Greetings from Our president
Word on the Street
Guess Who Just Took another Trip around the Sun
Our Out-Of-Sight Superstar
The Book Shelf – 2 selections
My Story – In the
A Poem with a Twist – Twas the Night before Christmas
Flick, Swipe, and Tap – DoItWrite
The Latest Research – Reading the Pancreas through the Eye
In My Opinion – Would I Want My Vision Restored?
Experience Descriptive Video with a New iOS7 App
Hi-Q Puzzle Solution
Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program – iCanConnect
Do You Have Sitting Disease?
And Survey Says
A Quick Tech Tip
A Huge Salute
The Recipe Box – Sweet Potatoes
Dear Betty Blunt
A Round of Applause
What is Happening on Out-Of-Sight
That surely cannot be snowflakes falling and sleigh bells ringing. I cannot believe that it is already December.
I imagine that everyone is in the midst of decorating for the holidays and hoping that Santa Claus does not forget them no matter what their behavior has been this year. Unfortunately I am not holding out much hope because my letter to Santa came back stamped returned to sender: better luck next time!
Maybe that Christmas letter writing course led me astray after all suggesting the opening line of hey you old fatso listen up.
Well, the good news I have for you is that the News Letter staff has outdone themselves again with another excellent edition of News and Views. They have packed it with more interesting and informative articles for you to enjoy reading.
As this year winds down with next year on our doorstep, I want to take this opportunity to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a blessed and fulfilling future in the New Year.
Let each of us remember to take the time to tell our Out Of Sight family just how much they mean to us and how much we cherish their friendships because that is what family is all about.
I am looking forward to seeing all of you in the coming year.
And as always, if you want to see anything else included in this type of format, write an email to:
To navigate quickly to the different articles in this newsletter using JAWS, System Access, or Window Eyes, press the letter H to move through the headings. For MAC users, press Control Option Command plus the letter H.
Ruff! Ruff! Congratulations to Jairo, for completing his guide dog training at Guide Dogs
of the Desert, in
After a 7 week stay in the hospital, Franklin
Johnson finally went home, and is continuing the therapy on his knee. We miss ya
Wedding Bells! Congratulations to Maria and Todd, (Darkwolf and Deadeye) on their upcoming wedding in January! We wish you the best!
Congratulations to Adonna and Chikodinaka on their 2nd wedding anniversary on December 24th!
Got any news for us? We would love to hear what is going on in your world, so please keep us up to date and write to:
Help us celebrate our December birthdays:
December 2, Cynna Anderson - Cynna, from
December 3, Craig Zolkivski - Bluesdog, from
December 6, Chris Judd -
December 8, Franklin Johnson - Franklin Johnson, from
December 10, Gary Greico – PianoTuner.
December 12, Walt Cone - Alt
December 14, Nat Armeni - Spuntino, from
December 19, Charlie Barnett - Guitar Man, from
December 21, Ted Galanos
- Tedster, from
December 21, Lee Smiley - Irish viking,
December 27, Kate Dolosa - PinkaLicious, from
December 29, Todd Freitas - Todd, from
December 30, Geoff Eden - Geoff Eden, from
31, Lee Richards - Lee from WV, from
By Karen Santiago
Thanks to everyone who wrote in with your suggestions about who should be our Member of the Month for December! There were several names put forth, and it was a difficult decision as all of the candidates are members who deserve this recognition! Unfortunately, only one member each month can be the recipient of this honor. Keep those submissions coming, because we recognize a member for each month. So, without further ado:
Congratulations to Kaye Zimpher for becoming our December Member of the Month! Now, here is a bit more about our friend, Kaye.
Sights very own
Kay grew up with a much older brother and sister. Her mother raised her to be as independent as she could. Kaye was very shy and had an introverted personality. Yes, I know, hard to believe, right? She attended blind school for less than a year, since her mother decided it was not the right thing for her. Kaye then was mainstreamed throughout the rest of her early education years and attended camp every summer during her teen years.
December, 2004, Kaye left for
Kaye came into some difficult times, and during 2008 - 2010 she did some serious soul searching. She was not happy with her quote, I am a tough blind woman attitude, end quote. Yes, she had a good job, great income, and a lot to show for it. However, she was realizing that there was more to life than materialistic things. She would ask herself, quote What could I have done? What could I have changed? end quote. She started to believe in God and to see the good in things and people. Kaye says she is a much better person now. She is more loveable, giving, and willing to help those in need.
a friend of hers encouraged her to try out beep ball. Kaye was rather nervous
at first. A sighted player came up to her and asked if she was going to play.
Kaye said that she was but she wanted to know one thing. Kaye asked the person
if the players are all blind how they prevent each other from getting hit in
the face with the ball, or just plain getting hurt. The sighted person told her
that the pitcher on the team is sighted, and that relieved Kaye’s fears. She
really enjoys the game and played for the Atlanta Eclipse till August 2011.
Then the Wichita Sonics recruited her to play in the Beep ball World Series.
She continues to play for the Sonics. Her schedule may be a bit hectic since
she is playing for a team in
It was in April of last year that Kaye joined Out-Of-Sight. She found out about OOS through an announcement on RS Games. You will find Kaye participating in trivia games, password, tech talk, and chatting with others. Kaye is a member of the tournament committee, host for password, and she fills in for other hosts if needed. Kaye feels that we all come to the sight with a common bond, that being some kind of visual impairment. However, we talk about a wide range of topics; such as food, politics, current events, sports, shopping, and many many more. , It is these discussions and good times that make it so much fun.
