365 Dawns

Tonight at Dawn just reached its 1st year anniversary and 200th article on Sunday (2.22: “Tonight at Noon“). To celebrate, we are presenting our largest (& favorite) milestones from the last 365 days. Thanks for taking the ride and stay with us as we evolve!

Tonight at Dawn: Favorite Posts by the Month

2014
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February: TaD’s 1st live coverage “The Man Behind the Curtain: Covering the VH1 Superbowl Blitz”

 

Balloons released at start of Rainbow Fest
Shinjuku

March: Japanese rainbows  “Shinjuku, Block no. 2 (新宿二丁目)” 

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April: Live wire  Lews Black Rants On: 7 Pieces of Advice

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May: Get educated The Nigerian School Project

Julie Taymor & Stephen Colbert In Conversation, MFF14
Julie Taymor & Stephen Colbert In Conversation, MFF14

May (Indecision!Montclair Film Festival Series

Orange is the New Black Promo Shot
Orange is the New Black Promo Shot

June: What’s threatening our democracy?  Justice Reform Series

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July: International collaboration Economy Decoded: Kesariya Baalam, Padharo Mhare des!

 

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August: Give me the RED Light…District

 

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September: Eco-tacular Meeting the 1st female prime minister of Ireland at NYC’s Climate March

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September: (Indecisions, again!): Meeting Senator Cory Booker

 

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October: Music reviews from @kraltunes make our stats POP!  Pearl Jam (& my favorite @kraltunes piece)

 

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November: The doctor is in! One of Dr. Nina’s “What you to need to know…”

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 December: ART! Margeaux Walter Has Got Heart (or a FAMNIG HJÄRTA)

2015

One Less Flush by Nitesh Nagrath and Lizzie Reid http://dothegreenthing.com/posters/one-less-flush-by-nitesh-nagrath-and-lizzie-reid/
One Less Flush by Nitesh Nagrath and Lizzie Reid

January: “One small step for (wo)man” Peeing in the Shower (& Other Eco-Friendly Moves I’m Not Ready For)

#jeffwecan Last Week Tonight's Media Campaign for Anti-Smoking
#jeffwecan

 February: Armchair activism via John Oliver: #Jeff We Can! #Jeff We Can! #Jeff We Can! 

 

What’s next for TaD? More of everything! More @kraltunes, travel, Dr. Nina, live event coverage and real, current social and environmental issues. The next interview piece will be a sobering but hopeful conversation with a TED Talks speaker.

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Nina’s What You Need To Know About Oral Hygiene & Our Hearts

 

2015-02-21 19.57.32Did you know that sticks and stones may break our bones, but not brushing or flossing our teeth may harm our hearts? Although this is a slight deviation from the original saying, they are nonetheless wise words that we should take to heart. Research has shown that people with poor oral hygiene and gum disease are more than twice as likely to have cardiovascular disease. But how does what’s happening in our mouth affect our heart’s health? After all, dental plaque is not the same as atherosclerosis—fatty plaque buildup within arterial walls that block the flow of blood.

Dr. Nina’s What You Need to Know about Oral Hygiene and Our Hearts: 

The heart mouth connection. Here’s a frightening fact to even ponder: our mouths contain more than 700 types of bacteria. This number rivals that of a public toilet (I apologize for the terrible visual, but I wanted to prove a point). When we have gum disease or an infection, these bacteria have an opportunity to enter into the bloodstream and travel to our heart vessels. Clumped bacteria can become the concrete foundation upon which fatty plaques build upon. Additionally, gum disease and oral infection can trigger inflammation throughout the body and increase the risk of clot formation that can also block blood flow.

How does our oral health compare to other indicators of heart disease? Poor mouth health has been shown in studies to be as good at predicting heart disease as cholesterol levels. Oftentimes, we do not have symptoms of high cholesterol or their consequence—plaque buildup inside our arteries—until we have a false alarm, or worse, a heart attack.

Does  taking care of our mouth also has benefits on other aspects of our health? Yes. Gum disease in pregnant women has been linked to premature births and low birth weight. Therefore, optimal prenatal care is not limited to just taking vitamins and eating healthy. Pregnant women should also see their dentists.

