Measles Concerns

It doesn’t sound like a pleasant virus but it’s back!  Measles is an illness that has to run it’s course once you have it but it is highly contagious so if you have it you need to try to keep those germs to yourself.  Here are some symptoms and some information for you if you think you might have contracted the virus or someone you know has-


Last reviewed: July 26, 2010.
PubMed Health

Measles is a very contagious (easily spread) illness caused by a virus.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

The infection is spread by contact with droplets from the nose, mouth, or throat of an infected person. Sneezing and coughing can put contaminated droplets into the air.

Those who have had an active measles infection or who have been vaccinated against the measles have immunity to the disease. Before widespread vaccination, measles was so common during childhood that most people became sick with the disease by age 20. The number of measles cases dropped over the last several decades to almost none in the U.S. and Canada. However, rates have started to rise again recently.

Some parents do not let their children get vaccinated because of unfounded fears that the MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps, and rubella, can cause autism. Large studies of thousands of children have found no connection between this vaccine and autism. Not vaccinating children can lead to outbreaks of a measles, mumps, and rubella — all of which are potentially serious diseases of childhood.


Symptoms usually begin 8 – 12 days after you are exposed to the virus. This is called the incubation period.

Symptoms may include:

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Light sensitivity (photophobia)
  • Muscle pain
  • Rash
    • Usually appears 3 – 5 days after the first signs of being sick
    • May last 4 – 7 days
    • Usually starts on the head and spreads to other areas, moving down the body
    • Rash may appear as flat, discolored areas (macules) and solid, red, raised areas (papules) that later join together
    • Itchy
  • Redness and irritation of the eyes (conjunctivitis)
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Tiny white spots inside the mouth (Koplik’s spots)

Signs and tests


  • Measles serology
  • Viral culture (rarely done)


There is no specific treatment for the measles.

The following may relieve symptoms:

Some children may need vitamin A supplements. Vitamin A reduces the risk of death and complications in children in less developed countries, where children may not be getting enough vitamin A. People who don’t get enough vitamin A are more likely to get infections, including measles. It is not clear whether children in more developed countries would benefit from supplements.

Expectations (prognosis)

Those who do not have complications such as pneumonia do very well.


Complications of measles infection may include:

Calling your health care provider

Call your health care provider if you or your child has symptoms of measles.


Routine immunization is highly effective for preventing measles. People who are not immunized, or who have not received the full immunization are at high risk for catching the disease.

Taking serum immune globulin 6 days after being exposed to the virus can reduce the risk of developing measles, or can make the disease less severe.


Hidden Police

Is it something about Spring that brings out the hidden cop cars?  I noticed 3 of them today.  I figured it was the nice weather that made them think that everyone would be getting out of the house and driving around.

I don’t want to show any disrespect for the police- if people are speeding or doing things that result in them getting tickets for violations then so be it, I just want those of you who aren’t thinking about police to remember that they are looking at how you are driving!

Be safe!




Sands Casino Bethlehem

Today I visited the new casino in well, in Bethlehem.  We got to, um Bethlehem and we drove down a very pot-holey street and saw a sign directing us to this big steel building and suddenly you see the sign for the Sands.  It just doesn’t seem to fit where it is but hey, there were a lot of people there so who am I to say where casinos should go.

Apparently folks come from Philly and New Jersey and New York- just to stick their cards into slot machines or play Pa Gow, or Baccarat.  I’m not one of the people that love casinos but it was nice to see the place.  I guess there are about 600 machines that say they are 1 cent machines or 2 cent machines- but when you sit down you quickly find out it can say it’s any amount on the machine but it only allows you to use 25 credits to play- so even at a 2 cent machine you are playing one game for 50 cents.  I found that playing those slots and only going with one line was a bad move.  When I upped the amount of lines I was playing at once I won- but my winnings were soon wiped out after another couple of button presses.

Remember you used to call those machines ‘one armed bandits’.  well, I couldn’t see anyone using the arms today.  I guess it is computerized so you don’t have to but for me some of the excitement was gone.

There were some eateries there.  They were very expensive- a 19.95 sandwich was a little rich for my blood.  But that didn’t seem to stop the places from getting people in there eating.

After we left the casino we drove through Allentown and I stopped at Josh Early Candies.  ( I like candy).  Then my husband took me to Red Robin for lunch and then we came home.

Am I going back?  Well, I’m going back to Josh Early Candies!  But I’m probably not going to plan another casino trip to Bethlehem.  It was nice, but it’s just not my cuppa!




“Nuclear Event” Triggers Shut Down at Limerick

One of the sites I regularly check is called RSOE EDIS it is out of Hungary and it records all the disasters the world over.  Naturally when I noticed the first Nuclear Event occurred at Limerick Nuclear Generating Station I almost had a heart attack- luckily it appears that everything is under control but it would appear that way wouldn’t it.