August 2013, Kaye has been involved in Panoramic Radio, which is located on the
internet. The manager, and good friend of hers, is the one who got her
interested. She is a behind the scenes contributor, working on public
relations, announcements, editing of
sounds and voices, just to name a few. Her recent trip to
Kaye is a
very independent, single, woman of 43 years. However, rumor has it that there
is some kind of plan between her and Roger. Apparently, she and Roger are cyber
husband and wife. Roger has plans to wed Kaye at some cathedral in downtown
reading, listening to music, shopping (especially for clothes and shoes), and
playing games. She has been a member of the NFB since age 20. She is a
dedicated advocate, and had lobbied her congressmen for things she feels strong
about. One of her goals is to visit all 50 states throughout her lifetime. She
is half way there, with 25 states and the
We look forward to your suggestions in selecting our next Out-Of-Sight Superstar!
Do you love to curl up with a good book? Been meaning to read that best seller? Here are two of our book club selections. They are to be read for our next book club meeting, which will be held, Friday, December 20, at 8:00 PM eastern, in the Library. See you there!
The Heist: A Novel
Author: Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg
Reading Time: 8 hours and 30 minutes
Read by John Polk
Suspense Fiction, Bestsellers
After many failed attempts, FBI agent, Kate OHare, finally catches charming con artist Nick Fox. When Nick manages to escape custody, Kate goes after him, only to learn he is going to be putting his scamming skills to good use--as her new partner.
Violence and strong language. Bestseller 2013.
Author: P T Deuterman
Read by J. Charles
the body of a young, black Navy Lieutenant is found chained inside the boiler
of a mothballed battleship in a
May 21, 1969
By Dean H. Pedersen
The time and place above is where I was when I was wounded, but before I get into that, I want to back up a bit to explain why we were there at that time.
I was a M-60 machine Gunner in the 2nd Platoon of Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion, 503rd Infantry, 173rd Airborne Brigade.
On April 17, 1969 our Platoon was split up
between 3 villages to fix up their bunkers, and the perimeters around these
villages. The village that my group was in was about 8 to 10 miles from our
Battalion Base Camp of BaoLoc, which is approximately
100 miles north of
I only had a few weeks left until I was supposed
to go home, so I had already turned the Machine Gun over to another guy on my
Gun crew, my assistant gunner was going home about 2 weeks after I did, so
there was going to be a complete new gun crew after we left. I was supposed to
leave the field on May 20th (which was a resupply day) to go for an
in country R&R, and I was going to visit my cousin David Bruhn, who was
stationed at QuiNhon. When I got back from
that, I would process out, and be heading back to the States, but all of that
changed when the resupply Trucks came out on May 20th. The
1st Sergeant had come along out with the resupply to talk to me about staying
until the next resupply being we only had 12 guys in our group. There was
supposed to be a couple of guys that were on R&R that the 1st Sergeant
thought would be back by that time, so of course I stayed. We got resupplied
every 3 days. After the resupply trucks had left to go back to our Base Camp in
BaoLoc, I was kind of down in the dumps. I was
sitting on one of the bunkers when
My Aunt Eileen and Uncle Don, who was a
Commander in the Navy, were stationed on the
I am going to insert a note from my Aunt Eileen here:
Thanks for sending me your
story. I also remember the day I went to the hospital in
I remember giving you that watch and telling you I wanted you to tell me the time when I came back. Then I went to the PX and got you some tapes and a recorder.
You told me the time when I got back. I also remember tucking that recorder in your shirt before you flew out on that chopper. I watched that chopper fly off from the room I was in.
I am glad life is good for you now. You have a wonderful family.
Love you very much,
The Flight from Travis Air Force Base in
I arrived home on June 16, 1969, the same day I
would have gotten home if I had not been wounded. After I had been home for
about 2 weeks,
I was one of the first to be wounded, what I
didn’t know is that the same grenade that got me also killed the guys on each
side of me. The one on my right was the guy that I had turned the Machine Gun
over too. The guy on my left was a rifle squad leader, he also had 2 weeks left
After I had been home for a month, I went back
to Fitz Simmons for my plastic surgery, and was there for about 2 weeks. My
military records had not caught up with me yet, so I was sent home again, which
ended up being the rest of the summer. Finally around the end of
September my records got to Fitz Simmons, so I had to go back to Denver again
to get checked out of the Hospital, and then it was back home for a week, and
then off to Chicago to Hines VA Blind Rehabilitation Center. I was at Hines
from October 16, 1969 until March 27, 1970. I had surgery on my left ear while
there, that affected my balance etc, so I was sent home for 3 weeks to heal up
from that surgery. Also many of the weekends my mother's cousin Ruth (Boots)
Lehman would pick me up on Friday afternoon, and bring me up to her Lake home
I had a plate put in my head to fill in the hole from the grenade in February of 1971, and have had 3 surgeries on my right ear over the years, the hearing in that ear is just about gone now, both ears ring constantly with a high pitched squeal.
I got married to my wife Betty September 2,
1972; we have 2 children. A son Matthew, he works for Microsoft, his wife Jen
works for Mountain Hardwear, a part of Columbia
Sports Wear. Our daughter Sarah is the Librarian at the High School,
she is married to a classmate of Matts. Mike is a
Funeral Director here in
Betty and I are both active in the Disabled American Veterans, of which Betty is a past State President of the Ladies Auxiliary. I have been very active in the VFW as well, and I am a Life Member of all of the Veterans Organizations. My wife and I are also very involved in our Church. I am the President of the Trustees, and have been for quite a few years.