Additionally, diabetics have a decreased resistance to infection and have been shown to have more frequent and severe gum disease than non-diabetics. This is a Catch-22 because gum disease also results in fluctuating and difficult to control blood sugar levels.

What’s the big deal? Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Americans and kills almost 600,000 people a year. Along with eating healthy, exercising, and not smoking, maintaining good oral hygiene can help keep our ticker ticking. A little prevention can go a long way. And if the artery-clogging process has already begun, we can slow the rate at which it progresses.

How do we take good care of our teeth and gums?

  • Brush our teeth as well as our gum line for 2-3 minutes, twice a day, with fluoridated toothpaste.
  • Floss daily to dislodge plaque from in between our teeth where our toothbrush cannot reach.
  • Gargle with a mouth rinse.
  • Replace our toothbrush every 3-4 months or sooner if the bristles are frayed.
  • Avoid cigarettes and smokeless tobacco.
  • Schedule regular dental checkups. If an oral health problem arises, contact our dentist before it gets out of control.

Similar to the MasterCard commercials: Toothbrush $2, floss $3, toothpaste $4, electrocardiogram $150, preventing a heart attack priceless. Maintaining good oral hygiene does not mean we can excuse ourselves from eating healthy, exercising, undergoing routine screening, or quitting smoking. But it comes at a small price for a potentially priceless gain. Now that’s what I call value.

 

For more news on Dr. Radcliff:
Like her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DrNinaRadcliff
Follow her on Twitter: @DrNinaRadcliff
Visit her official site, http://www.ninaradcliffmd.com

Read more of her articles on Tonight at Dawn

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Photograph by K. Cecchini

Notice: This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither Dr. Nina Radcliff or Kimberly Cecchini take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.
Before engaging in any complementary medical technique, including the use of natural or herbal remedies, you should be aware that many of these techniques have not been evaluated in scientific studies. Use of these remedies in connection with over the counter or prescription medications can cause severe adverse reactions. Often, only limited information is available about their safety and effectiveness.

The TORCHE Awakens

@kraltunes

‘FEEL GOOD METAL’, much like ‘DOOM SOUL‘. is a phrase I never expected to use in a positive context.  If Doom Soul is the type of music that Darth Vader unwinds to after torturing a rebel alliance, then Feel Good Metal must be what Ewoks dance and sing to after helping Cindel defeat Terak (HUUUGE brownie points for those that get this reference).  TORCHE has been described as feel good metal; they blend poppy hooks with grinding, thrash-paced guitars and drums.  When news of the new album emerged, I expected it would help me cope with the Hoth-like environment I currently find myself living in. (Apologies, for my STAR WARS kick.)

The first thing that struck me about RESTARTER was the album cover…and what an album cover it is; that is if you like Canadian Geese pensively peering out windows into dreary wilderness (I, do not).

My befuddlement of the album cover aside, this is a grimey, yet fun album!  Abandoned are the melodic pop structured tunes of HARMONICRAFT (which is unfortunate), Restarter tends to revert back to earlier sounds of their SELF-TITLED and even MEANDERTHAL era.  It’s not long after being succumbed to the punishing trio of  “Annihilation Affair” “Bishop In Arms”, and “Minions” that the listener realizes this is a heavier album, with very few lighter, humorous respite to be found (move along, no ‘Kiss Me Dudely’s’ to be found here).

“Blasted” is the closest to HARMONICRAFT the band comes to on this album, and even that sounds like it’s been playing in the mud pits of Dagobah for the past hour (reference #4, booyah).

The down-tuned barrage continues with tracks like “Believe It” and “No Servants” where the band is honing in more on that stoner rock groove and repetitive nature.

One of the gripes with this band has always been the occasional ad nauseam recycling of a riff. ‘Restarter’, similar to ‘Out Again’, plods on way too long for my tastes, but these guys have their signature sound, and who am I to question their hard rock intellect?

This album is a runaway truck; each song practically tripping over the next to end at a tidy 39 minutes.  Sadly, these straightforward hard rock riffs are nothing Torche hasn’t covered before in their career. The effort sums up as another solid (not great) effort by the Miami quartet, ala Return Of The Jedi (lets end here before I beat a TaunTaun to death).

…But seriously, if anyone can tell me what the hell’s going on with the album, please step forward.

torchemusic.com

 

 

Home. By Design.

