April 12, 1955: The polio vaccine is declared safe and effective.
After its clinical identification in the late 18th century, poliomyelitis remained one of the public’s most feared diseases in most industrialized nations until the initiation of a wide-scale effort to vaccinate against the disease in the mid-1900s. In 1894, the first known epidemic of polio to break out in the United States struck a population in Vermont. Over the next few decades, outbreaks of polio reached pandemic proportions in much of the West. Then often referred to ominously as “infantile paralysis”, the spread of polio in industrialized nations was accelerated by the loss of natural immunities to the disease as a result of improved sanitation and sewage disposal. As noted in the report from the original 1894 Vermont outbreak, a dreaded and relatively common outcome of the disease was paralysis of some or all of the extremities. The sinister image of the iron lung, upon which an affected child might become dependent as a result of paralysis of muscles in the chest, was embedded in the public’s conception of the disease. Amid dreams of idyllic American suburban life and the ultimate triumph of modern science over nature, polio, writes David Oshinsky, was “the crack in the fantasy”.
Efforts toward a vaccine gained traction in the late 1930s. In 1952, the worst outbreak of polio in the nation’s history affected some 58,000 people. Of these, 3,145 died, and 21,000 were left with some degree of paralysis. The same year, Jonas Salk and colleagues developed and tested a polio vaccine on schoolchildren. In 1954, one of the largest and most publicized clinical trials in the nation’s history was underway. The trials involved the injection of the vaccine and placebos in 623,972 American schoolchildren and resulted in an 80-90% success rate in preventing paralytic polio. On April 12, 1955, the results of these trials were announced and the vaccine was declared to be “safe, effective, and potent”. With the development of this viable vaccine, widespread mass vaccination campaigns took place and, for the most part, reduced the impact - and public fear - of polio nationally. Since 1988, worldwide polio cases have decreased by pver 99%; however, the disease still persists in several countries.
Recently, your mother and I were searching for an answer on Google. Halfway through entering the question, Google returned a list of the most popular searches in the world. Perched at the top of the list was “How to keep him interested.”
It startled me. I scanned several of the countless articles about how to be sexy and sexual, when to bring him a beer versus a sandwich, and the ways to make him feel smart and superior.
And I got angry.
Little One, it is not, has never been, and never will be your job to “keep him interested.”
Little One, your only task is to know deeply in your soul—in that unshakeable place that isn’t rattled by rejection and loss and ego—that you are worthy of interest. (If you can remember that everyone else is worthy of interest also, the battle of your life will be mostly won. But that is a letter for another day.)
If you can trust your worth in this way, you will be attractive in the most important sense of the word: you will attract a boy who is both capable of interest and who wants to spend his one life investing all of his interest in you.
Little One, I want to tell you about the boy who doesn’t need to be kept interested, because he knows you are interesting:
I don’t care if he puts his elbows on the dinner table—as long as he puts his eyes on the way your nose scrunches when you smile. And then can’t stop looking.
I don’t care if he can’t play a bit of golf with me—as long as he can play with the children you give him and revel in all the glorious and frustrating ways they are just like you.
I don’t care if he doesn’t follow his wallet—as long as he follows his heart and it always leads him back to you.
I don’t care if he is strong—as long as he gives you the space to exercise the strength that is in your heart.
I couldn’t care less how he votes—as long as he wakes up every morning and daily elects you to a place of honor in your home and a place of reverence in his heart.
I don’t care about the color of his skin—as long as he paints the canvas of your lives with brushstrokes of patience, and sacrifice, and vulnerability, and tenderness.
I don’t care if he was raised in this religion or that religion or no religion—as long as he was raised to value the sacred and to know every moment of life, and every moment of life with you, is deeply sacred.
In the end, Little One, if you stumble across a man like that and he and I have nothing else in common, we will have the most important thing in common:
Because in the end, Little One, the only thing you should have to do to “keep him interested” is to be you.
Your eternally interested guy,
Happy International Women’s Day
So my close friend started this petition to allow trans people to join the army, because it’s her friend’s dream to do so, but the army apparently sees being transgender as a mental illness. It’s clearly not only discrimination, but misinformation. The petition was literally just created a few seconds ago, so it only has my signature and a few others on it right now. But we have a good month to see this pick up the pace and get bigger.
If you could sign this and pass the post on, it’d be really really helpful. All you really need to do is create an account and sign it, so it’s not too hard at all! If anything, reblog this to signal boost it or something. But if you really can just take like. 5 seconds out of your day, it wouldn’t be that hard to see someone’s dream come true, along with many others. You’ll also be helping to stop some discrimination against trans individuals which is a big plus too.
After spending years developing a simple machine to make inexpensive sanitary pads, Arunachalam Muruganantham has become the unlikely leader of a menstrual health revolution in rural India. Over sixteen years, Muruganantham’s machine has spread to 1,300 villages in 23 states and since most of his clients are NGOs and women’s self-help groups who produce and sell the pads directly in a “by the women, for the women, and to the women” model, the average machine also provides employment for ten women.