I have a wood work studio called Pedersen Wood
Craft. I have been doing wood work since 1972. I am also on the V-500
Scholarship Board of Directors at
PS. My assistant gunner
Submitted by Debi Chatfield
Twas the night before Christmas
but the spirit of Yule
Was not what it should be
The stockings all hung
by the warm chimney
Were still sadly empty.
For Santa was late.
Yes, midnight had come,
and midnight had fled.
The children were lying
awake in their beds,
Unable to sleep,
and beginning to fear
That Christmas was really
not coming that year,
When off in the distance
there came a strange noise
Was Santa arriving
at last with their toys?
Those surely werent sleigh bells
they heard from afar,
It sounded like drums
and electric guitars.
Now up in the sky,
as the music drew near,
A strange silhouette
began to appear.
Could those be reindeer?
It seemed that they
But instead of a sleigh,
were they pulling a bus?
The reindeer drew closer,
and yes, it was true,
Behind them a bus,
all yellow and blue.
And out from the windows
strange voices there came,
Which called out to each
tiny reindeer by name.
Now, Maxwell! Now, Martha!
Now, Prudence and
On, Sun King! On, Sadie!
On, Jude and Loretta!
The bus was soon landed.
The slightest of pauses
Then out through the doors
came four Santa Clauses!
But these weren't like Santas
the children had seen,
For under the white beards
their beads could be seen,
And clothing that wasn't
just Santa Claus red,
But rainbows of dazzling
They all had long hair,
some had curling
And one of the four
wore round little glasses.
They carried guitars,
except for the one
Who staggered along
with a full set of drums.
They spoke not a word,
but as quick as a mouse
They carried their instruments
into the house,
And, moving the Christmas tree
out of their way,
They plugged in their amps
and started to play.
The room seemed to sparkle
with magic and then
That sparkle grew brighter,
then brighter again,
And exploded like fireworks,
filling the air!
Then the stockings were filled
there were gifts everywhere!
But the four could not stay
to admire the scene
They sprang to their bus
and were gone like a dream.
But their voices called out,
as they vanished from
Merry Crimble to all!
and, What a hard day's night!
By Charles Rivard
I have never gotten the hang of handwriting, but, through the use of this fascinating app for my iPhone, maybe I will. Blind since birth, I have always been a Braille user, but, because sighted people do not read Braille, I think it would be cool to be able to write well enough that they can read what I am trying to convey, and the app described here just might be my inexpensive ticket to success! I figured that a lot of other site members can take advantage of this, too, so here is the info. Learn to write in a fun way, as I am going to do!
We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of our first application for iOS!
DoItWrite is an educational tool and game to teach visually impaired users of iOS 7s VoiceOver screen reader how to draw printed letters and numbers for use with VoiceOver's handwriting feature in iOS 7.
Learn to draw lowercase letters, uppercase letters, and numbers for use with iOS 7s VoiceOver handwriting feature!
This app is primarily intended for the blind or visually impaired, teachers or instructors of same, and other users of iOS 7s VoiceOver screen reader.
Many blind or visually impaired people are not familiar with the shapes of printed letters or numbers. DoItWrite teaches you how to draw them in a simple way that has the best chance of being correctly recognized by VoiceOver, even if you have never learned the shapes of the characters previously. Once you get them down, practice your speed and accuracy with a fun game to blast characters as they tumble down the screen!
* Learn how to activate the VoiceOver handwriting feature in iOS 7
* Learn how to draw lowercase and uppercase letters, as well as numbers in a simple and accurate way.
* Practice your newly acquired skills by blasting letters and numbers as they tumble down the screen.
* Use the app to improve your onscreen typing skills by using the keyboard during game play.
* Automatic feedback and coach via audio queues and speech output.
* DoItWrite automatically detects when VoiceOver is not running, and permits the tutorial to be browsed with the onscreen keyboard. Great for sighted teachers and tutors!
* Share your game scores with others.
* Many ways to customize your
DoItWrite is available on the iOS App Store for $1.99 USD. (Prices will vary for your local currency.)
For more information, visit us online at
Submitted by Roger Khouri
Nov. 18, 2013 - ScienceDaily: Eye Care News
Researchers at Karolinska
The endocrine part of the pancreas, the Islets of Langerhans, produces and secretes insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. After a meal, the hormone is released into the blood at an amount that is in direct proportion to the amount of food ingested; blood insulin levels therefore vary from one meal to the next and between individuals. In the case of conditions such as obesity, large amounts of insulin are needed to compensate for the high consumption of food and insensitivity to the hormone.
The Islets of Langerhans try to adapt themselves to this condition by increasing the number of insulin-producing beta-cells and/or modulating their individual secretion of insulin in response to the intake of sugar. This plasticity is essential to the maintenance of normal blood sugar levels, and its dysfunction leads to diabetes, a serious disease that has reached pandemic proportions.
The greatest obstacle to studying the exact workings of the Islets of Langerhans and how they adapt to individual conditions is their relative inaccessibility, in that they lie deeply embedded in and are distributed throughout the tissue. Now, however, researchers have found a new way to study the insulin-producing beta-cells: by transferring the Islets of Langerhans to the eye.
