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Household Tips

(Here's a tip: Don't roller skate in a buffalo herd...)

Use empty toilet paper rolls to store appliance cords. It 
keeps them neat and you can write on the roll what appliance 
it belongs to.


For icy door steps in freezing temperatures: get warm 
water and put Dawn dish washing liquid in it. Pour it all over the steps. They won't refreeze


To remove old wax from a glass candle  holder, put it in the freezer for a few hours. Then take the candle holder out and turn it upside down. The wax will fall out.


Crayon marks on walls? A damp rag, dipped in baking soda. Comes off with little effort (elbow grease that is!).


Permanent marker on appliances/counter tops (like store receipt BLUE!), use rubbing alcohol on a paper towel.


Blood stains on clothes? Not to worry! Just pour a little hydrogen peroxide on a cloth and proceed to wipe off every drop 
of blood.      


Use vertical strokes when washing windows outside and horizontal for inside windows. This way you can tell which side has the  streaks. 

Straight vinegar will get outside windows really clean.  Don't wash windows on a sunny day. They will dry too quickly and will probably streak.   


Spray a bit of perfume on the light bulb in any room to create a lovely light scent in each room when the light is turned on. 


Place fabric softener sheets in dresser drawers and your clothes will smell freshly washed for weeks to come. You can also do this with towels and linen. 


Candles will last a lot longer if placed in the freezer for at least  3 hours prior to burning .


To clean artificial flowers: pour some salt into a paper bag and add the flowers. Shake vigorously as the salt will absorb all the dust and dirt and leave your artificial  lowers looking like new! Works like a charm!


To easily remove burnt on food from your skillet: simply add a drop or two of dish soap and enough water to cover bottom of pan, and bring to a boil on stove top.


Spray your TUPPERWARE with nonstick cooking spray before pouring in tomato based sauces and there won't be any stains.


Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator and it will keep for weeks.


When boiling corn on the cob, add a pinch of sugar to help bring out the corn's natural sweetness


Cure for headaches: cut a lime in half and rub it on your 
forehead. The throbbing will go away.


To get rid of the itch from mosquito bites: try applying soap on the area and you will experience instant relief.


Ants, ants, ants everywhere...  Well, they are said to never cross a chalk line. So,  get your chalk out and draw a line on the floor or wherever ants tend to march. See for yourself. 


Use air-freshener to clean mirrors. It does a good job and better still, leaves a lovely smell to the shine.


When you get a  splinter, reach for the Scotch or duct tape before resorting to tweezers or a needle. Simply put the scotch tape over the splinter, and then pull it off. Tape removes most splinters painlessly and easily. 


Now look what  you can do with Alka Seltzer.... 

Clean a toilet: Drop in two Alka Seltzer tablets, wait twenty minutes, brush and flush. The citric acid and effervescent action clean vitreous China.


Clean a vase: To remove a stain from the bottom of a glass vase or  cruet, fill with water and drop in two Alka Seltzer tablets.


Polish jewelry: Drop two Alka Seltzer tablets into a glass of water and immerse the jewelry for two minutes.


Clean a thermos bottle: Fill the bottle with water, drop in four Alka Seltzer tablets, and let soak for an hour (or longer, if  necessary).


Unclog a drain: Clear the sink drain by dropping three Alka Seltzer tablets down the drain followed by a cup of  Heinz White Vinegar. Wait a few minutes, and then run the hot water.

* * *

Workplace Facts

3.4 million Americans commute 90 minutes or more each way to work. The average commute is 26 minutes.
  - Reader's Digest

"Liquid paper" was invented by Bette Nesmith Graham in 1951. She gave her product the name "Mistake Out," changing it later in that year. In 1979, Gillette Corporation bought the invention for $47.5 million, plus royalties. Bette is also the mother of Mike Nesmith of The Monkees rock band.

Two to three percent of people admit to pushing, slapping or 
hurting someone at work. This comes to about 3 million people in 
the workforce.
- Reuters

Presenteeism - when sick persons show up for work - costs U.S. businesses $150 billion per year in productivity.
  - Forbes

Tie sales hit a peak $1.3 billion in 1995, but steadily declined as the dot-com boom ushered in the business casual look. However, the economic downturn and workers looking to stand out on job interviews could spark a tie-wearing boom.
  - Time Magazine

On September 26, 1926, Henry Ford revolutionized the American economy when he announced an eight-hour-a-day, five-day work week. 

Of Venezuelans questioned in a poll, 55 percent said they were very happy, making them the world's happiest country.
  - Guinness Book of World Records, 2008

The first temporary staffing agency in the U.S. was opened by William Russell Kelley in 1946.

According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and 
Development (OCED), South Korea's working population in 2004 (excluding self-employed labor) clocked 2,423 hours per employee, the highest in the world for that year. 
  - Guinness Book of World Records, 2008

Loud phone conversations, use of speaker phones and constant complaints about workload are the three most annoying habits of which workers accuse coworkers.
  - Washington Post

The average U.S. office worker uses nearly 700 pounds of paper per year.
  - The Washington Post

The word "Rolodex" is a combination of the two words "rolling" and "index" Even with the computer age, some 10 million Rolodex units are sold every year.