Here is the news on the RSOE site taken from  what I imagine is the Mercury in Pottstown-

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission reported this morning that plant operators at Exelon Nuclear’s Limerick Generating station manually shut down the Unit 2 generator at 9:15 a.m. The shutdown, sometimes called a “scram,” was conducted because of a problem that “affected the plant’s recirculation pumps” which recirculate water through the nuclear reactor for cooling and steam generation, according to NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan. Upon the loss of the pump capacity, “the operators folowed the appropriate procedure and manually scrammed the reactor,” Sheehan wrote in an e-mail to The Mercury. “The reactor scram was uncomplicated, with all safety systems responding as expected,” Sheehan wrote. Two NRC resident inspectors were on-site at the time and monitored the crew’s response in the control room during the shutdown, according to Sheehan. Limerick Unit 1 was unaffected and continues to operate at 100 percent power. The Mercury is working to obtain more information on this story.


What Would You Do If The Earth Cracked?

Today one particular family is dealing with just that as a huge crack split apart in Peru!

I scanned the news and found that this kind of crack is exciting for ocean explorers because these cracks or rifts are what ultimately turns into oceans on earth.  There was one that formed in Africa in 2005 it was shorter and thinner compared to the Peru incident but it’s nice to know that it has happened recently.

Scientists aren’t expecting the ocean to fill these cracks in any time soon- the time scale is a measly4 million years or so, but it’s pretty awesome to suddenly have a crack in the earth.

I noticed that in the Peru incident a little boy of five is missing. The link has photos and a video in spanish but the images are worth a thousand words.



Discovery Lost A Bit of Insulation According to Nasa

This is taken from an article over at Statesman.com-

Still on a high from their dramatic liftoff with just two seconds to go, Discovery’s astronauts spent their first full day in orbit operating a 100-foot, laser-tipped rod to take a close look at the shuttle wings and nose of NASA’s most traveled spaceship. The inspections became mandatory following the 2003 Columbia disaster.

At least three strips of insulating foam peeled away from the external fuel tank during Discovery’s farewell launch, one of them apparently striking the shuttle’s belly. That same piece also may have bounced elsewhere on the shuttle.

Mission management team leader LeRoy Cain said any impacts should not pose a safety concern because they were late enough in the launch. Another piece of debris was spotted during liftoff, but experts do not know yet whether it was foam, ice formed on the tank by the super-cold fuel, or something else.

Discovery and its all-veteran crew — along with Robonaut 2, the first humanoid robot in space — are due at the space station on Saturday afternoon. Robonaut, R2, will stay behind when the shuttle leaves.

“Look who is coming to dinner!” space station astronaut Catherine Coleman enthused in a tweet.

Just before docking, Discovery will perform a slow 360-degree backflip, exposing its belly to powerful station cameras. Any damage to the shuttle’s underside would be caught in those pictures, Cain said.

On its last voyage before being retired and shipped to a museum, Discovery is delivering a compartment full of space station supplies. The chamber will be attached to the orbiting lab next week and function as a closet.

Storage space is limited at the 220-mile-high complex and will become even tighter once NASA retires the shuttles this year. Shuttles double as garbage trucks, hauling away trash and old equipment.

Two more shuttle launches remain, Endeavour in April and Atlantis in June.


Raw Cookie Dough Wrapped Ice Cream!

It’s the weekend!  Let’s have some fun.

So I’m searching online for interesting things for kids and I came across this wonderful young woman named Vi Hart who makes mathematical objects using common items- actually she does a lot more than that. I highly recommend a visit to her site.  She has a page about mathematical food in which she shows ” applatonic solids” or slices of apples that when dried form hyperbolic shapes naturally.

It’s pretty cool, but really tough for someone who isn’t a mathmusician to talk about.    You’ll just have to trust me when I say that her site led me to the Evil Scientist’s site on which there was a recipe for making raw cookie dough covered ice cream.  I’ll send you over there but it’s the cutest idea.  Basically you just make cookie dough without the eggs.

After you make the dough you roll out a bit on plastic wrap then drop a bit of ice cream in the middle and fold the wrap over top of the ice cream and freeze.  The Evil Scientist served the cookies with a chocolate dipping sauce which sounds delicious too!

Then enjoy!

Raw Cookie Dough Recipe

  • 2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 3/4 C unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 C packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 C white sugar
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 4 T milk
  • Any amount of any mix-in you’d like – I used cacao nibs, but chocolate chips, nuts, or fruit would all work.
  1. Mix all ingredients in a big bowl. That’s it