Quote. What we have done is made the cells optically accessible by grafting a small number of, reporter islets, into the eyes of mice, which allows us to monitor the activity of the pancreas just by looking into the eye, End Quote, says Per-Olof Berggren, professor of experimental endocrinology at Karolinska Institutets Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, and director of the Rolf Luft Research Centre for Diabetes and Endocrinology. Quote. We are now able to really study the insulin-producing beta-cells in detail in a way that was not possible before. End Quote.
The eye may be used, as a kind of reporter reproducing the activity of the pancreas and allowing readings of the status of the pancreas under different conditions in health and disease.
Quote. The Islets of Langerhans can be visualized repeatedly over a period of several months, and our work shows that during this time, functional and morphological changes occur in them that are identical to those occurring in the pancreas, End Quote, says first author Dr Erwin Ilegems, researcher at the Rolf Luft Centre.
Using the new monitoring system and pharmacological treatment, the researchers have reduced food consumption in obese mice models and thus stopped the enormous growth in beta-cell population. This means that they are now able to individually tweak drug doses.
Quote. We will also be using the system to identify new drug substances that regulate beta-cell plasticity and function, End Quote, says Professor Berggren. Quote. In the future we may also conceive a similar use of reporter islets in humans in order to find unique, tailored treatment principles, to measure the effects of personal medication, or to diagnose problems with the pancreatic islets. End Quote.
By Doug Zebell
That is a very interesting question. I have wondered about that for many years, too. I would like to have my sight restored, but I would like to have the option of taking it, or leaving it. I was born totally blind, so I have no idea what it would be like to be able to detect something miles away, discern what colors look like, or recognize things that you cannot touch, hear, or smell. I have always wondered what it would be like to look into someones eyes and see emotions. I wonder what these look like.
You know, it is kind of interesting to note that one really does not see with his or her eyes. We see with our brains. And, it is also interesting that, not everyone can look at something and see the same thing. People view it from different perspectives, and will give you their own unique description. Even though they are looking at the same thing, what they, quote see, end quote, is often different. The same often holds true when listening to sounds.
I read a book a few years ago, which told about a man who lost his vision and he was able to have some of it restored when he was in his 40s. His brain did not know what to do with the information that it was recieving. Actually, his brain was able to interpret some of the information at times. It could interpret things that a three year old child could see, which was the age that he lost his sight. He said that the reason for this, was that when a person is born, there are things called neurons located in the brain that can be stimulated to do different things like hearing and seeing. they can be taught to do different tasks. After about five years or so of life, these neurons are not as easy to train to do what the body wants them to do. It is kind of like exercise. If you do not exercise your muscles, they just waste away. it is the same way with the neurons in the brain. This man could see like a three year old child could, but his brain could not develop his vision any further, because the neurons in his brain were no longer active. Since he had used a guidedog, he had to continue to learn to trust it, and let the dog do his job, rather than rely on his new found low vision.
I think restoring a persons vision would work, especially if they have about a good 20 year span of time to allow their brain to process all of the information needed to see properly. I do not think it would work to have the sight restored in someone who has been totally blind since birth, unless they could figure out a way to restart the neurons in the brain which process the information seen through the eyes. I guess this months question really makes you think.
Submitted by Debi Chatfield
Many theaters around the country are starting to offer the visually impaired the option of listening to the descriptive audio track while they are watching a film. Sadly though, this technology is not available everywhere, and sometimes it does not work. The team at Solo-DX wants to make the experience better by having the blind film-goer use a smart phone app to listen to the descriptive audio track instead. Last week, I had the opportunity to test out the new MovieReading app. The interface is very simple. Once you are logged in, you visit the Marketplace, download the descriptive audio track for the film you are going to go see at your theater, and than start the track when your film begins. The app will listen to the audio in the theater and sync the audio track with where the film is so that the user does not have to try and match the two tracks themselves. To test the app, I downloaded the Princess Bride track and then watched some Youtube clips from the film. In all three cases, the sync option worked perfectly. The MovieReading apps latest version is expected to be released before November 22nd, the opening day of the film, Philomena, which will be the first movie to use the apps new features.
MovieReading is currently available on iOS, and they hope to have an Android version soon. Pasted below is a press release from Solo-DX about the MovieReading app and, Philomena.
As exclusive U.S. partners with Universal Multimedia Access, Hollywood Access Services is releasing Solo-Dx on MovieReading, the first ever auto-syncing audio description app available for first-run movies. The debut title on this exciting new platform will be The Weinstein Company¹s Philomena, in theaters November 22. Using acoustic fingerprinting technology, this new auto-syncing method will completely change moviegoing for the blind and visually impaired via their smartphones. It is really easy to use -- download the app, download the description track, go to the movie theater, and enjoy!
Even if you arrive late, you can simply hit sync and your audio description will pick up in the right place. Right now, if a visually impaired person wants to go the movies, they either have to have someone next to them explain what is happening on the screen, try to enjoy the movie just by listening to it, OR request audio description headsets sometimes offered by theaters. These headsets pick up an infrared signal from the projector that plays audio description through headphones. However, they're not currently available for every movie or at every theater, and even when they are available, they oftentimes do not work correctly. These obstacles make going to the movies too much of a hassle for many blind and low vision individuals.
Solo-Dx on the MovieReading app makes moviegoing simple and enjoyable! Hollywood Access Services is thrilled to provide unprecedented access to blind moviegoers across the country with Philomena, the first film to be made available in the U.S. on this new auto-syncing audio description platform. Starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, and based on the book, The Lost Child of Philomena Lee, Philomena is the true story of one mother's search for her lost son. Philomena is directed By Stephen Frears and written by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope and opens in New York and Los Angeles on November 22 before going nationwide on November 27.
