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Archive for September, 2009


Ethiopian father and sonPhoto by babasteve

Heredity is usually described as one of the minor risk factors of heart disease. Despite that description, the role of heredity should not be underestimated.

There are hereditary elements present and common to all of the lifestyle diseases and individual coronary risk factors. Usually these factors can be controlled, suppressing the role of heredity in the disease process. Were it not relatively controllable it would be easy to blame heredity for all the problems that arise.

Although blaming heredity would be a far too simplistic overview, we would be partly justified in taking that line of thought, for without doubt we do inherit genetic weaknesses that might surface sooner or later.

Chromosome Abnormalities

A developing fetus inherits forty-six chromosomes, twenty-three from each parent. It’s estimated that there might be as many as sixty-four billion different chromosome combinations in one, fertilization. Genes contained in the chromosomes are responsible for our physical development — including height, body size, constitution, appearance, personality, temperament, intelligence, co-ordination, reactions, metabolism, disease resistance, and a whole host of other features and qualities.

Naturally, then, there are unlimited possibilities for something to go wrong or for abnormalities to occur. One or both of the parents may carry a particular genetic tendency without showing any signs or symptoms of its presence. A child, born to parents inheriting these potential genetic abnormalities, may display the characteristics of the particular condition at some point. However, special diagnostic procedures detect those at risk (even before birth) and, along with genetic counseling, the suitable intervention is made.

Heredity and Your Heart

Apart from hereditary heart diseases, it must be emphasized that even where these factors are inherited it is the tendency or potential that is inherited rather than the actual disease. Heredity does not usually the reason behind the disease.

All the evidence suggests that where the environment and lifestyle are at their most favourable, the related disease patterns do not generally occur. Congenital heart disease is the failure of the heart or large blood vessels to develop normally. There are a variety of causes in which heredity may or may not play a role.

Your Heredity and Life-Style

In many instances, take obesity as an example, it is quite clear that it is familial attitudes and behavior that determines the lifestyle. A growing child, for the most part, observes and conforms to domestic practice. Thus type, quantity and quality of food, attitudes to exercise and a healthy life-style, are largely determined without too much individual thought. Under such conditions poor habits are likely to be perpetuated. Adopting good health practices based on personal choices afford the individual the best protection.

I’m not saying that adopting the best life-style available will guarantee the absence of any particular disease or condition.

In the majority of cases it will help to prevent their development. It should be understood that while diabetes, arthritis, allergic conditions, and cancer all have hereditary features, there is no certainty that the individual will develop any of these complaints.

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dominica cultural groups at the opening of Dominica's independence 2009

September 26th, 2009 marked the official opening of the celebrations of the 31st anniversary of its independence in Dominica.

Under the theme of “Progress and Development,” Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit and Minister for Community Development, Culture, Gender Affairs and Information, Loreen Bannis-Roberts, addressed the crowd gathered at the Old Mill Cultural Center to participate in the opening ceremony.

The event featured performances artists and musicians that included the Paix Bouche cultural group, the Sisserou singers, Michele Henderson, Ophelia, and Daddy Chess.

Also present was the reigning Miss Wob Dwiyet and the 2009 Miss Wob Dwiyet Contestants.

Here is a short video of Dominica’s Independence Celebrations 2009: Official Opening Ceremony – We hope you enjoy it!

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Chopped Fish versus filleted Fish

Editor’s note: I’m not a complainer. Really, I’m not. But having lived my first 68 years in the USA, I find that things being different take me some getting used to. Understand, please, I’m not asserting that “different” is wrong. It’s probably right for here; only I’m unused to it.

So, I’m sucking it up and learning to accept those different things. Still, I think it may amuse Dominicans reading this and help inform and prepare Americans, and Europeans and other “1st-worlders” wishing to settle here as well. I’ll write about those differences – big and small – from time to time, and will preface it with this paragraph so that you know I’m not complaining.

Difference #1:: Chopping fish versus filleting them. I know that the Dominican way, which is to chop fish, wastes no meat. But I was raised in a culture where fish bones in a meal of fish were considered distasteful at best and a deadly choking hazard at worst.

I was raised on the Atlantic shore and earned money during school summer vacations working on “head boats” where tourists (fares paid by the head) were taken out to try fishing; and I earned extra tips filleting fish they caught and wanted to take away to eat. I fillet my fish and when I eat fish I break the meat using the edge of my fork because if there’s a bone I’d find it that way. I positively hate finding a bone in a mouthful of fish.

A Dominican friend of mine says he enjoys sucking the meat from a fish-bone in his mouth. That’s how he was raised. I understand the difference, and that Dominicans are appalled by the manner in which I waste meat by filleting fish; and they’re right. I’m wrong, but I will continue to fillet my fish. If I can get it done at the market, everyone is happier. I have no fish offal to dispose of and the fellow at the market earns a couple of extra dollars (as I did as a boy) filleting the fish for us.

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