Introduction and Interview by K. Cecchini

After my husband and I purchased our condo, we were hard pressed to find affordable furniture made of, as silly as it may sound, real solid wood. Why? Simply because we wanted pieces that we would not need to replace in a dozen years or so (or less).

Nightstand
Nightstand

After unsuccessfully scouring used venues for furniture to resurface and almost giving in to buying an engineered board living room set, I finally found Campion Table Company’s Etsy store and we have since populated our space with 7 pieces of furniture that Campion has designed or adapted to fit our needs.

Kevin Treanor -now Campion’s sole owner-is local, responsive, honest and, most importantly, a quality craftsman; we are truly pleased with our tables, nightstands and entryway bench. As we have been extremely satisfied with his work, I wanted to highlight Kevin’s work with an interview post.

Tonight at Dawn (TaD): How did you develop your interest and skills in woodworking?

Kevin: My father is a carpenter by trade so it is something that I have been around for as long as I can remember. My father’s workshop is located at my childhood home and I was always rooting around his shop as a kid. Those early experiences were definitely the leading factor for my interest today.

Growing up, there was always scraps of wood lying around and I just started working on small projects for myself, learning as I went along through trial and error. Luckily my father was always there to provide guidance and feedback, so I was able to get an understanding of the basics of woodworking.

The real way you develop and improve skills, however, is by doing the work itself. I started off making simple things like shelves, keepsake boxes and picture frames, and each successive project drew from skills I developed from my previous projects. I started using different tools for different applications, becoming more precise and advanced in my work as I put in more hours of practice.

Once you become confident in specific skills and applications, it really opens a lot of doors in terms of designing furniture because you can get a good sense of how hard to push the limits and what you can take from a sketch to a tangible object. I’m still working to grow and hone my skills today to continually broaden my capabilities.

TaD: Where does your name, Campion, come from?

Kevin: Campion is actually the name of my freshman year dormitory at Fairfield University. After graduating in 2012, I made several coffee tables for friends who were moving into new apartments. I decided I would start a small side project making and selling furniture to people on Etsy and the first piece that I promoted was a coffee table. At the time, I was living with two roommates who also lived in Campion Hall with me and we decided to go in together. Since we were just making tables at the time and all had a connection to Campion Hall, we decided on Campion Table Company.

This is an exciting time for me because I see a change in the furniture industry where customers are becoming more and more interested in buying custom furniture with a unique style as opposed to reproduction furniture from big-box stores that was commonplace a few years ago.

Nightstand
Nightstand

Both of my previous partners have since moved away to pursue other career goals and since I don’t actually specifically specialize in tables, I am currently considering a few new company names that I feel better match my direction and brand identity as a furniture designer. This is an exciting time for me because I see a change in the furniture industry where customers are becoming more and more interested in buying custom furniture with a unique style as opposed to reproduction furniture from big-box stores that was commonplace a few years ago. Designs and consumer preferences are constantly evolving but the quality of handmade furniture is hard to match on a broad scale, so I am working on ways to align my company name with specialized, high-end custom furniture.

TaD: How and where do you source your materials?

Kevin: I source almost all of the wood I use from a local lumber yard in White Plains, NY. They have a great selection of wood so I can generally find whatever I need from them. Like any lumber yard, they let you pick out the specific boards you want, which is very important because it lets you have full control over what the piece will look like.

For materials besides lumber, I use a combination of a few other places. My father’s workshop is down the street from a local hardware store, which is great for finishing supplies and is really handy for basic hardware. I like to give them the business when I can seeing as they are a local, small business like mine.

Sometimes, however, they don’t have very specialized things I may need so, in those circumstances, I use Rockler and Woodcraft, who both have anything and everything to do with woodworking.

NIghtstands
NIghtstands

TaD: Being that the tables we commissioned were built by you within a short drive of my home, it’s obviously fair trade construction and Eco-friendly because it was locally made and transported. Is there anything else within your process, from sourcing materials through to delivery, that can be considered fair trade or Eco-friendly?

Kevin: As previously mentioned, I source all my lumber locally and I use sustainable wood species, primarily Ash, Maple and Fir. I avoid using plywoods and veneers, which contain volatile glues and adhesives, and whenever possible, I prefer to use natural finishes such as raw tung oil or boiled linseed oil. These sustainable materials are much better for the environment than their man-made counterparts but also give each piece an authentic, natural feeling. To me, it’s a win-win.