Developer link: http://www.solo-dx.com/
To download the movie reading app go to:
By Charles Rivard
In a previous newsletter, an article I wrote was published, describing a fun little game called Hi-Q. I described the layout, the object of the game, and how you could make one of your own if you could not find one to purchase. Being a rather ornery cuss, I did not give the solution. I figured that you could work on the game for a while after buying or making one, and then find the solution in a later issue of the newsletter. So, now that you have had a bit of time to go crazy, I will give a brief description of the layout of the board, the object of the game, and the solution. If you do not want the solution yet, do not look at the last section, but save it for future reading.
Board layout: The top two rows, and the bottom two rows, each contain 3 holes or squares. The middle three rows contain seven holes or squares. Each row is centered across the board.
Object of the game: Place a peg in each of the holes, or coins in each square, and remove the peg or coin from the center hole or square. Now, jump over pegs or coins, as in a game of checkers, removing the jumped peg or coin on each move. The object is to finish with only one peg or coin on the board, and that peg or coin is in the originally vacant center hole or square. To make it more interesting, place a different colored, or a marked peg or different coin in the correct hole or square at the beginning of the game so that it is the only remaining game piece, in the center of the board.
Now for the solution:
In your mind, number the holes or squares on the board from top left to bottom right, moving across from left to right. For example, the top row, from left to right, are 1, 2, and 3. The second row is 4, 5, 6. The third row is 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13. And so on. The vacant center hole at the beginning of the game is number 17.
To finish with only one game piece remaining on the board, with that piece occupying the center square, perform the following jumps and removals in sequence:
1. 29 to 17, removing 24.
2. 22 to 24, removing 23.
3. 8 to 22, removing 15.
4. 21 to 23, removing 22.
5. 7 to 21, removing 14.
6. 24 to 22, removing 23.
7. 31 to 23, removing 28.
8. 16 to 28, removing 23.
9. 33 to 31, removing 32.
10. 31 to 23, removing 28.
11. 18 to 16, removing 17.
12. 16 to 28, removing 23.
13. 21 to 23, removing 22.
14. 26 to 24, removing 25.
15. 12 to 26, removing 19.
16. 27 to 25, removing 26.
17. 13 to 27, removing 20.
18. 24 to 26, removing 25.
19. 27 to 25, removing 26.
20. 28 to 16, removing 23.
21. 30 to 18, removing 25.
22. 10 to 12, removing 11.
23. 3 to 11, removing 6.
24. 18 to 6, removing 11.
25. 1 to 3, removing 2.
26. 3 to 11, removing 6.
27. 12 to 10, removing 11.
28. 5 to 17, removing 10.
29. 17 to 15, removing 16.
30. 4 to 16, removing 9.
31. 15 to 17, removing 16.
You are finished, with the only remaining peg in space 17, which is the center of the board. And, oh, by the way, to really impress people, start with that odd colored or sized peg or coin in space number 5. If you follow the jumps and removals above in sequence, the odd one will be the only one remaining on the board, in the center.
I believe that, in the previous article, I mentioned that a triangular version of this game can also be obtained from a few places. One such place is your nearest Cracker Barrel restaurant, in their gift shop area. It is made of wood, and uses golf tees as pegs. The concept is the same, but the solution is different. Hint: The easiest way is to leave one of the corners blank instead of the center hole. From there, you're on your own. To make one, just drill 15 holes into a piece of scrap wood. Drill them in the shape of an equilateral triangle, as in a rack of billiard balls. All rows centered , the first row contains 5, the second 4, the third 3, the forth 2, and the fifth 1.
Submitted by Suzy Barnes
This holiday season, millions of Americans will learn about a successful federal program that offers no cost communications technology to people with combined vision and hearing loss. Television stations across the country will soon begin airing a new animated public service announcement highlighting the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program, which is promoted as iCanConnect.
Now in its second year, this Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program has already changed the lives of more than one thousand people who were unable to use modern technology to stay connected with their community or access information on the Internet. Approximately a million Americans live with significant, hearing and vision loss—many of these people are not aware they could be classified as deaf-blind.
The television spot shows how people with combined vision and hearing loss can use technology to access everything from school assignments to social media to a grandchilds dance recital.
Quote, Whether it is a grandparent who has lost vision and hearing due to age-related conditions or a young person born deaf-blind, iCanConnect is transforming lives, end quote, explains Steven M. Rothstein, president of Perkins, which is working with dozens of partners across the country. Quote, Especially at this time of year, when families are giving thanks, it is important to recognize how access to technology can mean the difference between isolation and independence, between segregation and participation. End quote.
iCanConnect offers hundreds of pieces of equipment such as computers equipped with screen reading software and iPhones attached to Braille displays and simple phone amplifiers. iCanConnect trainers meet one-on-one with each client to determine what equipment will best suit their needs and also to offer expert instruction on how to use the devices. The assessment, training and technology are all offered at no cost to qualified individuals who meet income guidelines.
The new iCanConnect Public Service Announcement was created by Fablevision in Boston, MA, and was closed captioned by the Media Access Group at WGBH in Los Angeles and Boston. You can view the spot here: http://www.icanconnect.org/news/new-icanconnect-promo-videos.
iCanConnect is available in all 50 states, the
For most Canadians, the average day is a
blurred haze of work, commuting and relaxing at home. And most of that time is
spent comfortably seated. Unfortunately, there are
deadly health consequences associated with our fondness of sitting. Researchers
have found our cosy respite brings diabetes, heart
disease and early death – all due to an illness experts
call sitting disease.