The nation's three most dangerous jobs are: fishing, with 111.8 deaths per 100,000 workers; logging, with 86.4 deaths per 100,000; and air¬craft pilots/flight engineers, with 66.7 deaths per 100,000.
  - Associated Press

A Japanese traditional inn, Houshi Ryokan is the world's oldest family business, spanning 46 generations.
  - Guinness Book of World Records, 2008

Allowing employees to work from home two days a week could save 
the U.S. economy over $38 billion a year in reduced gas bills.
  - Telework Exchange/Management Issues

Forty percent of workplace bullies are women.
  - Zogby International /New York Times

The world's largest commercial or utility employer is Indian Railways, with 1.65 million regular employees as of 2000.
  - Guinness Book of World Records, 2008

Compiled for Working World Magazine, Nov. 2008 
by Ronke Agboh, a freelance writer living in Los Angeles.

* * *

New Risk Factors for Melanoma

Melanoma -- it’s scary but solvable, if caught before it spreads. The deadliest form of skin cancer, melanoma is responsible for 75% of all skin cancer deaths but is 99% curable in the early stages. As 
yet no particular melanoma gene has been identified, which makes 
it even more critical to understand the factors associated with the disease to encourage early detection and sun-smart behavior. A number of recent studies shed new light on who should worry -- 
with a far longer list of associated traits than the blue eyes, freckles and history of sun exposure we’ve been hearing about for years 
and years.

Darrell S. Rigel, MD, clinical professor of dermatology at New York University Medical Center, and a colleague examined factors common among 600 people (300 melanoma patients and 300 who did not have the disease), age and gender matched from age 21 to 80, to identify which were most often associated with melanoma. They came up with a list of 43 different factors, then conducted a multivariate analysis that ferreted out six characteristics that each independently predicted melanoma. These are (in no 
particular order): 

1. A history of blistering sunburns as a teenager. 

2. Red or blonde hair.

3. Marked (meaning the number totaled more than 100) freckling of the upper back, which indicates excessive sun exposure along with a person’s susceptibility to the sun, due to the fact that they are less likely to form a protective tan.

4. A family history of melanoma.

5. A history of Actinic Keratoses (AKs), which are lesions on the skin considered to be precursors to skin cancer.

6. Outdoor summer jobs for three or more years as a teenager (where he/she was likely to have had excessive sun exposure).


Each of these factors separately predicts an increased lifetime risk 
of melanoma, regardless of the others, Dr. Rigel said. While the average American has a 1.5% lifetime risk of developing melanoma, having just one of these six factors increased lifetime risk to 3% to 5%... two or more boosted risk five to tenfold... and a person with three or more factors has a 10 to 20 times increased lifetime risk of developing melanoma. Dr. Rigel presented the findings at the 67th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology. 

The goal of the study was to "simplify the modeling" of melanoma so "you don’t need to be a doctor to be able to identify yourself as being at high risk," Dr. Rigel explained. The reasoning: Realizing they are in greater danger, people can modify their behavior to reduce their risk, using sunscreen more aggressively, wearing a hat, sunglasses and protective clothing when in the sun, and being very vigilant about seeing the dermatologist for annual skin cancer screening. Dr. Rigel urges even more caution and screenings if you "have three to four of these factors, and especially if something looks suspicious 
on your skin."

Along with this study comes a plethora of research from other sources identifying other risk factors, behaviors and traits that are associated with melanoma. For instance:

For people with a prior history of breast cancer, melanoma risk is two to three times higher.

Women with a prior history of thyroid cancer are at double the risk of developing melanoma.

A higher incidence of melanoma is linked to higher 
socioeconomic class. 

Airline flight personnel have a higher rate of melanoma, due to cosmic radiation and solar flares.

Male drivers have a higher incidence of skin cancers on the left side of the body compared with the right side of the body.

Taller men were found to have a higher incidence of melanoma than shorter men, with men in the top quartile of height twice as likely to develop melanoma as men in the bottom quartile of height. 

Use of tanning beds is a major risk factor for melanoma. 

People with a prior history of dysplastic nevi (non-cancerous moles) and a family history of melanoma have a 50% greater risk of developing melanoma.

Finally, scientists may have identified a gene that is likely to contribute to melanoma in women under 50 years of age. At NYU School of Medicine, David Polsky, MD, PhD, and colleagues identified a genetic variation that leads to a four-times greater risk of melanoma in women under 50 compared with those over 50. The gene, called MDM2, appears to be activated by estrogen, a hormone that is produced in abundance by pre-menopausal women. These findings may lead to the development of a genetic test that can identify young women at higher risk for melanoma. The study appeared in the April issue of the journal Clinical Cancer Research.

"Melanoma is a clear-cut case in which early detection is key... if 
you catch it early, you can cure it," said Dr. Rigel. "Once it’s advanced, nothing works." 

Reprinted with the permission of: 
Bottom Line/Daily Health News
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