These sustainable materials are much better for the environment than their man-made counterparts but also give each piece an authentic, natural feeling. To me, it’s a win-win.

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Entryway Bench

A vast majority of the furniture that people buy from big-box stores such as IKEA, Target, and even higher-end places like Pottery Barn, contain a surprisingly small amount of solid wood in their furniture. For the most part, they rely on engineered materials, such as MDF, covered with a thin layer of wood veneer. This is great for keeping costs down for the consumer but is unnatural to a degree and undermines the craft of woodworking to a large extent.

As I noted above, however, I think the average consumer is beginning to trend more towards natural wood products and begin to shy away from low-quality imitation furniture. There will always be a place for furniture that looks nice and is on the cheaper side, but I take pride in fully handcrafting each piece from solid wood and feel that it is a much better, sustainable market.

There will always be a place for furniture that looks nice and is on the cheaper side, but I take pride in fully handcrafting each piece from solid wood and feel that it is a much better, sustainable market.

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    Living Room Side Table-Matches Rustic Coffee Table

Dr. Nina’s What You Need to Know: About The Numbers Behind Quitting Smoking

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The Numbers Behind Quitting Smoking

There are no “ifs, ands, or butts” about it: Smoking is bad. And it’s impossible to put a price tag on the suffering that heart disease, stroke, and cancer can cause to a smoker, their family, and society in general. So it helps to have some objective means to support our decision and maintain our commitment to quit. Like Charles Dickens says “In this life we want nothing but facts, sir, nothing but facts.”

Dr. Nina’s What You Need to Know: About The Numbers Behind Quitting Smoking

What is the cost to our health? For each cigarette a person smokes, it can reduce their lifespan by 11 minutes. After one year of smoking, a pack per day smoker can lose 55 days (almost 2 months). And although time is free, it is also priceless.

What is the cost to our bank account? Imagine having an extra $3,120.75 in your pocket for the holidays. At a cost of $8.55 a pack, this is the annual cost that a one pack per day smoker in New Jersey spends. Over a decade, that cost climbs to $31,207.50. And over 30 years, if you compounded the interest even at just 3%, you would have over $156,000! Talk about our wallets going up in smoke.

What are some indirect costs of smoking? They range from home fresheners ($10/month) to higher dental, health, and life insurance costs. If that’s not enough to get you or someone you love feeling the pinch, how about the fact that a smoker’s car sells for approximately 9% less than a non-smoker’s car? Additionally, homebuyers are also less likely to purchase a house that smells like an ashtray. It may require thousands of dollars for the seller to replace carpets, paint the walls, or deodorize the house to get buyers interested.

How long before I see the benefits of quitting smoking? Not long! And the benefits continue to roll in.
20 minutes: heart rate starts decreasing.
2 hours: heart rate and blood pressure return to near normal levels. Peripheral circulation may also improve with fingertips and toes starting to feel warm. But “smoker beware,” this is around the same time that you may start experiencing intense cravings.
48 hours: our ability to smell and taste start resurfacing. Imagine smelling someone you love or enjoying the aroma of a cup of coffee.
72 hours: nicotine is completely out of our body. But, “smoker beware,” withdrawal symptoms peak and there is a high rate of relapse.
2-3 weeks: you will start breathing easier when performing physical activity. Both lung function and circulation will have improved.
1-9 months: cilia (tiny, hair-like organelles that push mucus out) start functioning properly again. They help move germs out of our body and decrease infections.
12 months: your risk for heart disease decreases by 50 percent.
10 years: your risk of dying from lung cancer drops by 50 percent. Additionally, the risk for developing cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas also decreases.

What are some tips to getting there?