Sitting disease? Seriously?
Sure, have a laugh. Get the giggles out of your system. Sitting disease, as it is known, might sound wacky (or made up to snatch newspaper headlines), but it is a real concern. This relatively new health phenomenon has made its way into the spotlight and is here to stay. The term sitting disease is used by the scientific community to corral the host of life-threatening health woes that are proliferating in our society because of our penchant for a sedentary lifestyle. We've all heard the stories of bum-numbingly long flights on which air travellers were plagued with deep-vein thrombosis (a serious circulatory condition in which blood clots develop due to lack of movement in the legs), but sitting disease is something much more common and sinister. And we are all at risk – even if we do not know it.
According to Dr. Mark Tremblay, the director of Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research at the CHEO Research Institute in
Think your kids have escaped the sitting trap? Think again. On average, Canadian children spend two-thirds of their daytime hours being sedentary. While their static lifestyles haven't quite caught up with those of their parents, these kids are on the path to becoming couch potatoes, and they're already falling victim to diabetes, heart problems and obesity. This fall, with students heading back to classrooms where they'll be seated for almost six hours a day, parents, teachers and education administrators should be making this problem a top priority.
Dr. Emma Wilmot, a clinical research fellow from
Yes, sitting is deadly – especially when done for prolonged periods. The illnesses that sitting disease can unleash do not discriminate; they strike people without regard for age, sex, culture or income bracket. And, most surprisingly, gym aficionados aren't necessarily safe either.
Why sound the alarm now?
People have been sitting since the dawn of time, so if the recent hype over it has left you baffled, you are not alone. To better understand, turn back the clock a few years to when many researchers, physiologists and health experts were looking for an explanation for the worldwide obesity epidemic. Waistlines of the young and old were expanding at a frightful pace. By comparing the lifestyles of previous generations to our own, researchers made an eye-opening discovery: The rise of technology had altered our lives for the better – but also for the worse. Quote, In the past, most people did not sit at work, end quote, says Tremblay. Quote, A hundred years ago, they may have had agricultural-based lifestyles, worked as tradespeople or did other tasks that involved standing and moving. Today, we drive when we would have walked or biked. We sit in front of a screen when we would have shoveled, nailed or carried. And all of our discretionary time is in front of a computer or television screen.end quote.
Think about it: In the era of your great-grandparents, most people toiled on their feet, not in an office, and moved regularly all day long. Sitting glued to a chair for nine, 10 or even 15 hours a day was unheard of. Quote, The problem with todays society is that we are obsessed with labour-saving devices, anything that makes life easier, end quote, says Joseph Henson, a PhD student at the University of Leicesters Department of Cardiovascular Sciences. Quote, As a result, people are not moving as much and obesity levels have increased. End quote. Technology has made our day-to-day lives less physically demanding. We are moving less, sitting more and thereby making ourselves vulnerable to disease.
And here is the inside story
Hour upon hour spent planted on your tush means your body's tissues, organs and metabolism are not engaged. The longer you sit, the less efficient your body's systems become. Eventually, they start to stumble. Quote, The metabolism of fats and glucose gets disrupted, and you are not burning many calories, end quote, says Tremblay. Quote, Your heart, lungs and muscles go into hibernation mode and they atrophy. Over time, they decay. End quote. Quote, Your leg muscles, which are the largest muscle mass in your body, are not stimulated while sitting, end quote, so you're effectively shutting down large parts of your active tissue, says Peter Katzmarzyk, an epidemiology professor and associate executive director for Population Science at the
But if sitting slows internal processes to a crawl, how does disease gain a foothold? Katzmarzyk says studies linking excessive sitting with negative health consequences commenced only a few years ago, so researchers are still trying to work out how inactivity causes disease. In that time, however, a clearer picture has developed of the toll that sitting takes on the body, and the way it corrupts normal processes. For example, when a healthy person eats a meal, the pancreas releases insulin into the bloodstream to help the muscles absorb glucose from the food. Routine physical exertion, such as standing or walking, aids in this absorption process and prompts the muscles to burn glucose and refill their stores.
If you are sitting around for most of the day, metabolic activity stalls. Insulin is not used effectively and, instead of being absorbed by your body, glucose builds up in your blood. Cholesterol levels increase as well. Quote, We think that these metabolic changes are what is linked to the increased risk of disease over the long term, end quote, says Katzmarzyk. Eventually, you will become a candidate for insulin resistance (also known as metabolic syndrome), type 2 diabetes and other frightening problems including heart attacks or strokes. Quote, Diabetes is a major risk factor for heart disease, end quote, says Wilmot. Quote, If you have factors that put you at risk for diabetes, they also increase your risk for cardiovascular disease. It is all related. End quote.
Inflammation, obesity and, particularly, increased weight gain around your middle are other possible consequences. Deep-vein thrombosis, once solely the scourge of long-distance jet-setters, is now plaguing people on the ground as well. While these blood clots are not life-threatening when they are located in the legs, if they start travelling up toward the lungs, they can cause life-threatening pulmonary embolisms. And if the metabolic symptoms and diseases have not scared you out of your chair yet, you should also know that a sedentary lifestyle creates poor posture, curvature of the spine and painful protruding discs in the neck and back. Sitting is anything but pretty.
Is Regular exercise enough?