Muruganantham’s interest in menstrual health began in 1998 when, as a young, newly married man, he saw his wife, Shanthi, hiding the rags she used as menstrual cloths. Like most men in his village, he had no idea about the reality of menstruation and was horrified that cloths that “I would not even use… to clean my scooter” were his wife’s solution to menstrual sanitation. When he asked why she didn’t buy sanitary pads, she told him that the expense would prevent her from buying staples like milk for the family.
Muruganantham, who left school at age 14 to start working, decided to try making his own sanitary pads for less but the testing of his first prototype ran into a snag almost immediately: Muruganantham had no idea that periods were monthly. “I can’t wait a month for each feedback, it’ll take two decades!” he said, and sought volunteers among the women in his community. He discovered that less than 10% of the women in his area used sanitary pads, instead using rags, sawdust, leaves, or ash. Even if they did use cloths, they were too embarrassed to dry them in the sun, meaning that they never got disinfected — contributing to the approximately 70% of all reproductive diseases in India that are caused by poor menstrual hygiene.
Finding volunteers was nearly impossible: women were embarrassed, or afraid of myths about sanitary pads that say that women who use them will go blind or never marry. Muruganantham came up with an ingenious solution: “I became the man who wore a sanitary pad,” he says. He made an artificial uterus, filled it with goat’s blood, and wore it throughout the day. But his determination had severe consequences: his village concluded he was a pervert with a sexual disease, his mother left his household in shame and his wife left him. As he remarks in the documentary “Menstrual Man” about his experience, “So you see God’s sense of humour. I’d started the research for my wife and after 18 months she left me!”
After years of research, Muruganantham perfected his machine and now works with NGOs and women’s self-help groups to distribute it. Women can use it to make sanitary napkins for themselves, but he encourages them to make pads to sell as well to provide employment for women in poor communities. And, since 23% of girls drop out of school once they start menstruating, he also works with schools, teaching girls to make their own pads: “Why wait till they are women? Why not empower girls?”
As communities accepted his machine, opinions of his “crazy” behavior changed. Five and a half years after she left, Shanthi contacted him, and they are now living together again. She says it was hard living with the ostracization that came from his project, but now, she helps spread the word about sanitary napkins to other women. “Initially I used to be very shy when talking to people about it, but after all this time, people have started to open up. Now they come and talk to me, they ask questions and they also get sanitary napkins to try them.”
In 2009, Muruganantham was honored with a national Innovation Award in 2009 by then President of India, Pratibha Patil, beating out nearly 1,000 other entries. Now, he’s looking at expanding to other countries and believes that 106 countries could benefit from his invention.
Muruganantham is proud to have made such a difference: “from childhood I know no human being died because of poverty — everything happens because of ignorance… I have accumulated no money but I accumulate a lot of happiness.” His proudest moment? A year after he installed one of the machines in a village so poor that, for generations, no one had earned enough for their children to attend school. Then he received a call from one of the women selling sanitary pads who told him that, thanks to the income, her daughter was now able to go to school.
To read more about Muruganantham’s story, the BBC featured a recent profile on him at http://bbc.in/1i8tebG or watch his TED talk at http://bit.ly/1n594l6. You can also view his company’s website at http://newinventions.in/
To learn more about the 2013 documentary Menstrual Man about Muruganantham, visit http://www.menstrualman.com/
For resources to help girls prepare for and understand their periods - including several first period kits - visit our post on: “That Time of the Month: Teaching Your Mighty Girl about Her Menstrual Cycle” at www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=3281
To help your tween understand the changes she’s experiencing both physically and emotionally during puberty, check out the books recommended in our post on “Talking with Tweens and Teens About Their Bodies” at http://www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=2229
And, if you’re looking for ways to encourage your children to become the next engineering and technology innovators, visit A Mighty Girl’s STEM toy section athttp://www.amightygirl.com/toys/toys-games/science-math
I’m not shocked, I know how fangirls are, but I’m still appalled to see them focusing on shipping when Captain America had such a surprisingly subversive political message.
I’m not shocked, I know how fake geek guys are, but I’m still amused to see them surprised by the subversive political messages in the film when Captain America stories have been about that for over forty years now.
Los Angeles is known for many things: great weather, a laidback lifestyle, and Hollywood’s biggest stars. But for many who live in La La Land, the pressure to conform to a certain beauty standard can leave them feeling downright depressed.Why didn’t this have any notes?
It doesnt have any notes because its a black woman doing it. Had it been a white woman this wouldve been national news.
it doesn’t have any notes yet because it was literally posted today calm the fuck down (also hell yeah this woman rules)
WHENEVER YOU SEE THIS POST ON YOUR DASH, STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING AND WRITE ONE SENTENCE FOR YOUR CURRENT PROJECT.
Just one sentence. Stop blogging for one minute and write a single sentence. It could be dialogue, it could be a nice description of scenery, it could be a metaphor, I don’t care. The point is, do it. Then, when you finish, you can get back to blogging.
If this gets viral, you might just have your novel finished by next Tuesday.
Not a writer but
There are more charts if you click through.
It took me a long time to realise why the male age line isn’t straight, but it’s because the years along the bottom axis aren’t equally spaced. Good visualisation of a depressing point, otherwise.