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Grab Bag Bluetooth Boom Box:

I’ve really been enjoying this latest improvement to the Boom Box dynasty this summer. Super easy, super portable…

Logitech UE Boom Box

Logitech UE Boom Box

Your music, Pandora’s music, your friends’ music… really any music that can be generated from your bluetooth-enabled phone (or other device) can be carried around your home, your yard, the beach, the park… virtually anywhere. No wires, no plugs, no connections.

While there are a number of bluetooth boom box products on the market, I chose this one because:

1. It has great sound

2. It can be recharged simply by plugging in the charger (some others have batteries that need to be removed and charged in a seperate charger)

3. It’s a decent size and easy to carry around (there are smaller ones, but sound is compromised).

While not cheap ($250), I can tell you that I have already used it in MANY more situations than I predicted. You can “kick the tires” and compare sound with other, similar boom boxes at Best Buy. I have not found any retailer offering discounts on this as of this writing.

I feel it worth the money, and highly recommend.…. 🙂

Grab Bag Autism Breakthrough?:

autism

While not a cure, the path to resolution often starts with discovery of cause. Read this report on a new blood test for autism:

A GENETIC “signature” of autism in babies as young as 12 months has been identified for the first time, an international conference is to be told.

A simple blood test is now being developed and may be available in one to two years, Professor Eric Courchesne will tell the Asia Pacific Autism conference in Adelaide today.

“This discovery really changes the landscape of our understanding of causes and effective treatments,” says the director of the Autism Centre of Excellence at the University of California in San Diego.

“This is going to lead to much better treatments at a much earlier stage and a large percentage of children having an excellent outcome.”

He said the several gene networks that are a common thread in autism have been identified for the first time.

“During the fourth, fifth and sixth months of pregnancy, they disrupt the production of brain cells, producing too many or in some cases too few, and how the cells are organised and connected,” he said.

“We’ve also identified four gene networks that are a ‘biological signature’ of autism in babies as young as 12 months.

“A blood screening test is being developed.

“At this stage it’s looking very promising that the blood screening test will have high accuracy, specificity and sensitivity for children at risk of autism.”

Professor Courchesne and his research partner Dr Tiziano Pramparo and their team have spent the past six years on this specific piece of work.

They scanned the brains and analysed the blood of more than 600 babies and toddlers aged from 12 months to four years.

“People have been looking at individual genes. What we’ve found is that it’s how these genes combine in networks and how these networks disrupt brain growth that is a common pathway in autism.”

Grab Bag Poop Scoop:

I have a friend…. and you will know who you are when you read this… who complained to me that he/she (so sly of me) was plagued with horrible constipation for a few weeks. Pebble poop was the best he/she got, day after day. The normal issues were discussed, and the poor victim had ticked all the boxes:

1. Drinking enough water

2. Eating plenty of fiber

3. Getting regular exercise

Nothing had really changed in their daily routine, except for the lack of meaningful motility.

LK’sGrabBag to the rescue. Here is what I prescribed, which seemed to get things moving… and I have some further tips to share in case this doesn’t work for you, or your friends:

• In a bowl, mix a couple of heaping tablespoons of greek yogurt (organic, please), a couple of tablespoons of tart cherry juice, and a heaping tablespoon of chia seed. Throw in a handful of (organic) blueberries if you want. Mix and enjoy… really tasty.

That little late afternoon snack started moving things in the right direction (pun intended) for my friend.

In addition, let me offer these suggestions:

• Are you getting enough vitamin D? If you don’t take any, you might want to consider doing so, especially if you don’t spend much time in direct sunlight (I hear vampires are terribly constipated 🙂 )

• Perhaps a more powerful version of the yogurt snack above is to soak chia seeds in tart cherry juice until they puff up, then eat them.

Abdominal massage. I forgot to tell my friend about this, and it may be my favorite. Useful for anyone, if you have had any abdominal surgery (and I’ve had a bunch… should have put in a zipper, really), there is bound to be scar tissue, and some of those adhesions may lead to intermittent or chronic constriction of the very-complex abdominal tissues. This is such a great technique to learn, because if you’re constipated in Prague, who the heck knows the Czech word for chia seed? It is extremely effective:

Screen Shot 2013-08-08 at 3.36.13 PM

Grab Bag Righteous Rules:

A few good ones to ponder….

7 Cardinal Rules

Grab Bag Good Tips:

Life hacks to ease your day…

Don’t have icepacks for your cooler? Prep a few of these… so much neater than bags of ice.

Make your own lunchbox icepacks from dollar store sponges soaked in water and put in ziplock bag. When they thaw, the sponge absorbs the water.

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Yet another use for coffee filters… and more effective than a rock:

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Mold can stubbornly reside in grout and caulking sealer in your ever-moist bathroom.

HERE is an easy-to-try tutorial on how to potentially eliminate mold buildup:

BEFORE

AFTER

Want to be a BETTER GOOGLER? Check out this info graphic, which includes some Mac keyboard shortcuts and tips at the end (if you need it bigger, click on the graphic [and once more if it shows as a small version] and it should lead to a larger version for easier viewing):

Better Googling

Grab Bag Brain Game:

Looks kinda stupid…. but I found this one to be SO addictive! Shoot the colored eggs in the right spots to make groups of 3 or more that explode for points. 

Eggz

Grab Bag Funny Stuff:

Found this to show how that fluffy feline curled up on your couch may be a murderous serial killer….. hilarious and scientifically true:

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