammy winning singer admits she probably got to disease from drug use over 30 years ago. Let’s hope that kidney is everlasting! [photo courtesy Reuters]

This Gland is Your Gland

May 11, 2009

Picture 1Can drinking juice be that good for you? Pom Wonderful seems to think so. The pomegrante juice company has spent $25 million bucks on studies to prove that their juice cures all that ails you — from heart disease to diabetes. Their latest ad campaign takes aim at prostate health, which is a pretty unsexy incentive to drink juice, even though, yes, we agree keeping the prostate healthy should be a goal of all men, whether young or old. Whether it’s just great marketing or great science, we don’t know, though we have heard anecdotal evidence that drinking the juice of one lemon a day is good for prostate health, as is eating a balanced diet rich with fruits and veggies — which is probably pretty much good for everything.

Urine My Thoughts

May 7, 2009

pee_cardsscan_fullNo one likes to talk about it, but one of the downsides of vaginal childbirth is, yes, a little bit of pee comes out, especially when you go running or something. A company that manufactured a sort of sling to help stop leaks has been recently sued by women who have had problems following the insertion of the device. Icky. These bladder issues are unpleasant, to say the least, but they can be helped with kegel exercises. It made us realize giving a bladder to a postpartum woman might be an even better gift than a uterus.  [Image by the wonderful people at Porterness]

Love is in the Ocean

April 17, 2009

3245_70930121327_539566327_1671086_5101495_nA couple good friends of mine are going on a looooong bike ride — from Vancouver to Tijuana — on a mission to spread the word about the danger of plastics in the ocean. Marcus sailed on a boat made from plastic bottles from Los Angeles to Hawaii last summer, and this bike trip is the second part of his and Anna’s effort to bring attention to the throwaway plastics that end up in the bellies of birds, marine mammals and turtles. Anyway, they took one of our plush hearts along on their voyage as a mascot of love because they are planning on getting married on the trip! Mazel tov!

She’s Got Guts

March 25, 2009

s-natasha-richardson-large Natasha Richardson’s organs will be donated following her skiing accident, subsequent brain trauma and removal from life support. Organ donation “is very Natasha,” a friend told People magazine. “At least by donating her organs something good could come out of [the tragedy].” Richardson’s generous move will surely be lauded by organ donation boosters such as Donate Life, and appreciated by whomever recieves the organs, which will go to someone in dire need. Just goes to show it’s a good idea to have plans for your innards even when you’re young and healthy. It really takes guts.

Ice, Ice, Baby, Too Cold

March 12, 2009

freezerWe are pleased to announce we’ll have a few items in this weekend’s show Freezer Isle, a plush art showcase of icy goodies and more put on by Phantom Galleries (they show in empty storefronts, mowing around for each show) and Evil Ice Cream. Also on hand, artsy stuff from plush-world luminaries UglyDolls, Dan Goodsell, Shawnimals, Anna Chambers, and more! At first I figured it was wrong to include guts in a show about edibles, but Evil Ice Cream’s Kerry helped broaden my horizons. “Don’t they keep kidneys on ice sometimes?” So I made a special icy heart, entitled “Cold Hearted”, plus Frankensteak will make an appearance along with the totally iced out crew from Carat Club. If you’re down in the OC this weekend, please check it out at 2736 E Chapman Ave, Orange, CA 92869. The opening is Saturday, March 14, 7 pm-12 am.

This is Your Brain on Doodling

March 12, 2009

doodlerEver been caught drawing in class, during a meeting or while listening to someone blabbing on and on? I certainly have. Next time someone accuses you of doodling, though, tell them you are actually listening intently — and that science is on your side. A recently published brain study shows doodling actually helps people concentrate. Apparently the listening part of your brain works better when the drawing part of your brain is occupied — it keeps you from daydreaming and spacing out altogether. Sadly, the study did not conclude that doodlers are smarter than non-doodlers (heh heh). The study was kind of small — just 20 people were studied in each given task, so some might argue the data is statistically insignificant. I don’t care though. I’ll take any pro-doodling stance I can get.

The Pituitary has a Posse

March 11, 2009

andrethegiantstickerWrestler, actor, and all-around big guy Andre the Giant definitely had a posse, but did you know he also had a pituitary condition? Andre owed his great size to acromegaly, more specifically gigantism, a hormonal disorder that sets the pituitary growth hormones into overdrive so the body keeps on growing…and growing…and growing, well into adulthood. The hands and feet are most often affected, resulting in abnormally large extremities, and even oversized organs, usually to serve the needs of a larger body size. You’d think a condition like this would be genetic, but it is often cause by tumors on the pituitary itself. Peep this fascinating video on the pituitary condition on National Geographic.

Full of Guts

March 5, 2009

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Among the many good things at Wondercon 2009 in San Francisco last weekend was a seeing Guts, a large, glossy book of icky photos from the Tim Palen pop-horror genre (the Saw series, etc.) published by Baby Tattoo Books. Obviously, this one ain’t for kiddies, filled as it is with slasher-horror gut-spilling gore. Props to the packaging designer, who packed it up in a foam meat tray. We had a great time at the I Heart Guts booth, meeting nice people and sending some of them away with guts. Someone told me Carrie Fisher took a peek at our booth, but sadly I was helping another customer so I missed her. Oh well. Toycyte did a nice write-up on the guts, so thanks, Jeremy, it was nice to meet you!

Gland Focus: The Good Ol’ Parathyroid!

March 4, 2009

parathyroid-gland3Not many folks know what the parathyroid is or does until — as with pretty much everything within our bodies — something goes wrong. Parathyroid hormones regulate calcium in the blood, which affects bone growth among other things. Folks with elevated amounts of the hormone have trouble with, according to Popular Science magazine, “stones (kidney stones), bones (fractures), moans (psychiatric problems) and groans (constipation).” A surprising new way to deal with parathyroid imbalance involves autotransplantation — instead of getting someone else’s parathyroid (rejection is always a problem), they take yours out, then put it back. Sometimes they even put it back in your arm rather than in your neck, where it belongs. Isn’t that amazing?