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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The fantasy worlds of Jacek Yerka

Jacek Yerka is a 55 year old Polish artist who decided to take on the artistic route early on. Born within an art-oriented family - both his parents attended the Fine Arts Academy - he was surrounded by materials that captivated his interest in drawing and painting throughout his entire childhood. His sole memories from childhood are of sketches, the smell of paint, ink, paper and brushes.

Even before he made his parents legacy official and opted for a career at the Academy, Yerka paved his way as a self-taught artist. Deeply influenced by his parents and by the painting trends of the time - from Impressionism to abstract painting - he was inspired by C├ęzanne and Klee.

In spite of these influences, Yerka's biggest source of inspiration continued to be his childhood memories - the places, the feelings, the scents and the 1950s techniques - along with an imagination that soon showed a strong personality.

Let's meet Jacek Yerka fantastic worlds.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Emo Girls

For the second time this week, medical experts have issued revised guidelines for women’s cancer screenings. On Monday, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force advised that women wait until age 50 to begin mammography screening, after which they should be checked every other year instead of annually as the previously established guidelines recommended. And on Friday, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) issued revised guidelines for cervical cancer screening, recommending that women in the U.S. wait until age 21 to have their first Pap test and follow-up testing every two to three years depending on a woman’s age—revisions the ACOG says are based on studies that suggest earlier and more frequent testing causes more harm than good.

The Pap test has been used for more than 50 years to find changes in the cells of the cervix that could lead to cancer. Prior recommendations called for cervical cancer screening to begin three years after a woman became sexually active or by age 21, whichever came first, with annual follow-up testing. But under the new ACOG guidelines, women should get their first Pap test at age 21, regardless of the onset of intercourse, with re-testing once every two years until age 30. Women 30 and older who’ve had three consecutive negative tests and no abnormal history should be re-screened only once every three years. Guidelines for older women remain unchanged. After no abnormal Pap result for 10 years and three or more negative results consecutively, women can stop the test at age 65 or 70.

“We really felt that the downsides of more frequent screening outweighed any benefits,” said Dr. Alan G. Waxman, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of New Mexico, who drafted the new guidelines. “More testing is not always more intelligent testing.” Waxman explains that while the rate of infection with human papillomavirus (HPV), which can cause cervical cancer, is high in sexually active teens, the immune system of younger women typically clears HPV within one or two years. He added that recent research has shown that procedures to remove precancerous tissue weaken the cervix, increasing the risk of preterm birth.

Dr. Jennifer Milosavijevic, a specialist in obstetrics and gynecology at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, supports the guideline changes. “Women do not get cervical cancer first. They acquire HPV, the sexually transmitted virus that causes precancerous abnormalities of the cervix and cervical cancer. It takes years to progress from an HPV-infection to full-blown cervical cancer,” Milosavijevic said. “These new guidelines will allow us to avoid doing unnecessary procedures on the sexually active adolescent female.”
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