Bye Bye Wild Thing and Other News of the Week

Our favorite of the various Maurice Sendak tributes wandering around Facebook this week. This comes to us via  the Eric Carle Museum. (Illustration by Bob Englehart, the Hartford Courant’s editorial cartoonist)

Happy Friday morning, y’all! Just a quick Caterpickle this morning as The Five-Year-Old and I have a very important tea party to get to.

First up, from our correspondent in Houston comes word that plant-eating sauropods may have – ahem – emitted enough methane to make the already warm Mesozoic climate just that little bit warmer. Like modern day cows, sauropods relied on methane-producing microbes to digest the tough plants they ate. According to Dave Wilkinson of Liverpool John Moores University, these super-sized dinosaurs “could have produced more methane than all modern sources – both natural and man-made – put together.”

Next up, healthcare for the masses as envisioned by Middlesex Hospital in 1810:  Only those deserving poor who could get the appropriate letter of recommendation from a member of the board of governors for the hospital (or at the very least a patron with lots of money to donate) need apply. To receive care, all potential patients must report to the hospital promptly at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays.

And finally, a whooping cough (pertussis) epidemic has been declared in Washington State. Some 1,200 cases have been reported already, and officials expect that number to climb to 3,000 by year’s end. Whooping cough outbreaks occur every once in a while in part because the vaccine’s protection wanes over time, and few adults realize they need to get a booster shot.  An adult booster shot — called Tdap because it protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis — has been available since 2005, but fewer than 1 in 10 adults have received it.

And now I’m off to be feted by a posse of three-, four-, and five-year-olds. If past experience is any guide, it’s going to be awesome. 🙂

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About Shala Howell

Writer of things ranging from optical network switching white papers to genetic testing patient education materials to historical fiction set in an 1880s asylum. When I’m not scratching my head over pesky characters who refuse to do things how I want them done or dreaming of my next book (which will of course be much easier to write than the current one), my writerly self can be found blogging about life with a very curious Ten-Year-Old at Caterpickles.com, or musing about books and the writing life at BostonWriters.wordpress.com.
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