Despite all of these findings, Henson stresses that you should not abandon your daily workouts; they are still a key component in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Katzmarzyk agrees. While exercise might not reduce the risks of sitting disease, quote, there is clear evidence that it is important [for good health], end quote, he says. And fortunately, it is during those nonsitting hours that you can make positive changes to your health and lower your risk for sitting disease.
No-brainer ways to lower your risks
Reducing your risk for sitting disease is pretty easy. There is no gym membership or expensive workout gear required. The answer is to look for opportunities to reduce and frequently break up your sitting time, says David Dunstan, head of the physical activity laboratory at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in
You may not have known that standing up every time you answer a phone call is good for you, but that simple movement can help combat sitting disease. You can also stand up and walk around during meetings at work or take a stroll to pick up documents from a printer located farther from your desk. Incorporating these kinds of basic movements into your day can drastically reduce your risk. Quote, The more you move, the better your health will be, end quote, says Henson. Quote, It is quite simple. The more people get up, the slimmer they become, end quote, he says. So take a shower instead of a bath. Purchase standing-room tickets for your next concert or sporting event. Play pool or darts while hanging out at your favorite bar. Walk around stores instead of shopping online. Drink more water so you have to walk to the bathroom more often. Do your dishes by hand. When watching TV, stand up or do squats or lunges during commercials. Instead of taking your family to a movie, try bowling, mini-golf or indoor rock climbing. Walk your kids to school. Get the whole family involved in making beds, housecleaning and yard work. Every bit of movement helps.
Of course, it is only natural to wonder: How long can I sit without consequence anyway? Save yourself the trouble and do not go looking for guidelines. Sitting disease is a relatively new area of study, and science has yet to discover how much sitting is too much. For now, the experts suggest that you be more mindful of extended sedentary periods and proactively increase your movements. Quote, It is like sun exposure, end quote, says Katzmarzyk. Quote, We do not have guidelines that say we should only go out in the sun for 10 minutes a day. We say that you should limit your sun exposure and wear sunscreen. It cannot be prescribed down to the minute. That is where we are in this field. End quote. In other words, move as if your life depended on it.
Want more information? Find out if sitting for too long is really killing you. Here are four exercises you can do at work to keep yourself moving throughout the day.
If you have any questions for
By Roger Khouri
This section in our monthly newsletter is where we get a snapshot on how some of you think about a given survey question. The topics have been varied, and I will continue to get a pulse on interesting topics for you to vote on. The result of votes will be posted in the next newsletter.
If you have a suggested survey question, please do not hesitate to send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org, for possible consideration.
Last month, I wanted to know if any of you, who are blind or visually impaired, would be in favor of getting your sight restored. Or, for those of you who were born blind, would you like to see? You would receive 20/20 vision. It would be free, permanent, and it would not carry any health risks to you.
Okay, drum roll please ...
Survey says that 90 percent of respondents would like to have 20/20 vision, while 10 percent would decline. This is an interesting spread, so, perhaps, while in the Front Porch, Doughnut Shop, or even the Dew Drop Inn chat rooms, we could talk about this interesting survey result. Remember, all personal votes are kept confidential, but, feel free to talk about it in one of the chat rooms.
A few of you asked me how I came up with this survey question. Here is how. a couple of years ago, sitting and chatting with fellow visually impaired folks at camp, we were talking about different advances in science and technology regarding sight restoration. Most of us in that group would give anything to be able to see, while a few would decline any treatment or technology. It was interesting to hear the views and reasoning of everyone, because it really took me by surprise to hear that someone would actually decline the opportunity to be able to see. Yet, I respect the opinion of everyone, and I can appreciate their reluctance. All views were equally valid and important.
as Santas elves are hard at work making toys for all
the little boys and girls, and tuning up the sleigh, I wanted to pose a
question to you about that magical time of the year--Christmas. There are so many songs and stories about
winter and snow that go along with the celebration of Christmas. Yet, many parts of the
Would Christmas feel the same for you bearing in mind the opposite weather conditions?
Please send in your Yes or No survey reply to:
and our elves will tabulate the responses and have them ready for the January newsletter. We hope you share your feelings on the survey topic in your e-mail, but, none are necessary. All responses will be kept confidential. Next month, we plan to post some of your comments, as it is interesting to see the reasoning people use when voting, but of course, they will be anonymous! Merry Christmas from your Survey Says team!
By Charles Rivard
Here is a quick tech tip:
When in one of the rooms, if you want to let people know that you have stepped away but will be back, just hit the Alt key and go down through the Files Menu until you see a submenu called My Status, and right arrow. There are 2 choices: Online and Away. Up or down arrow to "away" and hit enter. A message is sent to the room that you have stepped away. When you come back, just key up when you are ready to talk. A message is sent to the room letting everyone know that you have returned. You do not have to do anything else.
Note: The people in the room will hear that you stepped away and returned, but you will not hear it on your end.
By Roger Khouri
On the evening of November 11th, we gathered in the Fox Hole for a special Out-Of-Sight production to salute, and honor, all our veterans, past and present. They were the ones who put their lives on the line, and some of them even made the ultimate sacrifice, so that we would live in freedom and peace. We are forever grateful and indebted to them. The Veterans Day - Remembrance Day Salute was a labor of love--a special gift to our military veterans. We concluded the program with establishing the Out-Of-Sight Veterans Wall of Remembrance. We inscribed the name of our beloved Bing Wack on it. We will remember all our Out-Of-Sight military veterans for generations to come, whom the Lord will call home. They are more than just a name on a wall. They are our bretheren who served with courage, bravery and unyielding patriotism.