Don’t wing it. Once you make the decision to quit, create a plan. Know why you are you doing it (money, health, loved ones, all of the above); what resources are at your disposal (there is no need to reinvent the wheel); how you are going to do it (gradually, cold turkey, nicotine patch); and how you will deal with intense cravings. Afterall, as GI Joe says “Knowing is half the battle.”
Commit. Write out your plan and sign it, like a contract. Consider having witnesses so you further cement that commitment. By including your family, friends, and co-workers they can provide support and encouragement.
Get through the cravings. The average, “intense” craving lasts 3 minutes. But 180 seconds can feel like an eternity. Some tips to distract yourself include deep breathing, focusing on a loved one or happy thought, taking a walk, keeping your hands busy (squeeze a ball, play with a paperclip, send an email, call a friend), using an oral substitute (mint, hard candy, celery stick, gum, carrot, sunflower seeds), and drinking water (may decrease the urge).
Spoil yourself. With the $3,120.75 a year that you are saving, splurge a little. Consider getting that cell phone upgrade, taking a trip, buying a new wardrobe, or creating a retirement fund.
Do not give up. If you fail (I hope not), try, try, try again. Literally and figuratively, your life is at stake. Go back to the drawing board and get to the bottom of things. By doing so, you will place yourself in a better position to quit the next time around.

By looking at the facts and crunching the numbers we become better equipped to quit smoking. There should be no “ifs, and, or butts” about that.

For more news on Dr. Radcliff:
Like her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DrNinaRadcliff
Follow her on Twitter: @DrNinaRadcliff
Visit her official site, http://www.ninaradcliffmd.com

Read more of her articles on Tonight at Dawn

IMG_1549-0.JPG
Photograph by K. Cecchini

Notice: This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither Dr. Nina Radcliff or Kimberly Cecchini take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.
Before engaging in any complementary medical technique, including the use of natural or herbal remedies, you should be aware that many of these techniques have not been evaluated in scientific studies. Use of these remedies in connection with over the counter or prescription medications can cause severe adverse reactions. Often, only limited information is available about their safety and effectiveness.

#Jeffwecan

#jeffwecan Last Week Tonight's Media Campaign for Anti-Smoking
#jeffwecan Last Week Tonight’s Media Campaign for Anti-Smoking

John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight is more than a parody news show, it’s an arm-chair action center. Through news segments that are not only humorous, but that also offer more in-depth reporting on subjects that are often glossed over or ignored on standard television news programs, John Oliver educates folks. (Yes, I said “reporting).

In addition, whether Last Week Tonight tries to brandish momentum on a topic through Twitter (calling out the media restrictive Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, who, incidentally perpetuated a Twitter war with the comedian in response) or providing a government website on which to check how cozy a relationship your physician has with the pharmaceutical company (a site I had never heard of), Last Week Tonight usually offers an action step on how to poke at the quiet beasts hovering over our lives.

Last night’s episode was no different. Although smoking has greatly declined in the United States thanks greatly to legislation on public puffing restrictions and advertising campaign, smoking has increased around the globe while cigarette companies are enjoying record profits.

How can this be?

Australian Cigarette Packaging
Australian Cigarette Packaging

Last Week Tonight’s detailed how tobacco corporations are availing themselves of all avenues to strong-arm countries like Australia into removing explicit warnings from packages and even bullying countries with much smaller economies, such as Togo and Uruguay, into backing down due to legal fees. Not only are these corporate behemoths working against governments, they are also using their massive wallets to fight the tide of public support within the nations.

Your cue, Mr. Oliver…

Citizens of Togo about the Jeff T-shirts courtesy of Last Week Tonight
Citizens of Togo about the Jeff T-shirts courtesy of Last Week Tonight

In order to help fight the good fight, Last Week Tonight’s staff, with inspiration from Joe Camel cartoons and Marlboro Man advertisements, created “Jeff,” the personable smoking emphasemic lung man complete with cowboy gear that the HBO show is in fact offering for free to Philip Morris.

But, Last Week Tonight didn’t stop there. They installed actual billboards in Uruguay and sent T-shirts to Togo with the diseased -but lovable- smoking character.

Share #jeffwecan and tune in for the next arm-chair action because unlike smoking, adding Mr. Oliver to your diet is not hazardous to your health (at 30 minutes/week, the payoff of information is worth the sedentary period).

Click here for Dr. Nina’s What You Need to Know about the numbers behind smoking (article available Wednesday, 2/18/15) and quitting smoking.

"Jeff," the lovable smoking mascot "in Marlboro Country" on the Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
“Jeff,” the lovable smoking mascot “in Marlboro Country” on the Last Week Tonight with John Oliver