May I take a moment to offer my heartfelt gratitude for all those who attended and participated in this production. First and foremost, thank you to the 15 blind military veterans who took part in our service and for their guidance. Second, thanks for every one who saluted their family members who had served in the military. Last, and certainly not least, in alphabetical order, a huge thank you to the following people who shared their talents by assisting with the program, because it could not have been done without them:
Jack De Oliveira,
And Suzy Barnes.
Thank you to the following people, who recorded a message especially for this program for Out-Of-Sight:
Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs,
Dwight Sayer, National Association of Blind Veterans,
Mike Malarsie, Wounded Warrior, blinded in
If you would like a copy of the program, you can use a link in the Fox Hole chat room to download it. Just press F6 after entering the room, or click to download the tribute. If you have difficulties, please let us know, and we can e-mail you a direct download link.
Thanks again to everyone who made this program such an Out-Of-Sight and memorable tribute!
(Not the usual ones)
By Suzy Barnes
These were a hit at our Perry Thanksgiving 2012, and even for those who do not normally eat them.
4 cups, grated raw sweet potatoes
1 1/4 cups, milk
1 1/2 cups, sugar
1 stick, butter
Pinch of salt
Pinch of nutmeg
1 tablespoon, cinnamon
Mix altogether, and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Then, make topping. See below.
Ingredients for Topping:
1 cup, brown sugar
3 tablespoons, melted butter
1/3 cup, all purpose flour
1 cup, chopped nuts
Directions for topping:
Combine topping ingredients, spread on baked sweet potatoes. Bake an additional 30 minutes. It is so much like a dessert, we thought it would probably bake well in a deep dish pie shell.
This submission is not to be taken seriously. It is just for fun! If you would like to submit a question for Miss Betty Blunt to answer, please write to:
She may or may not answer your question seriously, and she may or may not give you the answer you were hoping for, but one thing is for sure, you will get a good laugh out of her witty, bold, and blunt advice. She will often make comments that we all wish we could say, but are just too afraid to make. So, send in your questions, and let us see if she can help you with your relationship issues. If you wish, your initials, city, and state will be altered to conceal your identity.
#1. Dear Betty Blunt,
We are just about to head out on to the open road to drive to
Anne E. Adams
Hey, did you not read the sign on the door? My advice is for matters relating to the heart, that is, love and relationships between adults, but, I will make a small exception in this case to offer you some guidance. It is a bit outside my area of expertise, but, I can definitely make do. Santa is watching, so, I want to make sure he thinks I am a good little girl. Well, giving you advice is not much of a stretch, because this does involve love and relationships nonetheless. So, here goes nothing.
you are a sap when it comes to the winter? Well, from my stand point, the
winter is harsh and so is hot and humid weather, too. So, obviously, you
picked your poison and chose to be sticky and hot, showing up your long
luscious legs in
#2. Dear Betty Blunt,
You are quite the wordsmith. I wanted to pick your brain for a few nice things to include in a poem that I am writing to my wife. It will be on a Christmas card for a dish washer that I bought her. Thanks very much.
Dear Mr. Suds,
Well, for starters, I want you to hook up the dish washer, put it on extra spin, extra rinse, and whatever extra knob you can find, then, stick your head in it, and let the turbo jets wash away the idiotic ideas floating around in that large chasm between your ears! The only reason why you even need a dishwasher at your home is because you are too busy pushing back beers on your Lazy Boy. Your wife is not your maid and there is no way that she wants a dishwasher for Christmas. Oh let me guess, that cute little sales lady at the department store in the tight skirt convinced you, right? Well, now that you feel like a total idiot, good! You should now know better then to trust the advice of a teenie bopper, but, the time tested and mother approved wisdom that I will give you will be worth its weight in gold ten fold. Oh, did I say gold? Yep, I surely did. So, get out your credit card, and go to an expensive jewelry store and get your wife some gold and diamonds that she can wear. Put them in the dishwasher, so that when she unwraps it, let her know that her real present is inside the dish washer. Pray that she doesn't sock you one once she unwraps the dish washer. So, you better stand back, and be quick to let her know to open the dishwasher door for her awesome gift. Lord knows she deserves it!Merry Christmas!
By Rich De Steno and Roger Khouri
Thank you to everyone who submitted answers to last months brain teasers. Many of you were very close, but close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades! Just kidding! It is apparent that this month, many of you had your thinking caps on! So, congratulations go out to Lawrence MacLellan, Roger Khouri, and Suzy Barnes for answering both brain teasers correctly!
Here are the November brain teasers and their answers:
Answer: A coffin.
Answer: A peacock does not lay eggs. The female is called a peahen.
Now, for our super duper brain teasers for December! Can you solve these? Lets see who thinks they are smarter than a fifth grader!
Please submit the answers to these brain teasers to:
We will let you know if you are correct, and if so, we will publish your name in the January newsletter. Have fun trying to solve these puzzles!
Thanks goes out to you, our extended family on Out-Of-Sight! You participate and spend your time getting to know one another on the site. Without you, there would be no need for programming, no need for special activities, and no need to even have a site. So, thank you very much! Thanks for making this community an Out of Sight place to be!
No, this is not Craig’s List, but it is the next best thing! If you have something to sell, or announce, send us your ad, and we will post it, as long as there is space available in the newsletter. Send your ads to: Newsletter@out-of-sight.net
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